Race Recap: Jaeger Run for Pride 5k

I am a whole week late in telling you all about my second 5k.  My second 5k that was so blazingly, meltingly hot that I almost didn’t do it.

The instructions for the race were basically “go down to Goodale Park and there it is.”  For those unfamiliar with Goodale Park here in Columbus, it isn’t too hard to get around, but it can be really easy to never find what you’re looking for on weekends like Pride and Comfest when there are a million booths and people everywhere.  There was one Comfest when I completely missed one of the few things I went for because I couldn’t find it.  Maybe I just have a problem finding things.

At any rate, I got to the park super early because I figured parking would be awful (it wasn’t!) and it could take awhile to find the race start (which it did).  I figured I’d start at one end of the park and work my way to the other.  They never published the race route, so no help there.  Since I got there super early and it didn’t take the entire time to find the start, I was glad to run into a friend who hung out with me while I waited.

So the official temperature at 7pm when the race started was 88 degrees.  88 degrees. I have actually never run when it was that hot and for a good portion of the wait debated not doing it.

I did it. Slowly and sweatily.

Despite my firm belief that finishing is the most important part, I still fear being last.  With such a small race (less than 200 participants), I was worried I’d be the slowest, not knowing how my ankle would hold up, etc. Someday I’m going to be last on purpose to get over the fear, but this 5k was not for that. I was pleasantly surprised both by the number of walkers and by the camaraderie that the heat built. By the time I hit the water stop at the halfway point, it seemed like everyone was kind of taking their time. I even had a nice chat with a pregnant race volunteer, who was really encouraging and so impressive to be out in the heat. Another woman and I sort of passed and re-passed each other for most of the last half and that was actually pretty encouraging to stay with it.  The last quarter of a mile was maybe the hardest just because the heat was taking it’s toll and in order to get to the finish, you had to run down the street packed with hot food trucks on both sides.  Worst idea ever.

I finished in 44:09 with a 14:15/mile pace. I missed a PR by about 20 seconds.  I actually consider that a reasonable accomplishment considering the heat, my troubled ankle, etc.

The friend who had met me earlier was also at the finish line.  Pretty awesome of him to hang out and wait for me.  I grabbed my post-run goodies of bananas and water and we sat down in the shade. For a loooong time. Ha.

The good news about the race (besides finishing), is that my ankle wasn’t killing me right after.  It took a couple of days.

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Automattic’s WWWP5k

I have LOTS of things to catch up on around here, but I wanted to write a quick post about my participation in Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k on the 27th.  I love the idea of participating in these types of virtual little races.  They don’t cost anything, you compete with yourself, and yet you’re still part of something bigger.

My RunKeeper page for it is here.  The run itself was one of the best ones I’ve had recently.  I felt like I was getting my ankle under control.  I also felt much improved performance-wise.  I mean, the run itself was pretty slow.  I am still transitioning back and speed is not what I’m after right now.  Slow and steady and form-focused is going to win the race against injury.

For some reason, I have to say that this day out was especially nice because it was one of those runs where I just felt appreciative to be out.  It was such a perfect day weather and temperature-wise.  I am a sucker for clear, sunny days with a nice breeze.  I thought about all of the things that I never would have noticed about my extended neighborhood if I hadn’t started running.  There are great houses around with lots of nice flowers, a few parks hidden away here and there.  I like to run by the houses of people who have smiled and said hello to me as I’ve run.  I’ve had some creepy interactions on a few days, so I like to remember the not-so-creepy people who greet me with a smile and a wave as I go by.  I run by their house and think nice thoughts. Who knows if that actually helps anyone out, but it certainly can’t hurt.

I did go a little over the 5k distance.  I felt so good that day that I wouldn’t have minded going even further, but I had to wrap it up. Afterwards, stretching and foam rolling and recovery were all great.  It was just such a good overall run.

Unfortunately, my next run after that wasn’t quite the same, so looking back on this one makes me really happy.

There you have it.  My Automattic WWWP5k: 3.34 miles all by my lonesome on a variation of my regular route. I think I’ll definitely participate in more races like this one. Just putting that little spin on my run helped make it a better experience.

March Update!

Well, February was full of a little bit of progress for some things, a goal achieved, and other goals not. Let’s review..

