On Sunday August 4th I ran in th local YMCA’s 5k!
I spent the week before this race on vacation in France where I consumed an unearthly amount of croissants, cheese, potatoes, ice cream and French fries! While I did run on vacation I was pretty sure that no amount of running could combat the amount of deliciously greasy food I consumed. Either way, race day had come and it was time to put it all out there on the table- the good, the bad and the ugly.
Lilly and I arrived early so I could drop her off at the Y’s babysitting center, pick up my bib, and spend some quality time nervously pacing the halls! (My husband, O, was in NJ this weekend and couldn’t make it to the race :().
The race organizer said, GO!, I clicked start my Garmin, then pressed play on my iPod and was off! I must have missed the button because the music wasn’t playing- oh snap! There was no time to stop and correct my mistake, I had a race to run! And that’s how I decided that this would be my first time racing without music.
Even though I started off in first for about a half mile a younger girl quickly passed me by. She was running at about a 6:20 pace and her stride appeared effortless. She donned a hot pink shirt and had her hair pulled back into a long braid; obviously her race nickname was “Mrs. Pink Braid.” I spent the majority of the race thinking, “Must pass Pink Braid! Come on legs, move faster!”
Since it was such a small race there were few, if any, spectators to cheer the runners on. However, since the race route was an out and back, runners- being simply awesome people- cheered each other along the route. When I turned to begin the return route I was gleefully surprised by the support I received from other runners who were still on their way out. You can catch her!… She’s not that fast!! …Get it girl!!… Run hard! I couldn’t help but smile the entire return trip, even though I could barely breathe and was sweating croissant butter.
I chased Mrs. Pink Braid for the entire race but with each passing mile the gap between us continued to widen. The race ended with a lap around the track; as I entered the track I saw Mrs. Pink Braid cross the finish and glanced at the clock- some time in the 19’s. My previous 5k time was 21:31… it immediately occurred to me that a PR might be possible.
I pushed as hard as I could during that lap and finished with an official time of 20:58!! I could not be happier! My splits for each mile were: 6:39, 6:55, 6:56.
First was not in the cards for this race- and that’s A-ok with me. It’s one of the things I love about running- there is always someone faster to chase! Someone to motivate you to go harder and faster than you could ever imagine.
Even though it ended up being a small race the support from other runners, the community feel and the PR made for a fun, memorable day! Lilly and I hung out for a little while, chatted with the other runners and enjoyed the summer sun. A perfect Sunday morning– I only wish my husband could have been there!
Another 5k come and gone! Next up: Providence Half Marathon on September 29th!!