My First Race: Part 3

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 15, 2009

Miss Part 1 or Part 2?

So where was I…oh yea…the last km before reaching the half way mark!

4km-5km: I admit, from 4km-5km, I was struggling. Hard. I had just reached the top of a huge hill climb and then I realized that I had to push hard toward the half way mark. From 4.5-5km, I was really struggling to catch my breath and get into the swing of things after the last hill climb. I looked at my watch which read 26 minutes and I pushed hard for the last 1/2 a km. I wanted not only to have a 10km time, but a 5km time as well! So I struggled and pushed hard, and I made it to the 5km marker at 28 minutes and 38 seconds. I was happy with this, especially given the hills. But I was worried. It occurred to me that I might not make my personal goal time of 59 minutes. I figured that I would probably slow down the last half of the race (it seems logical right?) and I was a bit worried that I might not even make the 1 hour mark. I had to push on.

The one thing I did not like about this race was the lack of spectators! There were NO spectators along the course cheering us on. It made the hills very difficult. I found myself praying and pleading to hear some encouragement from anyone. The police man, the water volunteer, anyone. On occasion, I heard a keep it up or good job, but I think that happened only twice on the entire route. You could almost hear a pin drop at some points of the race. I blasted my Ipod and zoned out.

There were 3 or 4 water stations along the course (I can’t remember it was a blur) and I stopped and got a cup of water at each. Everyone kept trying to give me Gatorade but all I wanted was water. I remembered what the seasoned runner told me before the race: “You really don’t need Gatorade to fuel a 10k. A half? Yes, but not necessary for a 10k” I was happy to hear this because I hate Gatorade!

6km-7km: It was hot, but I was truly loving every minute of the race. Each time someone passed me, it motivated me to dig deep within myself and find an extra ounce or two of strength. I thought a lot about Chris during these 2 kilometers and I found myself getting quite emotional in the moment. I teared up at one point as I was so overcome with emotion. I think it had been building for so long now. All of the emotions from my injury were finally being let go. The 2 months when I couldn’t even do yoga let alone cardio exercise affected me more than I realized. I felt free, and yes, while I was panting, and grunting, and feeling sometimes like I was going to die going up a hill, in some odd way I felt so alive. I thought about what Chris must have gone through with his cancer and coming to grips with the fact that he wasn’t going to make it to his thirties. Suddenly everything I was feeling sort of went numb. A tear dropped off my face and I didn’t feel any tiredness anymore. I didn’t curse the hills, I didn’t worry about my time, heart rate, or pace…and I am not sure if the music was on or off.

I just ran.


8km: I was a bit annoyed around the 8km marker because the roads weren’t closed off properly and cars were literally driving right by us! One car even cut in front of us so they didn’t have to wait in the line up and we had to adjust our speed and slow down. It was pretty rude, but again, in the grand scheme of things was not something I thought about for more than 20 seconds. It also happened just after another huge hill climb, so I think we were all naturally a bit moody. ;) Everything moved in slow motion. I passed the half marathon km markers…16km…20km..etc…and I thanked GOD I was not running a half!!! LOL. I’m not joking, I was really glad I wasn’t and it actually hit me how much training I would have to do if I wanted to run a strong half. I’m sure I could do it in my current condition, but my pace would be much, much slower and I would struggle- a lot.

9km: I thought it was NEVER going to come! FINALLY! It felt like the longest 10km I have ever done. Probably because it was by far the most difficult course wise. And duh– I was racing afterall! I glanced down and saw that my heart rate was in the 180’s and I had a Holy Shit moment, lol. I passed two men around my age that started to walk a bit. I wondered if they burned out. I kept on. I thought the crowd of people was going to be much closer than it was. Where is that damn finish line, I found myself asking. I knew I wanted to make the last 1/2 km GREAT. And push. There were a few women within my range that had been motivating me the entire way and my goal was to just finish as close to them as possible. Those two men that were walking now passed me. I guess their strategy worked (and their mile long legs probably! lol). I finally saw the finish line in sight and I gave it my all. I got up to a 6:50 minute mile. I assessed my body. No sharp pains. Nothing out of the ordinary. Sounds like a green light to me!!! :)

I passed some spectators (finally!!!) and this man yelled out to me “Catch the redhead!!!”. LOL. Bless this man whoever he was. I needed a laugh. I said, “It’s in the bag” and chuckled to myself knowing she was far out of my reach. It got me through it and took my mind off of things…like my heart rate- which reached 185 bpm in this final stretch. I have NEVER seen my heart rate that high ever. I know for a fact that I was pushing as hard and fast as I could and it felt amazing.

