Apparently this is a running blog...

I realized that I haven't updated you all on my 5K results over 2 MONTHS AGO!


Here we go...

On May 7, 2011 I participated in the Jamba Juice Banana Man Chase.

Now, some of you may remember that my original goal for this year was to run a 5K under 30 minutes.  For a total non-runner on 12/31/10, this was a challenging task.  As I started to train and build up my foundation, I realized that I may not be able to reach that goal during my first race of the year.

So I set a new goal- to complete 3.1 miles non-stop.  Whatever it takes, do not stop.

Let's see how this played out...

It was a breezy, cloudy, slightly rainy early morning here in Honolulu.  My husband was my photographer for the day.  We met up with my friend and her BF.  They run faster than I do but agreed to humor me in this "fun" 5K.  In my mind, they run 5Ks in their sleep! My friend will never admit to it, but she's a great runner!

And also? I was 7 weeks pregnant at the time, and did not tell a soul yet! I figured that since I was training for this for a few months, it was OK to run this race.  My doctor even told me he wanted me to go on and run my 5K. So there I was.

We got there early because parking is such a nightmare.  We got our numbers and timing chips and just people watched for a bit before it was time to line up.

The event was a 5K (all ages) and a Keiki (child) Fun Run about 45 minutes after the start of the 5K. The Keiki Fun Run was a shorter course, and I considered "borrowing" a child so that I could just participate in that.  Apparently adults are not allowed on the keiki course.  Bummer.

So we got our gear, stretched a little bit, spotted the hard-core racers, and then it was time to line up.

At the front of the line there are Jamba Juice employees dressed as bananas, and the point is to "catch" them.  The winners of the race get a FREE year of Jamba Juice! I forget all the details but it was more like 2 small smoothies a month. Hardly a year's worth.  Anyway...

Soon after lining up, we were off!!

I did the exact thing the running mags and blogs warn you about- I forgot my training and my pace.  With my adrenaline pumping, I was trying to keep up with the people around me. I did for a little while.  But then when I got tired, and should have slowed down, I kept going because I didn't want to be the first one to stop in the group around me.  So I pushed myself. Hard.

I pushed myself so hard, I was running soooooo fast, that my DH coudn't even snap a picture of me! I was like the Flash!


Not really. But pretty close!

The course is actually at Ala Moana Beach Park.  It loops around one of the parking lot areas and then circles back around the park.

This is the park that I usually run at, these pictures may look familiar.  This is also the park where I got stung by that evil bee.

And back to the race.  I eventually slowed down my pace and walked a bit.  Once in awhile a really young child or really old gramma would pass me by and I'd pick it up.  Great motivation.

I continued a run/walk/run/walk pattern. Not focused at all, just listening to my body.  And of course took a few more pics (thanks hubby!)

Toward the end of the race, I was really tired and worn out.  I was trying to remember why I signed up for this torture Fun Run in the first place.  As I turned a corner and saw the finish line, I remembered those late afternoons training in this park and how hard I worked to get this far.  I remember how I couldn't even run for a minute and here I was pushing myself beyond my limits.

Yes, I did smoke that little 4 year old.

And because everyone needs a horrible race picture, see below for your viewing pleasure.

Fun fact: the guy ahead of me stopped right under the balloons.  I, however, knowing that you should always keep running until out of the funnel, flew right past him and had a faster official time!

Another ugly pic for your enjoyment:

And while the clock read over 40 minutes when I passed the finish line, my OFFICIAL time was 38:51:2! That may not seem like a great time, but I'm proud of myself!

This means for next year, I need to shave off 9 minutes from my time to reach my goal.  My official pace for the race was a little over 12:30.  Whooo-hoooo!

The aftermath: Shortly after the race, my hips were super tight! For the next few days I had such a hard time lifting my legs- walking up and down stairs were horrible... I even had to use my arms to get my legs in the car! Lesson learned- stick to your training and your pace. It is so easy to get wound up with adrenaline and try to keep up with everyone else.

In canoe paddling, our coaches would scold us for looking around at other boats.  We were taught to just race and do our best, never mind what other boats were doing. When a crew member looks around, it throws of their timing and the momentum of the boat, and throws everyone else off too.  The crew might not be able to feel it, but you can definitely see it.

And like canoe paddling, I learned that for my next race, whenever that may be, I need to just run MY race.

What did you learn from running your first race?   Did you apply it to races after that?  Have you incorporated other sports training into your running?


  1. Great job with the 5k! You're so right about running your own race. Thanks for letting us know how it went!

  2. That's a great time for your first race! Thanks for sharing your experience. I can relate to a lot of what you talked about especially the pain when I woke up the next day.

  3. Great post! I do not think your race picture is ugly at all - you are a strong, hard-working runner! :) I need to run for myself and not anyone else - I am constantly reminding myself of this and sometimes it is really hard. I like that you just reminded me to run MY race! I also need to remember to just go with the flow sometimes and have fun!

  4. Congrats on finishing your first race Vanessa! That's an awesome accomplishment especially being prego. My cuz finished the SJ Marathon at 7 mos prego couple months ago..It was such a big deal! I hope you can keep it up, your going to need practice when your little one becomes a toddler ;) Aloha ~Shirl

  5. Wonderful job on your first race! I still remember my first race, I think one think that I learned was not to start out as fast as everyone in the front..I crashed hardcore near the end of the race. Like you said, run your own race at your pace.


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