This is one of my favorite races, and it’s the one I have the longest streak running: 4 years in a row now. In 2012, it was our first year here in North Carolina, and I ran the 1 mile fun run (only because it was cheaper), then “bandited” the 5K with my friends–don’t tell on me please 🙂
In 2013, I had trained more, and ran a 26-ish min 5K, which for me at the time was very good. In 2014, baby Asher was born, but I still came back at 4 months postpartum and ran a pretty slow-yet-steady 29-min 5K on the hilly Winston-Salem course. So this year, I had every intention of nabbing a PR (since my “PR” wasn’t quite a full 5K distance back in May), which would be anything under 23:58 (from 4th of July 5K). I’m a true RunNerd, what can I say.
I sweet-talked my loving husband into running the 1 mile fun run so we could have a sort of “Swole Mate / Running Buddies” date night, which might sound lame, but we were both super excited about it! We got a baby-sitter for the boys, so we could be a lot less stressed 🙂 We had dinner of a cup of rice, an egg, and a pancake around 5:30-ish, and headed to Winston at 6:30. Despite hitting traffic, we got great street parking on 3rd St, near the Sheriff’s office, and walked two blocks to the new location at Bailey Park (previously was on 4th St, down the block from Mellow Mushroom). We got our bib #’s the night prior from Omega Sports:
Javi stretched his calf while I tried to figure out what to do about my nervous GI issues. We met up with K, T, & D, as we had the past 3 years. I don’t work with K&T anymore, but I miss them like crazy!!
It was awesome to have a little girly time before the race. Javi took off on the fun run at 7:30, and I anxiously awaited his return on the out & back course, from the corner–great vantage point:
Javi said the clock showed 6:24 when he crossed, but we suspect it was a little off, since he just started training a few weeks ago. He said he felt great and enjoyed himself, which was the main thing!
I had to dash to the port-a-johns just then, and waited an agonizingly long 5 minutes or so to go. Thankfully things came out OK (sorry, TMI)–but I still wanted to take an Immodium, just for “insurance” reasons. So while Javi searched for that in the backpack, I did the shortest warm up ever: about 0.15 miles up the street, did my quick lunge + hammie kicks + hip swings and sprinted back down the hill. Had about 7 minutes to spare, so I could have and probably should have warmed up more. Next time…
I stood there with D (he is K’s son, 11 years old) and we got a nice spot in the 2nd row of runners. Maybe we were too far forward… But I’d rather not be stuck behind slower runners, you know? I did my usual try not to cry but inevitably cry during the National Anthem, and at 8 PM we were off! The course headed straight up the hill on 5th St, and my mouth felt immediately parched. Too fast… running on adrenaline. I couldn’t help it, it was so hard to slow down, being so pumped up. D & I both hung in there for a 7:22 first mile. Yup… too fast. Goal pace was 7:30-7:45. Mile 1 was right at T’s apartment building, which was cool!
Mile 2 was pretty flat until some hills near the end of it, so I clocked a 7:44 mile. Perfect, I thought. Except that my breathing and legs both felt the strain of going out way too fast. Thankfully, stomach/GI was fine, but I began to lose steam on the rolling hills of mile 3. I was slightly ahead of D, in a group of maybe 5 ladies, and I figured at least 2 of them were my age. So I did my very best to suck it up, pick up the pace, but I didn’t have the juice left. I could feel myself slowing… but thankfully it was a long downhill to the finish, so I was able to pick it up a tad. Just didn’t have the kick I wanted. Mile 3 (I found out later) was an 8:34 🙁 Those &*%! hills!
The last 0.1 ended up being 0.16 according to my watch, and right at the finish I noticed the girl in front of me… so I surged and thought I beat her right at the finish! Only to find out later that we both ended with 24:23… but she got 4th place, and I got 5th 🙁 The disappointment of not placing top 3 quickly passed. Javi & I were there to have fun! We waited for D, who came a minute later, and we grabbed water and watched for T&K. Afterwards, we got beer from Foothills Brewery and Mellow Mushroom pizza, plus chocolate, orange slices, pretzels… it was a feast! Took this fun pic with our race shirts (that glow in the dark, of course):
The evening proved to be gorgeous–the new location at Bailey Park was a tad crowded, but still rocked. The weather: not too hot or too cold. My new Lululemon shorts: comfy (and matched my watch… and shoes! The RunNerd strikes again, lol!) We stayed for the awards, and I found out I need to drop 2 minutes from my time to get top 3… very competitive! In all, a great evening spent doing a fun, fast 5K, sharing the running experience with my hubbie for the 2nd time, and catching up with wonderful friends. Next up for me is the Salem Lake 7 miler, on Saturday 🙂
Addition: Here’s the data I finally downloaded from my Garmin! Getting my true RunNerd on!! 😛