I have been looking forward to this race ever since I acquired my favorite, sun-catching, sparkling, awesome running skirt:
Aside from having the best running skirt, I had two goals for this race:
1) Not to let any boys catch me (girls have a 3 minute head start)
2) To run faster than last year.
Technically I achieved both goals - no boy caught me and my time was ONE SECOND faster than last year.
My initial response was disappointment. Really, one second? Out of ALL the 5Ks I have run in the past year, I was expecting something closer to 19 minutes. However, I don't remember any of those 5Ks knocking me down as much as this one did. I think it has to do with the 2pm start time - running fast with breakfast and lunch in my belly just does not bode with my digestive system. I won't get into the unpleasant details, but they were...well, unpleasant.
I think considering the mess that became my stomach, I actually did okay. And really, a 19:26, although 22 seconds slower than my last 5K time, falls within my acceptable range. It was hot. There were hills. I had a stomach ache.
But, I must also say, I actually didn't feel like I was running slow. I felt pretty solid both mentally and physically. I think for me to run significantly better than this, I would need to run more than 40 miles a week (and do track workouts). My problem is if I do this, I will just whine about my lack of progress on the bike and in the pool. I do fear that in an attempt to give attention to everything, I may not be giving enough attention to anything. I joined a tri-team in an effort to make sense to a sport that I do not completely understand - but I will discuss that at another time.
Let's get back to the race.
I arrived early enough to get my ample warm up (three miles) on the nearby trails. I played for a little too long - ended up running 4.5 miles, and arriving on the start line with less than three minutes to spare. When I stopped, I realized my bib was flapping in the wind, I was hot, I was thirsty and I had lost my car key. But when you stand with your toe on the start line, the adrenaline does a good job erasing your mind of such annoyances.
The first mile felt comfortably fast. We ran past my dad so I told my friend to smile:
I love this picture because no one is smiling but us. It is a running rule that I have had for a long time now - if you see a camera, pose for that camera.
3 minutes after the women started, the boys started. After all the fast and kinda fast boys went, boys pushing double yellow jogging strollers got to start. I can understand while attempting to recover from a such a brutal handicap, it's hard to remember the golden running rule:
While David and the kids were weaving their way through walking women in tutus, I found myself in fourth place. But somewhere in Mile 2, I was passed. And then passed again. I was okay with this and the goal was just not to let anyone else pass me. I also managed to stay about five seconds from the 5th place female for the rest of the race.
The course is an out-and-back, which includes a substantial hill. However, in a race, I barely even notice this hill.
I have no doubt that David noticed this hill, though. I have pushed the jogging stroller up this hill many, many times...it is a workout. But what goes up, must come down and 100 pounds of stroller can gain a lot of momentum. David is on the left side here so I suspect he is passing people:
And he remembered to pose for the camera. So did Hayden.
Even though Brenna was a bit moody and refused to wear shoes, we had a really fun time. I love when I can incorporate my running life and my family life into one wonderful day. It is the best of the both worlds - which is my world!! - and for that, I am so so incredibly lucky.