I did it! I ran my first 5K in The Beirut Marathon Women’s Challenge on May 26th. Here’s how it went.
Even though I didn’t have the best sleep the night before, the day started on a super positive note (my daughter woke up unexpectedly form 11 till 1:30 am, she had pre-race jitters perhaps? ha!).
I had my coffee, one banana with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and drank about one liter of water two hours before the race. Then since we had everything prepared the night before, we got dressed without a hassle and were ready to go. We arrived about an hour before the race and our friends started showing up shortly after. The ambiance was awesome. People running with charities and NGOs gathered with their unified outfits and slogans. The organizers were singing and cheering everyone up on the stage. The energy was just amazing. We started encouraging each other, and posing for some pictures. Some of us had already tried the 10K the year before. For most it was a first-time experience.
That’s me posing before the race. You can tell my dark-circled tired eyes but once you’re surrounded with such positive energy, you wanna jump in place!
With my sister and baby girl(also wearing the 3anjadawiyeh t-shirt)
Warming up before the 5K
We lined up in the middle of the pack and started at a slow pace and kept it like that. I wanted to run it in less than 38 minutes but what was more important to me is running it all. All my workouts were speedy running intervals followed by brisk walks. So compared to the training, my pace was slow and steady all throughout the race. 11.45 minutes/mile. I know this pace is totally good for longer distances when you want to finish the race and don’t mind the time. But like I mentioned before, even with the short distance, my aim was to finish it running. Yet at the 4k mark, I walked for a few meters and then picked up my pace again.
May Chidiac, the journalist whose car was bombed a few years back, was also participating.
At the 2.5 Km mark, “Huitieme art” musicians were playing some music and cheering all runners.
We did it!
Stretching after her run?? (Thank you Nour for taking this pic)
Volunteers were waiting for us at the finish line with bottles of water, apples and bananas. Great post-run snacks!
Even though I wore my sweater a few minutes after the run, I know I should have put it on sooner. The cool breeze was very welcome, but it had its toll on me. At around 8 pm, I started having cold chills and woke up in the middle of the night with fever and a shooting pain around my diaphragm every time I took a breath. So I spent all Monday sleeping until the fever and pain subsided in the afternoon. I’m still not feeling very well, that’s why the post took me a couple of days to finish up. So my little piece of advice, no matter how warm the weather is and no matter how short the distance you are running, put on your sweater immediately after you finish.
As my first participation I was satisfied. My next challenge is the 10K in November if I can make it to Lebanon. But, until then I’ll be training to get a better 5K time. Running 5K in 30 minutes is my next goal. For now, the good thing is I’m taking on running: a sport I always admired people for doing yet was afraid to give it a try myself!