I remember my first race. I save all of my race bibs, and I write the name of the race, date, location, my finish time, and other pertinent information on the back to help me recall the day. I just checked my first bib. It’s from November 16, 2003. The race was a small 5K called E-Racing the Blues (to benefit a mental health association) in Wilmington, Delaware. My youngest son had just left for college two months before and I had a bad case of empty nest syndrome. I spent a lot of time watching my boys play soccer, football, basketball, wrestling, baseball, golf and tennis. (Yes, they loved sports!) I had run for a long time, but never raced.
My husband went with me to Wilmington as a spectator. The course was along the riverfront. It was a very narrow loop, so he could see me twice during the course of the race. I had no idea what to expect, no idea how fast I could run. I didn’t know where to pin my bib – the back or front of my shirt. I asked a kind fellow racer who told me to pin it on the front “It’s not a rodeo!” I didn’t know if there would be anywhere to go to the bathroom before the race, so I made my husband stop at a convenience store on our way there. I didn’t realize how long a 5K could seem when you are trying to run it as fast as possible. I ran the race in 26:20, good enough for third in my five year age group (late 40s), and I was hooked!
In the years since 2003 I have run many, many races. My husband began racing with me in 2005. Together we have run everything from a two mile pizza race to ultra-marathons. I have loved most of them. I still have a special place in my heart for 5Ks, though. Even though I have another marathon on the distant horizon (August), I would like to begin a new project. I would like to run one 5K a month, and see if I can get faster. Yes. I am in my 60s. I still think I can get faster. Not faster than I was 10 years ago, faster than I am now.
I always get excited at the prospect of a new adventure, a new project, a new challenge. I already have the first race picked out. Now if I can just get my husband on board. I will keep you posted on my progress.