This was race number 19 of the year and my second 5k this month. I was looking forward to seeing some speed on this race, but it wasn’t the case. This weekend was going to be absolutely crazy and really no time for a long run, so I decided to do my 9 mile long run on Friday night. It was pretty hot and humid and some hard miles so I knew going into the race that it wasn’t going to be as planned, but the long run is really what I needed to focus on.
I had added this race to the list of 30 when my friend Jaci told me about it. The race is a fundraiser for the Alexis Joy Foundation for Postpartum Depression. She had walked this race last year with several moms and was fundraising for the foundation this year. Even though registration was a bit steep for a 5k ($30 + registration fees), I knew it was for a good cause so it was worth it.
I arrived at North Park about an hour before the race was suppose to start. I love small races because they make everything so easy. I walked down to the boathouse parking lot and received my bib and shirt within about 5 minutes. I was going to go back up to my car and relax, but I ran into Jaci and her friend Caroline with their little ones and decided to head back down with them to hang out for the start of the race.
As it got closer to 9am, we all walked to the start line. Since Jaci and Caroline were going to walk with the strollers, they headed toward the back while I went up to the start line. This was another race with no start mat, so I wanted my time to be as accurate as possible. The lack of the start mat is the one big downfall of those small races.
Once the race started, I knew right away the legs weren’t going to cooperate. They immediately felt like lead running through sledge. I knew starting in the front I could potentially go out too fast, but with the way the legs were feeling, I wasn’t too worried about it. The goal was to hit 9:45-9:50.
When my watch buzzed for the first mile, I was right at a 9:45. I wasn’t sure I would be able to sustain it, but I would give it all I had. Mile 2 was the worst for me. This is where I really felt the sludge kill the legs. The 5k course at North Park is a nice out and back course with plenty of room on the course, however at the turn around point a mom running with a stroller thought it was an awesome idea to run over my foot. Really? I was kinda mad because she just let the stroller stroll away from her and it went right over my foot. First off, shouldn’t you have the leash on the stroller and secondly, be considerate to other runners.
A minutes after the turn around, I ran passed Jaci and Caroline. They were doing great and looking like they were having fun. I could tell I was slowing down, but even though I was trying to push it, there was just nothing to push forward with. According to my watch, the 2nd mile was at 9:58. I also don’t know the accuracy of these miles because my final distance on the Garmin was 3.21 miles. Oops.
Mile 3 just didn’t want to end. I felt like I was not getting closer to the finish line. Somehow though it showed as my fastest at 9:41. Again, this just can’t be true because my average pace ended up being a 10:05. As I finished the race, a volunteer gave me a cold bottle of water and it was amazing. There was also a therapy group there doing some stretches and I quickly took advantage. Normally I wouldn’t do that after a 5k, but I think the legs were very appreciated of some assisted stretching.
Once I felt better, I actually walked back on the course to meet up with Jaci and Caroline and walked back to the finish line with them. It was a nice little recovery walk and felt good. They actually finished 13 minutes faster than their time from last year. They had some ice cream sitting out for finishers and those two went to indulge in some. Soon after I decided to hit the road. I knew I wasn’t winning any age group awards and I had errands to run, so no reason to hang out in the blazing sun.
Although my legs were tired and I finished slower than I wanted, I was still happy to run this race. I was glad to support such a wonderful foundation and enjoy a local race with one of my non-running friends. It’s always great to see others out there finishing a 5k!
Official finish time
12/56, Females, 30-39