Back in June, Steven decided that he wanted to start getting into shape. He mapped out a running course around our apartment complex and started running every other day. One day, we measured the course -- it was approximately 0.8 of a mile. Around August, he upped the mileage to twice around the course -- 1.6 miles.
Then I mentioned running a 5K together. Steven was up for it, but he was convinced we'd have to walk at least some of it. I mean, three-point-one miles? It just seemed like forever.
We signed up to run the Arlington Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning at 8 AM. In the weeks and days leading up to the race, we got our mileage as high as 2.5 miles, but we never ran a full three miles.
This morning, at 6:30 AM, we left our house and drove to Arlington. We parked along the race course, walked through the blistering cold to the church hosting the event, and picked up our race packets (including a t-shirt, our numbers, and quite randomly, some peppermints). We sat in the car with the heat on until around 7:40 AM. I would guess it was about 35 degrees out at the start of the race. Maybe 40, tops.
We stood about halfway back from the start line. There were probably 1,500 people running the race, and when they started running, Steven looked at me and said, "Oh man, it looks like those zombie movies!" I looked ahead, and sure enough, the crowd of bobbing heads did look like a swarm of the undead. The undead and the very, very cold.
But! It warmed up as we ran, and I am here to officially inform you all that we totally rocked the Turkey Trot.
Totally rocked it.
My Inga Hat served its purposes and kept my head warm, although I wished for the first mile that I'd brought mittens, too. But by the time we got into a good solid running pace, my hands warmed up and I didn't even notice the cold anymore.
And besides, this guy likes to run fast. I wasn't used to going anywhere near that pace on my own (we run at different times of day), so it was sometimes hard to keep up with him.
(But I managed. Also, since my number is lower, I think that means I beat him, right?)
There were people lining the course, cheering us on, and we could hear the footsteps of the people behind us, and it was really good motivation to keep running, lest ye be trampled. When we rounded the third mile and saw the finish line, Steven looked at me and said, "Look! The timer!" I looked, and the race clock was much lower than I thought it would be! Steven kicked it into high gear and so I followed suit, and we sprinted across the finish line.
It was incredibly awesome.
After the race, we had to stop and untie our timer chips from our shoes. It was actually pretty high tech -- they had a timing device that you stepped across to begin the race, and a second timing device for the finish. I'm looking forward to finding out what our "official race time" was. The clock said something like 34:18 when we crossed the finish, but we started a bit later than the actual race time because of the crowds.
And look! We got t-shirts!
I might wear mine the rest of the day, I am so proud of us. We didn't walk, not one single moment of walking. Even by the water table, we grabbed a cup and I tried to take a sip without breaking my stride and nearly choked myself. I ended up just aiming in the general area of my face with the water and then hoping it wouldn't turn into an ice beard as I ran. (It didn't.)
They had bananas, oranges, water and (most importantly) Starbucks for us at the finish line. We didn't stick around for the door prizes part, because we were starving. Steven requested "bacon and eggs. And toast. And eggs -- like 4 or 5 of them. And donuts."
We stopped by the grocery on our way home and then feasted on a well-deserved breakfast.
So there you have it. Our first 5K together. I hadn't run one in years, maybe since I was like 18 or so... and Steven had never run a road race before.
But thanks to his dutiful training and some sweet UnderArmor running gear, he is now officially a runner.
In fact, we both are. Go Mighty Steele Running Team.
(Are we done with pictures now? Good, I'm freezing. Let's get inside -- I've got a turkey to cook, and I'm less than 10,000 words away from finishing Nanowrimo.)