Schneider's 5k Donut Run/Team Isaiah 5k/Run Like a Girl 5k
You didn't think I could go that long without registering for something, did you?! You are CRAZY if that crossed your mind. Whether for fun or for serious self competition, I need to do races to keep me motivated and excited about running. The fact that I had three in about a week was completely circumstantial. I'll give you guys a quick synopsis of each of them.
Schneider's 5k Donut Run:
A fellow Westerville runner posted this run on Facebook. Schneider's is my favorite local donut shop so I had to jump on the opportunity! The course was on the trails at Hoff Park in Westerville so I was very familiar with the course...flat and just one small section of gravel-like trail through the trees.
To decrease the stress on the hubs, I decided I would stroller run with one of the kiddos. James and I share the same love of donuts (and racing) so I knew I had to take my boy to this one. He was so excited to watch the runners and eat donuts!!
I went into this race having 5 runs under my belt ranging from 2-4 miles and pace 9:50-12+ minutes/mile...none of them stroller runs. Obviously, I had no expectation for my performance. As long as I got to eat a donut with James, I was going to be happy!
Because of the stroller, I had to start at the back of the pack. I spent the first quarter mile passing folks and trying to find my place in the pack. As I settled into what felt like a comfortable pace, we started having fun waving to people and saying hi to our fellow runners. Mile 1 clocked in at [9:34] which, in my head, seemed too fast with the stroller. I still felt ok but decided to chill out a bit. We made our first turn and started looping back around the park and into the trail section.
The course was definitely short because I took the wrong turn out of the trail (OOPS) and added some extra to my final distance of 3.07 miles. Mile 2 was [10:03] and mile 3 [10:19]. The last half mile was tough and showed in my split. I intentionally slowed down the second mile but the third was pure fatigue!
I was pleasantly surprised at my overall average [9:59/mile] considering I was pushing James (approx. 50+ lbs. with him/stroller/crap in stroller). Best of all, James had a blast and we bonded over racing and eating donuts!
Team Isaiah 5k-ish:
The background of this one is way more important than my actual race experience. Our church friends lost their precious son, Isaiah, 2 years ago. He would have been 5 this year. This was the first annual celebration of his life through a weekend of activities. We started Labor Day off with a 5k beginning at our church (Northwest Church of the Naz) and going to Antrim Park, around the lake, up the trail a bit, and back to the church. As many times as I've run the O-trail, I have never run around Antrim lake.
I was by myself after the first 0.75 miles because I was stroller running with Ruthie and my friends were much faster. It was very peaceful that morning...very cool out and the sun was in the process of rising. A very cool moment to share with Ruthie and thank the Lord for her health and well-being.
Because I lost the main crew, I wasn't completely sure where to turn from the lake to the trail. I missed the chalk on the ground and went all the way down to the dock. That added a good 0.4 miles to my race! I ended with 3.5 miles at 9:50 pace.
Again, I was super happy with the outcome. I went slightly further and faster than I did at the donut run two days earlier (sure, my load was slightly smaller this time...the course had some good inclines though...and I also ran my distance PR of 5 miles the day between my races!). I'm hoping to make this race a tradition in the following years!
Run Like a Girl 5k:
This was a completely spontaneous thing. I did not register for this race or intend to run it. A fellow runner posted that she had 3 free entries to give away and I just happened to be one of the first three to respond! Although the 10k was tempting, I didn't want to die (especially since I knew I'd be stroller running with one of the kiddos). After putting this on my running schedule, I opted for 5 miles the day before rather than my goal of 6.
At the start, they lined us up according to intended pace. I was so glad I wasn't forced to the back of the pack simply because I had a stroller. Of course, I had no clue what I'd be able to do. Honestly, I was a little tired from my long run the day before. I decided to line up near the 10 minute milers in hopes I could hold that pace.
The course ran through downtown Columbus and included the occasional incline. The only one that felt like a hill was in the last quarter mile or so as we turned the corner at COSI and headed up Rich Street to the finish. I started feeling tired the last half mile and wasn't thrilled about finishing uphill. (I know, I know...the hill lover is complaining about the incline...I'm just not used to them yet!). I thought I was going to die until a gentleman yelled out "There goes the top stroller runner!" It gave me just enough energy to get to the finish with a smile.
The only time I looked at my watch during the race was after mile one. When I saw that I ran [8:49] for that mile, I was shocked! How on Earth did I do that while pushing Ruthie...and I felt great! I didn't get tired until the later in the last mile. When I finished, I saw that my average was 9:15/mile! I couldn't believe it!!! I was on top of the world.
I don't have any other races planned until the end of October. I'll actually get to run that one sans stroller and hopefully get an idea of my fitness level. I'm loving running right now because I can do whatever the heck I want with no pressure to perform a certain way. When you start all over, there is only room for improvement...not a whole lot of disappointment coming my way lately! I'll save that for next year. LOL. I'm looking forward to more runs with friends as I discover my place in the running world again. Next goal: Increasing my postpartum distance PR to 6 miles!