Some time ago, I made the grand declaration that I would one day involve myself in a half-marathon. It's possible some scoffed, some rolled their eyes, some attempted to smile supportively while secretly suppressing their doubt... Well fine, ye of little faith. Yesterday I began my journey to prove you all wrong, as I successfully and triumphantly participated in my first 5k ever... Cheers! Fireworks! Desperate attempts not to want to kiss me on the mouth! But seriously, it was absolutely a satisfying accomplishment.
This particular event was called "Run In The Dark" and I found out about it via an Irish Meetup Group I receive emails from. I have never actually participated in one of this group's events, but it seemed the perfect time to try my hand at a 5k. I really had no idea what to expect, though a couple of days before we received an informational email that said where we had to meet and what we had to do, etc... The email made it clear that it was a relatively informal event, but I still somehow expected there to be more people than we ended up running with. The meetup point was at a drugstore on the Champs Elysées, right near the Arc de Triomphe. I met my friend near her metro stop and we walked over together. Once we arrived, it became clear that, while we were given cute running bags with the logo on it and LED strips to wear on our arms, it really was a very casual setup. There were only about 50 people in the end, many knew each other, and my friend refused to wear the Unicorn mask I gave her in honor of our team name "Unicorns in Paris". In addition, most of the participants seemed to a) have done this run at least once before and b) be actual runners who don't feel their lungs giving out after a brisk walk. Frankly, after we took a group photo and I had barely gotten my backpack placed appropriately behind, we were off without further ado! Running down the Champs Elysées with the wind in our hair, tourists whizzing by, and thankfully a clear crisp night overhead.
Happily, there were stoplights here and there that provided us with a very necessary respite. And since my friend suffered a small injury last week, I was required to walk with her at various points. I say this not to point the blame, but to suggest that, while my lungs were screaming I seemed numb to their plight, it was probably best I took a breather when I could. In the end, I was frankly shocked that I ran a good 90% of the way and probably could have kept going in the end if I had to. Our finish line was under the Eiffel Tower so with the lights of Paris piercing the sky and glasses of champagne divvied out, there was really no negative to the scenario. I feel incredibly proud and already a bit addicted to the idea of doing it again... That being said, I already found another race next month in which you have to wear a Santa suit. Yes, we signed up, yes it's 10k (the 6k offered doesn't involve costumes), and yes I will probably have to walk half the distance... But even so, Christmicorns here we come!!!