Goal: Run a 5k! And then run in at least the Cap City and Nationwide races as well.
Status: 5k COMPLETE!! If you missed my celebratory post, go read it here.  As of Saturday, I officially registered for the quarter marathon at Cap City.  What’s the difference between a quarter marathon and a 10k? About .35 miles.  The 10k is 6.2 and the quarter is 6.55.  I am looking at a few 5ks between now and Cap City, but I’m not sure yet whether I will sign up for those as well.

Goal: Strength train 3x a week.
Status:  I have been in twice a week at least most weeks with my trainer.  My commitment for March is to do something every day except for Sunday.  So for instance, today I had a sesson with my trainer and then in a little while, I’m going to go out and run.  Tomorrow, I will probably end up in the gym and/or doing a short run.  I am planning to alternate running and gym days except for my days off from work where I plan to do both because I can space out the two.

Goal: Regularly donate to charity and start volunteering.
Status: I had my volunteer orientation for Planned Parenthood in February.  I have yet to actually do any volunteering, but there are a few opportunities coming up.

Goal: Write every day.
Status: I have started work again on a story that I was messing around with, though it requires some research that I have yet to do.  Still working toward this goal.

Goal: Read at least one book a month.
Status: I am almost done with A Clash of Kings (finally). I started to re-read The Hunger Games in anticipation of the movie at the end of the month and that book really flies by, so no worries on that.  If I’m lucky, I’ll finish three books in March to make it even for the year so far. Ha!

Goal: Save money/budget reboot!
Status: Getting things on track here! It would be helpful if one of the cats hadn’t required 3 trips to the vet in 3 weeks.  He seems to be doing better now, so I will forgive him putting a cramp in my plans here… 😉

Goal: Try something new once a month.
Status:  Well… I am sort of having a hard time coming up with ideas for this.  We are going to cheat for February and say my 5k was the big thing.  It was a big thing, so I guess it isn’t cheating, but still… Any ideas on things to try?  I am considering anti-social media days where I don’t go on Twitter or Facebook for the whole day. I don’t feel like it’s such a hard thing to give up, so maybe it would be more like doing it for a week.  Still playing with that one.

Goal: Catch up on intended blog entries.
Status: I have drafts, oh believe me, I have drafts. Ha! My new March goal is this one.

Mission Accomplished: 5k!

running apps

That lovely badge can now proudly be displayed as my own!  That’s right.  As of Saturday, I officially completed my very first 5k race.  My goal for so many months has finally been realized. 5k doesn’t seem like a lot.  It’s a mere 3.1 miles after all.  For someone who barely ran five seconds before this past fall, I’d say that’s something.

As I mentioned previously, the Royal Family 5k was my chosen first race.  It’s part of the Disney Princess Half-Marathon weekend which was filled with 20,000 women. Or princesses, I guess?  I figured that it was a good way to see my parents (who happen to live close to Orlando) and who wouldn’t want their first race to be at Disney?  Lucky for me, my boyfriend R, decided to come along for fun and running.

We arrived the day before the weekend’s expo and packet pick up started on Friday. The expo was held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  I was nervous and the only thing about the expo that made me any less nervous was my sudden search for compression socks.  I was having problems with one of my ankles and thought those might help.  I didn’t really want to be in the middle of the race and start having problems.  I ended up with some Sigvaris athletic recovery socks, which I’ll talk about at some other time, but which seem to be very helpful!

After getting our packets and expo-ing, R and I did some Disney-related activity.  We ended up at Epcot, walking around what would end up being part of our race route.  This was also R’s first race and so it was nice for both of us to see what we were getting into.  Not that there was much chance of backing out.  We headed to bed early that night in order to be ready for our very early morning.  My mom was nice enough to be our race transportation and she was going to arrive bright and early at 5:30am.

pre-race

So nervous!

There’s me.  We arrived at Epcot before our 6:15am race-call time.  The race wasn’t supposed to start until 7am, so we had plenty of time to drink water, check out the other racers wearing costumes (lots of tutus and tiaras!), and listen to the DJ they had going.  Jeff Galloway was there and spoke a little.  Before we knew it, though, it was time to get into the corrals. There were several corrals based on pace and I was aiming for the last one before the walker/stroller/wheelchair corral, but because the “chute” itself was not wide enough and the 5000 or so people that were there were having a hard time getting into it, we ended up amongst the strollers.  When the fireworks(!!) went off signaling the race start, it was a very slow procession toward the starting line.

starting line

Start!

