I did it! My first post-baby 5k is under my belt, and it totally rocked, if I do say so myself. The race started at 7am with a 10k leg, and our first runner told me I didn’t need to worry about getting to the start until 8am. That combined with the extra hour of sleep from the daylight savings time switch made for a strangely leisurely race-day morning.
Since the race was on a Sunday, my husband had to leave early for church stuff. My friend Kristy volunteered to drive me to my start point and chauffeur my kids around while I was running. They hung out while I waited for our first runner to show up, but it was pretty cold so eventually they headed back to the car and I kept waiting.
Our first runner finally appeared, we slapped hands, and I was off! My leg of the race was mostly in my neighborhood and ended up behind the church where my husband used to work. I have run those roads hundreds of times, so I felt right at home. I started humming my pace song and tried to settle into a good rhythm of breathing and footfalls.
(Ever since I was I high school track and ran the two-mile to the beat of Tainted Love, I’ve always tried to find a “pace song” — something familiar that I can sing along to in my head, with a beat that’s the same speed I want to run. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that my pace song for this race was Teenage Dream by Katy Perry. I must have heard it on the radio just before a training run last week, but it had just the right BPM so I just went with it.)
Passing people in a race is always motivating to me, and since I was running a 5k along with a bunch of marathoners on miles 6-9, obviously I got to do lots of passing. I felt kinda guilty about that, but I think our race shirts made it obvious that I was part of a relay team, so I didn’t feel too bad.
About 2/3rds of the way through the race, I started really noticing all the marathoners who were walking (of course this happened to be on a long uphill section, and I’d been moving at what felt like a pretty quick pace). I got really tempted to take a little break. But I knew I only had a mile to go, and forced myself to get up the hill and keep going. Just as I was turning one of the final corners of the 5k, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my coworkers standing on the side of the road, cheering on our team!
After I tagged off to the next runner, I met back up with Kristy and the kids, we stopped at Panera for a quick snack (the downside of not finishing your race at the finish line — no water or food), and drove home to get Kristy’s car and I took a quick shower (oh wait, there’s the upside!) before heading to Bass Pro to watch the finish and take a team photo. Walking toward the finish line, I ran into the Health Department team, who were still bragging about how far ahead of us they were.
Well guess what… apparently we’d slowly been gaining ground on them during each leg of the relay, then our super speedy final runner caught up and beat them! I think we were the first coed City team to finish the race. Yay!
Another surprise — We got finisher’s medals! I wasn’t expecting them for the relay.
About a hour after the race was over, the result were finally posted, with relay splits.
overall place: 26 out of 89
division place: 10 out of 34
gender place: 15 out of 48
That means I ran my 5k in 25:15! I could hardly believe it — I had to check my math. I totally blew my goal of 28:00 out of the water… I don’t think I’ve run a 5k that fast in years. I just can’t even tell you how great that makes me feel. Having a new baby is awesome, but it kind of takes over your life (and your body!), so something like this really goes a long way to making me feel normal again.
If you made it to the end of this ridiculously long post, you deserve a medal, too. What’s something you’re really proud of yourself for?