Thursday, May 8, 2014

Towns2gether 5K... Yes, I ran a 5K!

The past couple of weeks have been devoted to getting back into the swing of things post marathon. After feeling shockingly good post race (thanks, 3:54...) I definitely came down with a case of the "oh shit my legs feel like crap-itis" last week.

It really was rather awful.
It was also 38 degrees in raining, which was disgusting.
I hate to admit it, but my body is very well acclimated to running in 38 degrees and rain, so if nothing else the cold, windy, damp weather had me feeling more like myself by last weekend. It was gross, but I was zipping around like a damn fool. Thank heavens.

And feeling better can lead to some solid life choices....
All last summer, while training or the GCI 50K I said "No" to every race or fun run activity that sounded amusing. This was because my sole focus was to get to the 50K uninjured, not over raced and ready to go. Basically my plan went as I hoped (lousy finish and all) but I got a little bit bummed, missing out on all the local races, saying "no" left and right like it was my second job.

So. When I found out that my best friend's school (she is a teacher) was having a 5K fundraiser I said "sure, why not"
(the day before, but it's not like training for a 5K would actually help, hahah!)

Not so sure it was a good idea before.... Happy after!

I showed up. It was cloudy and chilly. We ran around a little to warm up and to find a bathroom. Angie was pushing Quinners in his stroller because at 1 year old it's high time for the kid to learn to race. So we talked to him for a bit and he looked mad. I asked Angie if she would push me in the stroller too and she seemed oddly reluctant. Then I was mad too.
I tried to continue my warmup until the very second the race started but wasn't particularly successful, since I wasn't exactly sure where the start line was, or which way we were supposed to go. Luckily, one lone person had that info so I did not miss the start, as I have been known to do.

I hope that this race becomes a yearly event, as with the exception of absolutely nobody paying attention to the pre race announcements (I suggest a much more amplified communication device) and the slight confusion about where the race actually started from, it was a solid little 5K.
I never expect "big time" race support from small town 5k's but this one was pretty decent. They had an actual timing company working instead of a dude with a stopwatch (good), the course was marked well enough and at intersections there were volunteer and police support (good) the course seemed to be advertised as long- but was close enough for me (3.13 is close enough) there was plenty of water at the finish and I really enjoyed the relatively flat out and back route. Also, the volunteers at the bib pick up were extremely helpful and if it had been my first 5k I can't think of anything they could have done to make me feel more comfortable (so a good race for your first time.)

I was really surprised at the number of people starting- there were over 300 which is kind of insane for a town that has a population of 5. (I'm kidding. I basically live there so I can kid.)
I lined up near the front and suddenly we were starting.
All the little kids took off, ready to win the damn race.
100 feet later they all stopped. It was very funny but made for an rather creative beginning to the race. I liked the attitude of those 1st graders though, they were in it to win it until the discovered that a 5k is slightly longer than 100 feet.

At this point I had passed the 1st graders. And a few middle schoolers from the looks of it.
 A bunch of men and a few woman had broken off with the lead pack, and not wishing to kill myself in the first 0.3 miles I maintained a reasonable pace.
I have not run a 5K for real in about 2 years, and honestly had no idea what to expect. It had warmed up quickly and was 60 and sunny- and I felt warm. Duh. Where is my 38 degree weather?

By the half mile marker I had already caught several of the lead woman but could no longer see the front runners. Since I knew that a fast time was beyond my reach I aimed to maintain sanity in my pacing (and since I had had nothing but shit runs all week, the fact that I felt great was enough to make for a very fun run.)

There really isn't much drama to report, I ran fairly decent splits- 6:53, 6:51, 7:02 and since I have not seen "6" as the first number in so long I was really a bit shocked. I never gave up (although in mile 2-3 I was in no man's land with not a single person to chase, so perhaps got a bit lazy?)

Forrest Gump running style. Seriously, this is how I run.
 Anyway, to zero fanfare I finished. My time was 21:36 and of course my first thought was "ugh, slow!!!" I shut that down though, because at a 6:58 average pace that is fast for me and that's all that counts. Also, that's reasonable close to how I run when I train to be fast for short distances. So no tears here.


I thought I might have been the first woman. Angie's husband was fairly sure. Nobody really knew!
So, needing to get to work I hopped in my car and left.

As it turned out I was 6th overall and the 1st place woman.
Yeah, I know that at a big race this time would not have been competitive. I don't care though, for me this was a fast time, a good effort and I'm really pleased with it.
And it was FUN.
I can't remember the last time I had so much FUN at a race! Go figure. I claim to hate 5K's...
I really enjoyed being done so fast.
I was ZERO percent tired or sore.
I then worked all day, no problem!
The next day I went on a 10 mile trail run over a mountain with no "race" feelings in my legs.

So bottom line, this was a great day. I was glad to say "yes!" to something spontaneous and fun, I was glad to feel fast, I was glad to have a good day with my friends. sometimes you just have to live a little and remember that running does not always have to feel hard!
And I was glad to see my little buddy Quinners really enjoy his first race. He looked so pumped once he got going! I expect him to be a big track star (no pressure or anything.) And really. I expect Angie to be a big track star because if you can run fast while pushing an enormous stroller than you can do anything (like push me next time!!)


1 comment:

  1. Congrats! Did you get an award even though you weren't there?