Haven't been on here for a while but I thought I'd share some experiences I've had since graduating.
I did my first 5k in August and it was an eye opener in lots of ways.
My experience of 5k until then had been watching other people at 5k fun runs, I now realise they are very different to other organised runs. My first 5k wasn't fun at all. Before it started there were lots of what I call proper runners wearing club vests all stretching and looking very trim and confident and I felt a little intimidated, but I thought well I can hold my own I'll just start from the back. I'd also clocked that I wasn't the oldest so thought I'd have a good chance of coming in with a reasonable time.
We set off with me at the back of the group and I very quickly realised that everyone was way faster than me. So I plodded forward trying to get my own pace and slowly realised that I was last and that I had lost sight of everyone in front of me. I cannot explain how demoralising this was, I almost blubbed, my emotions surprised me. I stopped and walked for a couple of minutes not sure what to do, then decided to stop being such a wimp and run.
I kept going running, past marshalls who were waiting for me and offering words of encouragement (bless them) then some photographer snapped me, I was soo embarrassed. I kept going running without headphones (they weren't allowed) I realised how heavy my breathing sounded. I felt fat, old and unfit and all the positive vibes built up by Laura seemed to ebb away. Then in the distance, ahead of me I saw another runner and I thought 'you're mine'.....and I ran like I've never run before as I saw my chance not to be last!
As I overtook her I realised she was older than me and breathing heavier so that spurred me on, as I went past her I looked at her and wanted to say sorry, for I felt I was doing a terrible thing. But my competitive streak came through and I pushed ahead.
I came in with a time of 38.45, second from last.
I know its the taking part that matters and that weeks ago I could barely run for a minute so I should be proud of myself and I suppose I am. The moral of this story is be careful which 5k you run as some are not really aimed at beginners and might damage your delicate runners ego!
Running 30 mins a couple of times a week now, still way off the 5k mark but working towards it.
I will go back to that 5k race next year!