A month and a half between races and I was getting a little antsy, especially since I’m mostly running on the treadmill now. I was excited about this 5K, perhaps a lot because of the program and the girls it supported. Girls on the Run teaches young girls to “develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running.” Maybe if this program had been around when I was a kid I would have been an athlete much sooner. I’m sure someday Allie might participate.
The girls have a coached session and it ends with the race. Waiting for the start I was struck by all the positivity, in spite of the weather. I also had a good feeling that I could PR in this race.
After a beautiful week, the weather Saturday morning was cold and rainy. It was windy too. I went to this race truly by myself. Doug and Allie were still sick and we wouldn’t have taken Allie out in that weather anyway. I was supposed to meet a friend there but she got sick too. I had hoped to run into Chelsea there, but realized right when I got there that there were way too many people there for me to run into her. I didn’t realize how big this race would be.
So my first concern was that I didn’t get a decent breakfast because I was running a little late and had to get gas in order to get there. The race was in Waunakee, about 25 minutes away. I had a banana and took along a power bar to eat before the race. Surprisingly, that worked pretty well. Anyway, I got there and found a parking spot on the road about half a mile away, which I later discovered was on the course (and considered just hopping in and driving away!) I walked about a mile and a half total between getting my packet, taking stuff back to the car, and then heading back to the start. It turned out to be a good warm up.
As I headed back to the start I found shelter under the gazebo where there was music playing and girls were getting temporary GOTR tattoos. Goody was a sponsor too and there was a station where they were doing hair. It was so cute. The little girls were there with their coaches and families and so excited for the race, despite the rain! As we all gathered at the start, the groups did their little cheers, and then the fire truck horn blared out and we were on our way.
My body had been fighting some kind of chest issue all week. Doug had bronchitis and I think I may have had some weaker version. So I had a bunch of junk moving around in my chest and it was a hard race to start. I had to stop and walk a few seconds toward the top of the first hill. There were a few decent hills at the beginning and I was able to run the rest of them. This wasn’t a fast group and it was actually a bit of a confidence builder for me to be able to pass people! It did get a little tiresome to weave around groups though, so I understand why other runners complain about that. But it was totally appropriate here and I didn’t mind.
The wind and the rain were coming and I really admired all these families running together and little kids running their first race.
I had to stop and walk about 30 seconds about three-quarters of a mile from the end because of my chest. But I started running again and knew I could finish strong. I passed my car and briefly considered getting in, but kept running instead! At the end of the race we turned down this driveway-type road and then went down a hill into the park where we started. We ran around the baseball field to the finish line.
As I was starting to round the field, a woman with a baby jogger caught up to me. I decided I wasn’t going to get passed by a baby jogger this close to the finish! So I kicked it up a notch. It was hard to maintain and the jogger almost passed me. But I sped up that much more and I think I crossed the finish just ahead of her. I could tell I was going at my all out effort because I started feeling nauseous. It was a victory for me even if it was just a baby jogger.
After finishing I got my refreshments, which included hot chocolate. It was perfect for a cold wet race. Unfortunately they ran out of hot chocolate so the later runners didn’t get any. I had my bagel and banana and some other little snacks before the nausea took over. I was nice and tired but I still had to pack up and walk the half mile back to the car. Going to a race by myself is hard work! I was nice and soggy and didn’t think about bringing dry clothes, but luckily I was layered enough that I peeled the top layer off so I at least was a little more dry and with aide of the heater, not so cold!
The confusing part is my time. My garmin said 37:15 for an 11:59 pace. The finish line clock said 38:08, which I expected. The unexpected part is my official time, which is 35:58, for 11:35 pace! I think something got screwed up with the timing. There weren’t any timing mats or chips. Who knows? Either garmin or official time is a recent PR, so I achieved my PR! And even though I love the thought of running a 5K at 11:35 pace, I know I didn’t. So my log book and race calendar will record 37:15.
This was a great race. I’ll definitely do it again. Go GOTR!