|Just after the finish. Roop is like "Where am I?!"|
When deciding to register for the CRC Advanced Training Team, I was attracted to the team competition aspect of it. When you register, you choose a CRC location to represent. Since I run in Westerville most of the time, I opted to be part of their team. They have a list of races that are part of the team competition. You earn points for your team by being one of the top 10 CRC AT finishers. I have no idea how I compare to the other runners, but that idea alone is enough for me to run as hard as I can!
The Choo Choo 9 miler and 5k is the first race on their list. I was debating if I should register because Jimmy was doing worship at church and I didn't have a babysitter. I knew James could go with Jimmy, but what about Roop?! After a desperate attempt to find someone to watch her, I decided I was mentally willing to push her in the stroller. I wasn't sure what to expect out of her. She wasn't even a month old when we did our first 5k race together. Fortunately, she slept the entire time!
|Our first 5k!|
|Post race with Tracey and Ellen.|
I was excited to meet at the AT tent in hopes of meeting some team members. I'm a little shy so I wasn't bold enough to just walk up to people and introduce myself. So, I just used Ruthie as a way to pretend I was busy. LOL. I tried to be more brave and talk to people at the start line.
My friend Tracey and I did a short 1 mile warm up to get the blood flowing. Based on that, I wasn't too confident that my legs would move at any sort of race pace. My goal today was to try and average in the low 8's...something close to 8:15/mile. My stroller 5k PR with James is 23:52, and I knew I wasn't in as good of a shape as I was then.
The website said stroller runners had to start in the back, but I was hoping that rule didn't count for me. I knew I was faster in my stroller than the folks in the back. I saw other strollers throughout the crowd, so I decided to sneak my way to my goal pace range.
|Ready, set, go!|
I didn't think I was going that fast. I had to decide if I'd be able to hold that pace for the rest of the race. I didn't want to crash before finishing two miles. Around this time, one of my Westerville teammates (he was running the 9 miler), caught up to me and gave me a heads up of what the course was like. It was nice because I knew exactly the area he was referring to and knew what to expect. The course is not hilly by any means, but we all know you can feel every slight incline while pushing a stroller. I could always tell there was a slight incline when I had to put both hands on the stroller to push.
While I was in the second mile, I did keep looking at my pace. I continued to try to stay comfortable, but I noticed my pace was staying in the mid to high 7's. I saw a couple of my friends in front of me and that kept me motivated to keep moving. As we were approaching 2 miles, I passed them hoping they would keep with me so I wouldn't have to be alone in my soon to be misery. As I hit mile 2, my watched read [7:48]. I was blown away...two seconds faster!
|Such a gorgeous day!|
It was at that point that I knew I couldn't give up and slow down. I was REALLY starting to feel it. My legs actually felt good, but my breathing was off. It was getting harder to push that stroller! I spent the last mile focusing on relaxing, controlling my breathing, and having good form. I kept looking at my pace to make sure I was staying in the high 7's. I mostly saw 7:55 on my watch, so I decided it was time to stop looking and just run so that I could finish.
I was about a quarter mile from my watch hitting 3.1 when I heard the music and announcer at the finish line. I looked over and could see the arch through the woods. Thank goodness!!! I was almost there. I had no idea what place I was in...I just knew I wanted to earn points for my team which meant I needed to run as hard as I could and have a strong finish.
(16th overall, 5th female overall, 2nd in my age group 30-39)
Not gonna lie, without knowing anything about how I placed, I felt like a badass. When I was in my best pre-pregnancy shape in 2015, I ran a 23:52 with James. I don't feel like I'm close to that shape now and I managed this time. I was so happy!!
|These ladies killed the 9 miler! [Elizabeth, Jackie, Marion, ME]|
I found out a couple of exciting things the day after the race:
- My race performance earned 10 points for the Westerville team! That means I was the top female performer for the 5k (amongst the AT people)! My friend, Tracey earned the next best of 9 points with her PR performance.
- I looked up old Garmin stats from my "5k" with James and realized the course was short! That race was only 2.96 miles with my average being 8:04/mile. Ruthie kicked James' butt! Girls rule, boys drool!!! (this also means I need to update my PR to 24:08...there's nothing more annoying to a runner than a PR on a short course).