My First Race! The Marine Corps Semper 5ive Race

Well it happened this weekend…I ran my first race, The Marine Corp’s Semper 5ive!

I finished the 5 mile hilly course in under an hour. My time was 58:22 exactly, beating one of my goals of finishing in under an hour. On the course, I battled the infamous Hospital Hill, a half mile of a hellacious uphill incline (which was on a hospital’s campus no less, how ironic!) along with a couple of other sneaky hills mixed into the course. You never quite realize the incline involved in a simple highway overpass until you have to actually run over it!

We were planning for not so great weather, especially since it had rained for a week straight up until Sunday, so we assumed it would be soggy roads (bad), cooler temperatures since the race started at 7am (good)  and no sun (good.) What I DIDN’T plan for was the humidity!!! That was a doozy to adjust to for the first half mile, especially with my exercise induced asthma, but my lungs adjusted after a while and felt fine the remainder of the race.

before the race trying to stay warm and wondering what the hell I was about to get into. Marine Corps races are known to be crazy challenging!
So I had three goals for this race:
  1. finish the race
  2. run the entire time, don’t walk!
  3. finish the 5 miles in under an hour
…and I accomplished all 3!
Most people would say for your first race, to have only one goal of simply finishing. However, with all the training I have put in since January, and the fact that I technically trained for a 10k (6.2 miles), not finishing the race never crossed my mind.

My second goal, to finish in under an hour, was a goal I started to focus on once my mileage and stamina increased considerably within the second month of training. Namely, when my husband first took me along with him on one of his “long runs” and I actually survived and came pretty close to hitting 5 miles in an hour, I realized that it was definitely an achievable goal to work towards.

My third goal, to run the entire race without walking, was more of a mental goal, believe it or not. I knew my mind would be telling me well before my legs and lungs were anywhere near their edge that I needed to walk for a bit. So I told myself no matter what, no matter how slow I’m moving, I’m still running. No walking! This came in handy, telling myself to keep running, after aforementioned Hospital Hill, which pretty much burned my quads out. And still I kept running!
I might add, I officially have the running bug, as I am currently scouring online to find another race to run midsummer (Quantico 12K?), and hopefully a half marathon in the fall…(Did I just write that?!)

LOOK at his medal! I WANT IT!!!!!

My husband, by the way, also ran a race on the same day….his first half marathon! I’m still in awe of him finishing 13.1 miles (and a bit jealous of his slightly bigger medal!) I have him to blame for the running bug that is infecting our family. Even the kids want to come running with us whenever they see one of us about to take off on a run!

Being an athlete, but NEVER considering myself a runner, I am proud and amazed at what my body and mind can do. And I can’t help to be a little more than grateful for my sobriety from alcohol (I was 290 days strong on race day!) as commiting to training for a race would have NEVER happened if I were still drinking like I used to.

So, we made sure to celebrate finishing our races, because we both overcame some obstacles to get to this point…And what better way to celebrate than with some well earned, delicious chocolate cake….because why not?


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