The FINISH: Finally, I approached the finish line. Pushed and pushed. I gave my bum a little wiggle to show off the cancer money. ;) I saw my time- 56 and counting…harder and faster…and then I casually crossed the finish line, seeing Eric. I gave him a big thumbs up and a little squeal when I crossed it.

Moments before crossing…


It was all very surreal. I thought I was going to get choked up after the finish line, but I didn’t. I guess I cleared my head and my emotions during the race when I had time to think.

In case some of you couldn’t watch the video here is a recap of my results:

TIME: 56:57 minutes (race time), My chip time- TBD

AVG PACE: 8:49 min/mile


  • 3rd in my division (25-29, women)
  • 19th out of 199 women
  • 39th overall (out of approx 450 runners)



CALS: 602

Immediately after the race! I checked out my Glo Bakery goodies (that everyone loved btw!), got water, and the most delicious strawberries I have ever tasted!

haha, you can see the tangled chains in the pic below if you click:


I was drenched in sweat after the race. My leg muscles were SUPER tight. I did some stretching. I did a quick ‘injury’ check- nope, no pain. Thank GOD, I thought. I wanted to cry I was so happy. My knee sleeves were sweaty and all the salt I had lost now formed a gross looking ring around them. Ewwww! lol.


IMG_3429 I actually had two people come up to me and tell me they loved my Glo bars. One lady even asked me if I wanted to open a bakery in the town (Jordan)! lol. It was cute. I had to tell her I lived too far away but I was of course flattered.

A few people also asked me about my knee sleeves and how they worked. I told them that I LOVE them and that I have had zero pain since wearing them. They have truly saved my knees!!!! I still think it is much more difficult to run in them (it feels like someone cranked up the resistance when I run), but it is worth it. I also think because my knees are kept in proper alignment, it saves me from injury in other areas (groin, anyone!?). :)

Since my muscles were so tight, I asked Eric to help me take my shoes off. Not a glamourous job, but someone’s gotta do it! bahahaa


Today’s question:

– In your opinion, what makes a good race? What qualities do your favourite races have (e.g., awesome prizes, courses, water station extras, etc)??? If you have never raced before, what do you think a good race might include??

I will be talking later about:

  • the pros and cons of this race. What I liked and what they can improve for next year!
  • all the FOOD I ate the day before the race and the day of the race (Yes, Eric recovered the pictures!!!)
  • I will also tell you a secret- have I already signed up for another race???

Find out tonight! :D


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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole June 15, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I was going to ask what your next big thing would be too!


Nicole June 15, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I think you should do a triathlon!


Run Sarah June 15, 2009 at 12:45 pm

What an awesome recap – I felt some of the same feelings during the end of my first 10k!


Nadia June 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I just finished reading all 3 parts of your First Race recap, and really enjoyed them. Great work; congratulations! I completed my first 5K 2 weeks ago, and signed up for my first 10K in October. Any training tips/advice?


caitlin June 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm

yay i am so proud of you!

my favorite races have FINISHERS MEDALS!! I LOVE THOSE!!!


Michelle Hisae June 15, 2009 at 12:58 pm

My favorite part of a race is that last sprint before the finish line. When I put it all out on the course, I feel great. Finishing strong is an exhilirating feeling!


amy (veganissexy) June 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Congratulations Angela! That is so awesome! You did amazing…sheesh what a speedster you are! You have every right to feel supremely proud of yourself. Way to go!


Leah @ Simply Fabulous June 15, 2009 at 1:02 pm

For my race coming up, I just want to FINISH. Running the half marathon will be one of the craziest things I have done- so I don’t have a goal time at all. As soon as I cross that finish line I know I will have met my goal!

I do think it’s going to be mandatory to have water stations along the way. They are a must to help me keep going!!!


Lizzie June 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I just did a 10K in NYC a couple of weeks ago and since I didn’t anticipate any hills (of which there were plenty!) it ended up feeling like the longest 10K ever! But it was by far and away one of my favourite races so far. I really like the all-women events. Given the crap female role models out there these days (Paris, Lindsay, insert reality show person here etc), it’s just nice to run with a group of women who are there to compete, have fun, support each other etc. This race was well marked with officials stationed what seemed like every 30 seconds, plenty of ample heads up for water stations generally well organised in terms of lining up at the start, plenty of room in the finish area (sometimes I just cross the line and stop before realising I need to keep moving so other people can finish!). If you’re looking for another 10K to train for (and you may have already run this), the Tufts 10K for Women in Boston is an awesome, relatively flat course held in October. It is a lot of fun!


