5k and the future

Yesterday, we woke up at six AM to a drizzly morning. We had a light breakfast, like many internet sites suggest you should; nothing we wouldn’t normally eat, and finishing more than two hours before race time. I have trouble if I eat sugar too close to running, or really too much of anything food or drink-wise too close to a run. My friend joined us and we drove to our oceanside race. The wind was whipping around and the rain was spitting, a pretty cold morning. We checked in literally right on the beach, and got our packets and timing chips. My in-laws came shortly after (my brother in law, his girlfriend, and my sister in law), and two of my other co-workers made their way over, too. We were sort of waiting around as it got closer to our start time, wondering when they were going to tell us where to go. The weather began to improve, and the sun poked out enough to warm us up.

Finally, there was an announcement saying registration was over and everyone needed to head down the road to the start. There were about 250 people there, women and men of all ages, children, stroller runners, and definite walkers. We were nervous, and chose spots toward the back. Dan and I decided to run together because we keep about the same pace and have done runs together before. My fitness buddy, Jen, planned to go on her own because she operates better that way, and my vegan runner buddy was definitely going on his own because he was going to smoke us. The family trio stayed together as well. We didn’t hear a gun or announcement when the race began, but the next thing we knew, we were off!

The first mile was through a residential neighborhood. There were a whole bunch of turns, which made it kind of slow, but we were taking an exaggerated slow pace so as not to lose momentum. I pretty much sang aloud to my iPod (making good use of my arm band – thanks Mom!) and joked with Dan and Jen. We didn’t see any of vegan runner buddy, and our family was right behind us. Around the mile mark, we started losing sight of Jen around corners, and we picked up our pace and lost the trio as well. The second mile was across a causeway with the ocean on either side. The wind felt good, but I have a feeling it slowed us down. We had to take a little walking/water break because it was starting to get super tough, but we kept a light jog once it felt comfortable.

About halfway across, I heard someone shout my name, and my vegan runner buddy was making his way back the other direction, (he was roughly a mile ahead of us), and we high-fived as we ran past each other. That was pretty amazing. We didn’t see any more of Jen or the others for the rest of the race. The remainder of this mile was through another residential neighborhood, and there was this awful hill that we walked up because we just couldn’t run it and still do well in our last mile. We got some momentum going down and headed back across the causeway toward the finish. Dan had some leg/hamstring discomfort, so we walked a bit, too. He took off ahead of me to try and close the gap in between himself and the next runners.

Bad mistake. We didn’t know that the finish line was staggered back a ways behind where we started. I realized this as Dan was still barreling ahead, and I just slowed to a powerwalk to have enough energy for my final “kick.” Dan was way behind, regretting his sprint, as I headed toward the finish. I actually started to cry when I saw the time — it felt like we had been out there forever but it wasn’t that long at all! All of a sudden, I could hear my coworkers cheering for me on the sidelines, so I started running as quickly as my tired legs would carry me, and roaring from behind came Dan to beat me by .2 (or .02, I can’t do math) seconds. I was kind of pissed, actually, not going to lie. I gave everyone big hugs and was so overwhelmed with happiness at my time.

Dan wandered off, saying he didn’t feel great, and I told him to sit, but he didn’t want to. We went to check our standings at the timing truck and wait for the family to come across the finish. As we saw them coming, I turned to see Dan throwing up in someone’s driveway. Great. I had to cheer on his family, who came with linked arms, smiling and laughing, while he puked his guts out. Another reason I am moderately angry with him. He was showing off and it caught up with him. We waited for him to recover, got some water for him, and walked back to the registration area for healthy snacks, some beach photos, and to relax for a while. It was an awesome day and everyone was happy afterward, (even Dan, once he got some water and part of a bagel).

We went to a healthy restaurant for lunch afterward where Jen and I celebrated with beer, paninis, and some tasty fries (totally not a healthy lunch, but we were starving)! Everyone else came too, except vegan buddy, so we got to chat and hang out for a while. Jen and I ended up going shopping on our own afterward, but we were so exhausted we kind of crashed later in the evening, and I was in bed by probably 9:30.

My final thoughts on race day: exciting, worthwhile, and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! We are mulling over running another one in the beginning of June that would be more local, and perhaps less hilly/exposed to the elements, and which would benefit cancer research. We’ve got the bug! We are also looking into the Color Run, which is being hosted in NH and Providence, RI, in the late summer/early fall, and Jen has invited us to participate in the 5k that started her obsession, which benefits an animal shelter on the South Shore! Her 10k is coming up in a few weeks and I hope we’re able to go and cheer her on!

Today is Mother’s Day and I have spoken to my mother and sent her some gifts, and we are probably going to Dan’s parents’ house later today to celebrate with his mother. This coming week, I have the bridal shower for my co-worker, so I’ll be making those mimosa cupcakes (changed my mind after finding owl-themed cupcake liners/toothpicks with owls in party hats on them – owls are her favorite bird), and attempting a small fondant owl to go atop the display (bought the supplies yesterday, and I’ll be tinting my own fondant so I better buy some food-safe gloves to avoid having purple hands)! We had a delicious breakfast this morning of Blueberry Pie Pancakes, which I topped with fresh pear and sugar-free syrup.

I’m still coming down off the runner’s high and I hope to have it again very soon. Have a wonderful Mothers Day, everyone!

Photo collage! My running companions and our amazing lunch!

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My mother, sister and I when I was about five!

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Chocolate Covered Katie’s delicious pancakes!

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