Is it seriously Wednesday already? It seems like I *just* woke up on Saturday morning. It’s been go, go, go since the 5k with entertaining, shopping and visiting. I didn’t forget about you, bloggies! As promised, I’m back with my race report from the 5k on Saturday. Gold star to you if you finish reading this whole post because it’s LONG.
I’ve run 5ks before, but for some reason I was all jittery and butterfly stomached for this one. I think it was part excitement and part pressure that I was putting on myself. This was my first race post-baby (not counting the disastrous race 3 days after I was cleared to run again) and I had one very definite, very concrete goal: I wanted to run the whole thing. I didn’t care how long it took me to run it, but I was NOT going to walk.
I was a little preoccupied with getting Peanut up, packed and loaded in the car so I didn’t get to snap a picture of the gorgeous morning. The race was only about 5 minutes from our house so I wasn’t up to see the sunrise, but the morning could not have been any more clear and perfect for a run. My husband drove us down to the park where we met my sister-in-law and got checked in. For being a small race, the event was VERY well organized and the race crew was extremely friendly.
The half marathon stepped off at 9am on the dot. About 5 minutes later they called for the 5kers and everyone made their way to the start/finish line. My stomach completely bottomed out when I saw that there were only about 30-40 participants. One thought immediately came into my mind: “I’m going to be last.” I got really panicky all of a sudden and thought about bailing. I shared my concern with my sister-in-law and she told me to just do my best. Honestly, that statement should have made me feel better, but it felt more like pity coming from someone who is as fiercely competitive as she is. One thing that helped me loosen up was that all the competitors were very friendly. The whole lot of us stood there chatting and laughing while we waited for the start. One couple were owners of a local bike shop and gave me some great advice about what to look for when buying a running stroller.
For the last minute before the race, I closed my eyes, put in my headphones and just kept repeating my Baz Luhrman running mantra: “The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.” I got goosebumps in the 10 second countdown until the start. When they yelled “GO!” my whole mindset shifted. I felt calm and relaxed and just started running. I kept pace right behind my sister-in-law for the first quarter mile or so, but quickly realized that I couldn’t sustain that pace and settled into my own rhythm.
There was a volunteer yelling out times at the 1-mile mark. I was at 11:23 and completely fine with that. I felt really good so I decided to push a little bit harder on my way to the turn-around. My sister-in-law passed me on her way back and gave me the thumbs up and told me that I wasn’t even close to last. While that shouldn’t have mattered but, not gonna lie, it made me feel good.
I rounded the cone at the turn-around and headed for home feeling pretty good. That lasted for about another half mile. With one mile left to go, my breathing got difficult and I was having trouble getting it under control. I slowed my pace a little, determined not to walk, and kept plugging along.
The bike path where we were running has mile markers so it was easy to know where I was. I’d told myself that when I hit the 0.5 mile mark I was going to bust a move and push as hard as I could to the finish. Unfortunately, I was still struggling a bit when I got to that point and facing a bit of an uphill section. I told myself to keep running and putting one foot in front of the other, but decided I wasn’t ready to sprint.
The finish line banner was hanging from a bridge overpass. I spotted it as I rounded the corner about .25 miles out and decided it was time to make my move. I have no idea where that extra gas came from, but it was there. I bolted like lightening! I picked up the pace even more when I spotted my husband, sister-in-law and baby girl waiting at the finish line, cheering me on.
My official time was 36:24. My heart rate monitor (which I started & stopped as I hit the line) said 36:12. Either way, I was beyond thrilled. That’s only a few minutes off the time of the last 5k I ran before I got pregnant. I think I was a bit shocked, too. 40 minutes was sort of the time I’d had in my head as a realistic expectation of what I’d be able to do.
Peanut gave me a huge smile that melted my heart when I got to her stroller and my husband gave me a giant hug. The whole rest of the day he told me how great I did and how proud he was of me. That was really nice to hear. He also took this post-race photo of me. I am being VERY brave and posting it here even though I look like complete crap. Please remember that I just had a baby 6 months ago. Oh, and if anyone knows of a good hairdo that keeps your hair out of your face without exposing the fivehead, I’d really appreciate some tips.
Also very nice was this beer that I drank after I’d gotten showered:
My in-laws came over for a cookout around noon. My husband insisted that I relax while he did all the grilling. I did get the task of setting up the buffet. I got caught up in my task and forgot photos again. My husband made chicken & shrimp kabobs, grilled baby bella mushrooms and some yummy bread. My mother-in-law brought pasta salad and my sister-in-law made some healthy cream cheese bars that were HEAVENLY. Recipe and review of those to come because I am going to be making them very, very soon.
The rest of Saturday evening was really low-key. I read while Peanut played in her ExerSaucer and my husband played Madden. I love evenings like that.
Sunday morning my husband asked me the thing every woman likes to hear first thing in the morning. Get your mind out of the gutter! I meant that he asked me: “Do you want me to make breakfast?” Of course my answer was yes! I was treated to a delicious omelette made with turkey bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and leftover baby bella mushrooms. Nom.
I’m planning a special Earth Day event for Peanut tomorrow. Check back tomorrow, probably late afternoon, for a photo recap. I promise adorableness.
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