Shelly June 15, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I’ve only run two races (so far)- both in New Orleans, the Crescent City Classic (10K) and the New Orleans Greek Festival 5K. I had such a good time at the Classic that I couldn’t wait to run more races. I like a race that has a lot of runners because I really feed off the energy of the people around me. The Classic was incredibly fun in this regard because it has a great, party vibe- a lot of the runners wear costumes (I saw, among other things, a banana, several cowboys/girls, pirates, cheerleaders, and the Easter Bunny!), and people hand out beer on the route, as well as the more traditional water and gatorade. (Although I can’t imagine that having a beer during a 10K would be a good idea, haha!)
Good scenery is also a plus- the Classic ran through downtown New Orleans and into our City Park, so the surroundings were pretty pleasant.
I also love it when people cheer you on. At the halfway point, some people with instruments (including a tuba, as I recall) were playing the Rocky Theme Song- that was definitely my high point it terms of energy. It really pumped me up!
There were a few things I liked about the Greekfest run more than the Classic though. Partially because there were fewer people, they were able to corral the walkers much more effectively. During the classic, a lot of walkers snuck closer to the starting line than they were supposed to and it was torture navigating around them for the first couple of miles. At Greekfest, they were much stricter about making walkers stay back.
(No offense to walkers, but seriously, you would think they would dislike nearly being run over as much as runners dislike nearly running over them!!)
I also like races that have digital time markers along the route b/c I don’t wear a watch when I run. Particularly during the Greekfest 5K, which was my second race, I was able to see that I was going faster than I expected, but feeling great, which motivated me to keep up that pace. As a result I was very happy with my time!
Overall, I am so hooked on racing now and can’t wait for my next one. I’m thinking of doing a 5K trail run I read about today that is scheduled for mid-July!
Do you have a next race in mind yet? :)

OMG Shelly, your comment made me laugh out loud- picturing a BANANA and a tuba playing rocky theme song. Seriously that ROCKS. I clearly need to experience more of this greatness!!!!!!!!


Danielle June 15, 2009 at 1:16 pm



brandi June 15, 2009 at 1:32 pm

what a great recap! congrats on BEATING your goal!!! That is awesome!


Jodi June 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm

What an amazing recap! Congratulations :D

(Not sure if you were able to get your laptop up and running, but I had a similar problem with my Dell. In order for the laptop to turn on, I had to remove the battery and strictly use the A/C adapter)


Recipes for Creativity June 15, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Love it! I have really enjoyed reading all of your recap posts! Two and a half years ago I ran a half, just to do it, but since then have not run anymore races. When I read about everyone completing new challenges, it makes me want to take on more!


Fitzalan June 15, 2009 at 1:48 pm

One thing I think is crucial for a good race is a well marked course! I like knowing where on the course I am (which mile or km) and also I love when they have clocks or people calling out your time. Also, for longer races, having (accurate) pacers is always nice.

And I think it is crucial for them to clean up the water stations. That is the best place to get hurt because there is just trash every where.

Having tons of spectators always helps!
Happiness Awaits


Shannon, The Healthy Beach Bum June 15, 2009 at 1:51 pm

yay I knew they would love your Glo bars!!! :)

I’ve done the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer run the past two years. The run is in October so it’s GORGEOUS weather… just the right temp and everyone is always in the best mood because it is for such a great cause.

The bagels, apples, and nanners at the end of the race are a nice little perk too ;)
Can’t wait to read about the foods you had before and after the run <3


Jenna June 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm

what a great recap angela!! I feel so proud of you!!! :)


Dani June 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! That is so awesome! Glad everyone loved the Glo Bars! :)


Georgia June 15, 2009 at 1:59 pm

The best races are the ones run with friends! I love when there’s a group of us excited about it together… and shade trees don’t hurt.

My first 5ks were at the International Marathon in Prague, the beautiful scenery, big crowds, bands, and low temps made those WONDERFUL!


AGS June 15, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Congralations! What a great recap! A good race gives you something to think about.


Amanda June 15, 2009 at 2:01 pm

After running my first half-marathon in Phildalphia in November that the time of year matters!! It was FREEZING – not saying I wouldn’t do it again, but the training leading up to it got harder and harder with the freezing cold mornings! I also look at the organization of the race (if it’s big, do they have a corral system, etc) and the route!


Marcia June 15, 2009 at 2:15 pm

AWESOME time and pace. Man, you are totally going to make me train for another 10k.


