Although I wish this wasn’t true, I have never been a runner. In middle school I remember consistently running a 12-minute mile. In high school I remember my lacrosse coach taking me to the side for some one-on-one laps in attempt to correct my form. Running has never been my thing, which is why I gravitate towards classes like Pilates, barre, and spin. I do understand the importance of a truly heart-pounding workout and try to force myself to take a class with a running component about twice a month.
When the Lexus PR team reached out to offer me free admission to one of their Lexus Lace Up races, I panicked—I’ve never even considered a race before. I casually mentioned the email to my husband and without hesitation he said we should do it. And not just the simple 5k, but the intimidating 10k.
Having only run in classes like Speedplay, Barry’s Bootcamp, and Orangetheory, I questioned whether or not I could physically finish a 10k. I’m so used to short distances and alternating between rowing/weight training that an hour straight of running was frightening. I considered all my accidental cross-training and decided to just do it, signing up exactly five days before race day.
Although some short distance training would’ve been a good idea, I didn’t want to psych myself out and opted for barre and Pilates in the week leading to the race, taking a rest day the day before. We headed up to Irvine bright and early for the 8:10 AM start time, waiting in line to grab our bibs and race shirts.
I was feeling a little nervous as we lined up and once the clock started it was a bit chaotic for the first mile or so as people slowly began to spread out. The first mile was mentally the most difficult because people kept passing me and I kept telling myself I was probably last (I wasn’t!).
The course was frustrating at times as we were running along a creek and had a ton of short downhills followed by uphills where the road went over us. The route wasn’t very scenic and instead of a loop, we had to retrace our run when we hit 3.1 miles.
Mile four was definitely the most difficult as my body started getting really tired and began to hurt in strange places. My clothes were chafing a bit and I was ready for the finish line! Once I saw the mile five marker though, I turned my music way up and booked it to the end. It was so exciting to hear people cheer as I crossed over and was immediately handed a medal! I finished and I was still alive!!!
The party was going strong with three food trucks and a Sierra Nevada beer garden. There was a booth that had prints of any Instagram photo with the tag Lexus Lace Up, a stretching area, Lexus cars to check out, and Saucony shoes to test.
While I’m not sure when I’ll compete in my next race considering I can barely walk, here are five tips to help you survive your first race.
- Test out your headphones before race day and try to find a pair that will stay in your ears!
- Find out where the bathrooms will be and make sure to go before you start.
- Try to keep a steady pace but don’t be afraid to go faster on down hill sections.
- Turn your music up and just GO for the last mile, exhaust all of your energy.
- Don’t get down on yourself when people pass you. Focus on yourself but also set mini goals like running next to someone for a while or passing a person.
If you’re interested in running in the Lexus Lace Up series, check out the other races they have coming up in the LA area. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you!!!
Do you have any tips to surviving a race? Share them in the comments below!