Since one wedding isn’t nearly enough fun, my sweet li’l sissy decided to get married 5 days after me, meaning I got to high tail it on a red eye from LA to Chicago on Thursday night.
Since I was in town, I decided to see if there were any local races. My goal was to do a 10 miler on Sunday and found a local 5k which seemed to fit into the family schedule. It was raising money for the local youth football league by my old high school, so why not?
Actually there were a lot of reasons why not. Mainly that this is how I prepared for the race:
- Extreme sleep deprivation
- Bourbon laced sweet tea
- Wedding cake
- An overflowing candy bar (gummy bears are like crack)
- More caffeine than should be consumed in 2 days…ever
- Alfredo Lasagna rollups (yep, you read that right)
- Poisonous purple peas (why garden snacking can be dangerous)
- Leftover wedding cake
- Leftover candy bar
- Crap ton of allergy pills (we’re talking taking Claritin like breath mints)
- More sleep deprivation
Oh yeah, and there was also some questionable dancing in cowboy boots for an extended period of time. Let me give you a little spoiler alert: This is not the post where I say, OMG I got a HUGE PR despite not trying and abhorrent race conditions. This is the post where I say, “I learned a LOT of lessons in 3 short little miles.”
When race morning rolled around I had no idea what to expect. I showed up, ran the course once (3.1) as a warmup, raced 3.1, ran another 2 miles catching up with others, and then wrapped up with another 3 to cool down on the way home. Daily Total: 11ish miles
Race Logistics: With about 100 people racing and cruising around my ol’ hood, the small race was comfortable to say the least. I especially dug the running of the course one time to know what to expect and when to expect it (there was a gnarly wind that morning). The race was chip timed (I was surprised) and really well organized. To be honest I felt “wearing a prom dress to McDonalds” overdressed with my neon green ProCompression socks and little Lulu race shorts on (boy I was glad for the socks for the other 8 miles). #howarunneroverdresses
Race Deets: From the get go two men bolted out ahead of everyone and I hung with a pack of eager teeny boppin’ boys and a bunch of men. By half a mile in I wanted to know if I was holding the pace or if they were holding me, so I did a few accelerations and learned that I was, in fact, the pace holder and these dudes would eventually fade away which is exactly what happened.
To be honest I was on pace to PR…and it was not easy. I was struggling to keep pace- out of control breathing, fatigued legs, and a general hatred for life during those 20 minutes about sum it up. I wouldn’t look behind me because I didn’t want to know how close any women were/weren’t. What kept me motivated to not just totally tank were the little cheerleading girls on the sidelines of the race who kept getting so excited that a woman was doing well. By mile 2.5 I wanted to die, realized I had a very healthy lead and just cruised the rest of the way in happily kissing any hopes of a PR goodbye, but grateful to be catching my breath.
Finish: 20:43, 3rd overall, 1st place woman
The Loot: For a small race I was surprised by the loot for the overall winner – a really nice medal, a gift card to a local running store (you’re welcome Mom!) and an entry to win the Jeep pictured above or cash from a 50/50 (yes that means it could be a pretty profitable win if the “odds may be ever in my favor”). Scary bright orange Jeep? Notsomuch – that’s my alma mater and when I laid my eyes on it I believe my exact words were, “I want”.
What I Learned:
-I still hate the 5k and despite it only being 3.1 miles. I will always and forever respect that race like no other – 26.2 takes a certain mental and physical toughness, 3.1 requires mental toughness and lungs of steel.
-Like I said, no story of crappy preparation and then the bashful, “Oh wow, I almost PRed”. Nope, the entire race I was watching my paces and realizing that if I can do this in spite of doing every single thing craptastically awful, then perhaps I need to re-evaluate my actual abilities.
-I need to figure out WHAT I want to do. Sure, I can probably go faster, blah, blah, blah…but do I really want to? After coming off an insanely busy few months, honestly all I want to do is sleep for about 30 days, run when I want to run, and not worry about some crazy goal ahead of me. While my Type A all the way personality tends to dominate my goals and plans, right now Type ZZzzzzz is taking over in a fast and furious way.
-Insanity is contagious. Despite weddings, travel, and general craziness, apparently my crazy family members have caught onto last minute race scheduling.
What was your favorite prize you’ve ever won (racing or not)?