Amy June 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Congrats! I’ve been following you this week as you’ve been preparing for this race…SO GLAD it turned out AMAZING!! :) :) :)

Have you ever thought about doing Team in Training? (Do they have that in Canada? Or something like it?) They actually require fundraising, but you seem to be a natural at all. They raise money for cancer research as well. I’m not a part of it, but just thought I’d throw that in there! :)

Anyways, congrats again. Hang that medal with pride :)


Allison June 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I think you mentioned in your earlier post that your mouth felt really dry at first. I complained about this once at a track meet in high school, and my coach handed me a roll of LifeSavers candy and told me to pop a couple in my mouth right before my next race. Now I almost always chew gum or suck on some hard candy when I run…I think it’s gotten to be a mental thing/comforting habit more than anything, but it keeps your saliva flowing.

Also, so awesome that your first race was such a good experience! It’s been inspiring reading about you coming back from your injury; I’m trying to train for a 10K at the end of July–my first since knee surgery last year. I’m sure I’ll have to walk part of it (I haven’t run on roads in over a year and I want to baby my knee), but thanks to your cross-training tips, I’m going to start walking hills on the treadmill to ramp up my stamina and fitness.


Lara (Thinspired) June 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Angela, this is a little late, but CONGRATS! Awesome race time, you should be so proud!


rachel June 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm

hi angela,

congratulations on your excellent finish!
i was wondering if you could provide some more info on the benefits you’ve seen from drinking the green monsters (which product do you put in them?) do you know what the fiber content is? and do you think they’ve really given you more energy. i am thinking about experimenting with some of the products (i;e amazing grass) but i want to do my research before i spend any $$. thanks;)


Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) June 15, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I’m just catching up Angela, but I just wanted to tell you that you are AMAZING!!! What a great time and finish! Seeing you come back from your injury has been incredibly inspiring for me and now you are a racing superstar. Well done!


amber June 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm

What a fantastic accomplishment! Love the pics:)


ari June 15, 2009 at 3:13 pm

8:49 min/mile?! that’s awesome! i really want to run a 10k but i feel like i could never have a sustainable, fast pace. guess i just need to start training lol. anyway congratulations!


Leila June 15, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Angela,first a super congratulations on the 10K and I’m so happy to hear that your Glo Bars were a hit (though I’m not surprised at all!!)

It’s great to hear that your first 10K (and most likely your first of many races) went so well. Can’t wait to hear what you have planned for yourself next. Also to hear what great things come out of this for Glo Bakery!

have a good one.


[email protected] June 15, 2009 at 4:33 pm

For me, beautiful scenery, a great crowd, and a fun post race party make a good race! The Bermuda Marathon, for me was so much more difficult than Boston because though it was GORGEOUS (!!!) there were not tons of spectators. There were long periods of time when I was alone. My favorite race ever is the Yankee Homecoming 10 miler in Newburyport, MA. The whole town comes out for the festivities.
I also like point to point races rather than loops. I hate knowing I have to pass a point more than once!
You did so well, that is a truly amazing time!


Holly June 15, 2009 at 4:42 pm

I am late on this, but CONGRATS! You’ve definitely served as an inspiration to many of us (probably ALL of us runners, lol) who have been through an injury. I am so, so happy for you!!


Katherine June 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Congratulations, Ang! I’m so happy you beat your time goal and, even better, you enjoyed the race and felt good running it!

My favorite races are the ones where I’ve had the best mindset during the process of running it – whether I’m running with someone, or enjoying the scenery or the spectators.

Having a nice medal, or an excuse to travel someplace new for a race helps too though ;-)


Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope June 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Thanks for finishing up the recap for us. You must be so proud! You did such a great job Angela. And I’m so glad that you were able to push through all the tough spots and overcome any negative thoughts. Way to go! :)


polly June 15, 2009 at 5:17 pm

way to go, strawberry muffin!!

You are an amazing athlete and a cutie! Love your attitude and now ya got the gams and the glams to prove a true beauty is active and loving inside and OUT! XOXO


Daniella June 15, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Hello !!! 1st. Congrats on the race!!!! amazing! 2. I LOVE OH SHE GLOWS…

I saw you were wearing the knee ‘things’, I have tried to run but my doctor told me not to do so because I have problems with my knees and when I tried running it hurts so much afterwards and during too, it also hurts many other times just walking fast or after exercising. Do the knee ‘things’ let you run with no problem? Are you wearing them because you had a knee problem?

I had never ran before in my life and now I’m 23 and wanted to give it a try and I loved it, could not keep up for too long but I was getting better and then the knees attacked me! Do you have any suggestion of what I can do to burn as much calories as running?

Thank you ! I love your blog and how you talk about everything that is important… I am dying to try the cupcakes ha ha


bobbi June 16, 2009 at 8:39 am

ANGELA!!! I have been following your posts even though I have been comenting I have been on vacay, I wanted to say congrats and way to rock it and raise some major mula!!! You are quite the inspiration dear, keep up all the hard work!


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