Well, I did it. Pouring rain and all, I ran the Crazylegs Classic 8K this morning. My first race back from injury, and my first race pregnant!
The weather was miserable. Doug and I got up at 7 and it wasn’t raining yet, but it was threatening. I checked weather.com and found some hope because the hour-by-hour forecast said 10 percent chance of rain instead of 70… but then a few minutes later it said 30 to 50. That really meant nothing though, because by the time we left, the rain was starting. And it didn’t really stop.
Because of the rain we decided to take both cars and to park one car at the finish and the other at the start. Usually we would park at the finish and take a shuttle to the start. But we didn’t know if we’d have a race to run. We parked downtown around 8:30 and walked around the square to see where we would be going. I did the run and Doug did the walk. Then we walked down State Street and had muffins and juice at a coffee shop to kill some time. The rain poured and then let up, poured and let up. We left the coffee shop around 9:30 and needed to decide whether we’d wear our coats or put them in the car. Doug ended up wearing his coat and taking mine, which ended up serving as an umbrella of sorts for him.
The walk started right after 10, and right after the walkers were started there was another downpour. I had a wait until my start. Its a wave start with so many people and I was in the second to last wave. I was a little disappointed with my wave, but it was expected with my how slow I am. I admit I was happy to find out my wave wasn’t the very last one! But my later start wasn’t all bad. I ran from awning to awning on the square to stay dry as long as I could to stay warm. The downpour stopped by the time I reached the start. I had decided I’d just go get the car and drive back to meet Doug at the stadium if it downpoured before I got too far into the race. But by the time I hit mile 1, it was raining but not too hard, and I was locked in. I was going to run this race.
The start line was fun. As we got toward the starting line we slapped hands with some UW football players who were there, then a little farther basketball players. At the start line the UW marching band was playing and the cheerleaders cheering. It was a really fun environment. It would have been even more awesome if it hadn’t been raining! But it was still a great event overall. I got a little emotional at the starting line. I was just so excited to be there.
I’m still at the point in my running where I don’t pace myself well. I’m just getting used to running outside again. So the first interval was tough. I had to stop early on that first running interval because I had decided it would be better to walk up the hills. But overall I was running ahead of my usual pace. I expected it for a race, and my first race besides.
I reached the first mile marker around 11 and a half minutes. The next few intervals were a lot easier. It was after mile 1 that I noticed despite the rain, I was pretty comfortable. The running clothes with the moisture wicking really work. The rain water was dripping off the brim of my hat. My pants and legs got kind of heavy. My legs were a little cold from waiting for the start. That went away between mile 1 and 2. Also between 1 and 2 I noticed how soggy my feet were becoming.
The farther I got, the more comfortable I became in my running. I sped up a little. In my running I was averaging about 14:20 per mile before. Today I averaged 12:50 per mile for the first 3 miles or so. Starting after about 3.5 I had to take a couple extra walk breaks. I slowed down even more after mile 4. But I wasn’t upset about it. I was amazed at my run so far and just glad to be on the course. I decided to walk when I needed to and run when I could.
Close to 4.5, there was a house playing the Rocky theme, announcing that for the last 24 years they’ve played Rocky for the last runners and to “show me your Rocky arms!” I wish I could say that pumped me up to run the last half mile or so… I ran a bit but had to stop again. Its OK.
There was so much support on the course considering the weather. I wonder what its like when the weather is good!
Running down University Avenue, soon after the Rocky house we made the turn and I saw the stadium. It got a little confusing running toward the stadium though because the crowd of runners got thinner and there were people everywhere. I wasn’t sure how far we were going before turning to go into the stadium. Luckily I kept a few runners in my sight and found my way onto the field at Camp Randall.
I finally got to the point where I wasn’t going to stop running until the finish! I passed Doug outside the stadium and kept running faster. I almost started crying as I approached the field. I probably would have, except I couldn’t breathe! Just like that, I was on the field running across the timing mat and getting my water, getting in line for the finish line photo. That will be a funny picture I’m sure for all the participants since we were all soaked.
So with the race over we headed toward Doug’s car, on our way back downtown to get to my car. We made the contingency plan for if the race didn’t happen or if we chose not to run… but we didn’t think of bringing towels or dry clothes or shoes… oops!
So I just drove home with the heat on. Once I got closer to home I took off my shoes and socks and drove the rest of the way barefoot. I had to! My feet and hands stayed moist practically until I got home and put on my dry clothes. The warm shower I took was so wonderful. And it was so nice to be dry and warm. I had lunch and kept eating. The later I took my post-race nap. I always get really hungry and tired after a race or a long run when I’m starting out… I’m still a bit hungry now and we just had dinner! I don’t mind though. I accomplished a lot today!
When all was said and done, my GPS watch had a time of 65 minutes and 25 seconds. I started it before I crossed the timing mat at the start, and I stopped it a bit after the finish. So I think my official time will be between 64 and 65 minutes. Its a far cry from the 49:15 I posted in a 5-mile race back in October before I got hurt. But I’m satisfied. I will get my speed back eventually. It won’t be until after the baby, but I know I will keep running and I will be even better than I was.
The final time isn’t posted on the web site yet, but I’m looking for it! I had predicted 70 minutes for the race, based on 14-minute miles. I was amazed that even when I got tired and had to walk more, I still beat my predicted time. I’m amazed by what I accomplished today.
After the race my feet have been sore and I’ve been pretty stiff. For some reason both my hip joints are sore. I have noticed one hip or the other getting sore after runs lately. I’m betting its a pregnancy thing and I don’t know if I need to be concerned about it or not. For right now I’m just enjoying a lazy Saturday night. I don’t know when I’ll run again, but I will!