Once we made it to the starting line and were off, we had to maneuver behind the people walking and all those strollers.  This wasn’t altogether bad since I like to start out my runs with a nice walk to warm up, but it eventually became a problem. For some reason, I hadn’t really thought about my plan of action for getting around people.  I had concentrated so much on being physically prepared for the race that I didn’t think too much about the technicalities. As I started to actually run, I found myself outside of the path a lot of the time, trying to avoid the people walking.  The race was a bit of an obstacle course all the way through.  So many people, so many different speeds.  Sometimes it worked out in my favor and I would get behind a slower group that gave me an excuse to walk a little bit.

There were lots of awesome things about the course…

Characters

There were different Disney characters waiting at different points.

I realized pretty quickly a few of my fears were unnecessary.  For one, I was not going to be finishing last.  Secondly, despite posting a pacing requirement, it definitely was not enforced at any time that I could see (I know this is not true for the 1/2 marathon the next day since they had closed roads, etc for that).  In fact, there were people lined up wherever there were characters. Mickey and Minnie were there, Belle and the Beast, Pocahontas, some others I can’t recall.  There were also lots and lots of Disney staff cheering the runners on!  Everywhere you looked, there was another one saying “Yeah! You’re doing great!” or ringing a cowbell or clapping, high-fiving, or waving as we ran by. While I don’t carry water with me on my runs, the two water stops along the route were nice.

Eye on the prize: finish was past the globe.

So close!

Time went by so quickly.  Before I knew it, I was running under that giant “golf ball” and headed toward the finish.  I have to admit that all throughout the race I was getting pretty emotional on and off.  Here I was! I was really doing it! After all that anticipation and training, I was reaching my goal!  I held it together most of the way through, but then I saw my mom waiting near the finish line and almost lost it.  I was so grateful that she was there.  I powered through and crossed my first ever finish line at about 43:50 with a 14:03 pace.  The fact that I did it under 45 minutes was more than I could have hoped for, but had secretly wished was possible.

Finishing is winning.

I didn’t finish fast.  But I finished.  And set a personal record (that I get to beat next time).  Talk about a runner’s high!

R wasn’t too far behind me in finishing his own first 5k.  It was awesome to get to do the race together, even if we weren’t side by side the whole time. We got our medals, got our picture taken, and grabbed our recovery goodies before meeting up with my mom again.  After hugging her, I promptly started to cry. Just a little. 3.1 miles isn’t a very long, but the road to get there was. 30 years long, technically.  I’m so glad that R was there to race with me and my mom was there for support.

I couldn’t have asked for a better first 5k experience.  The race itself was easy going and full of fun.  The course was great. For those interested, here’s the map…

The red is me. The green is what Runkeeper thought was the route.

Also, here is a video I found of the 5k.  The “virtual host” shows you a bit of the race route, etc.

I am already finding other races that I want to be a part of and gearing up for a longer distance next time.  Hopefully, I will find myself a little faster and with another PR.  Can’t stop with those goals!

In Case You Missed It…

I RAN 5k TODAY!

It was slow. It was still run/walk/ralking, but there you have it:  I have officially reached a goal.  I even did it below the pacing requirement for the 5k in February.  Afterward, I kind of felt like a superhero.  You read about “runner’s high” and I thought I knew what that felt like since I have enjoyed running so much and feel good after I do it, but this… This was beyond that.  Superhero, I tell you.

So what’s next?  Besides the race, I still have to build up my endurance to actually run steady for the entire distance.  I have really, really improved on my road running endurance.  I can run for much longer periods than I used to, but I am still having trouble pacing myself.  I seem to be averaging anywhere between 14:00 min/mi and 9:00 min/mi, though between 10 and 12 min/mi seem to be the norm.  No wonder I’m tiring out quickly and having to walk. Ha! I like those speeds better and they feel better, but I just can’t sustain them yet.

I’m pretty confident that between now and the end of February, I can work some of these kinks out, increase my speed, and go further than 5k before then.  It will be especially possible if the winter stays so mild here in Ohio and I don’t have to be afraid to go outside in the snow!

But here’s to today!! Yay for 5k!