Yesterday I competed in my first race. Now I'm not a runner at all and fully intended on walking the whole race, but when I arrived at the race in all my excitiement I set a goal for myself to complete the race in less than one hour. The course is 4.748 miles. I knew this meant that I was going to have to do some running to hit my goal. The race was capped at 15,000 entries, including walkers but not including the unregistered participants. If you've never seen a large race like that, it's certainly something to behold.
The starting gun fired at 10:00am, then all the runners started, approximately 15 minutes later they released the walkers mall to start their race, thats where I was. So I began the race at 10:15 or so, possibly a minute later as I was not in the front of the walkers mall area.
I almost immediatly started jogging due to my frustration of not being able to walk as fast as I'm used to due to the throngs of people. I figured if I could get away from the huge group of walkers I would have a bit more free space to move. At about the 1st mile marker the course started to go uphill. I inmy infinate wisdom didn't thing about driving the course ahead of time to see how it was laid out, I walked the uphill part of the course, and proceeded to jog/run the downhill area and the majority of the rest of the course with some short fast walking breaks.
As I hit the fourth mile marker, I realized that if I hustled I could finish the race and meet my goal of an hour to finish. I ran the last three quarters of a mile. I didn't realize I could run that far without a break. I finished the race with a time of 74:14:48 gun time. When you minus out the fact that I started 15 minutes in that gives me a a net time of 59:14:48 - I couldn't have come much closer to the wire, but I met my goal and my mile average was 12:35 - this experience showed me what I am actually capable of. Now as sore as my legs are today, I want to be a runner. Something I never thought I could do or wanted to do. I can't wait till my next race :)
Oh and btw, I burned 608 calories during the run, not bad for an hours worth of exercise.