On your mark
A student group at my alma mater put together a 5K Homecoming run to raise money for charity. I knew that I could use the exercise and was curious to see how I'd fare. So I signed up despite not spending any time on the recumbent bike the last two and a half weeks and being sore from some weight training. Since my legs felt fine, I figured I could run the race without much difficulty.
The good news: I ran the whole thing, and generally I felt pretty good. The cool weather was to my liking, even if it was a bit on the chilly side. The mix of track, pavement, and grass was easy on the knees. The muddy terrain made for some treacherous turns, but it wasn't so bad at my low speed. My time was within a range that I'd consider acceptable for now.
I could have posted a faster time if I hadn't needed to stop eight to ten times to stop and tie a shoe whose laces kept coming undone, and I imagine that running in some of the slop slowed me down. Since the finish line's exact location was somewhat unclear, I didn't air it out at the end, which kept the time slower too.
But I wasn't really running for the time. I was running to see if I could do it and do better than the 4th of July race. I was running to see how I felt during and after. I was running to get in another exercise session that I hadn't been able to fit in during the week.
I felt good throughout the day and feel good now. All things considered, I'd have to consider this race a big success for me. Next time around, though, I'd like to see what I'm capable of beyond merely surviving.