Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sprint for Monroe 5k

When I was a kid, my dad ran our town's annual 5k every year.  I always loved going to cheer him on, and loved all the food they had out!  When we planned our trip up to Connecticut, I remembered the race usually took place around that time, and learned it was while we were here.  We signed up with some of the family, and have been looking forward to it.  

After running the half marathon 2 weeks ago, I wasn't too concerned about it.  In fact according to last year's numbers, there looked like there was a chance I could place in my age group.  
Unfortunately, the night before the race, I realized I had no shoes!  The movers had taken all of mine, and the ones that I had just ordered from were still not here.  So the night before, we had to go to a 24 hour Walmart in Wallingford, CT at 11pm.  I ended up buying a cheap pair of shoes there, just to get me through the race.  They were neon pink and green, but would do the job.  At that point, I lost all hope of placing. 

The next morning we arrived early (D Step's parents live up the road, so we were able to walk!).  We were running with daddy Step's 2 brothers, sister in law, and new nephew.  The weather was perfect for a run!  D Step, F Step, and I started at the front of the line, because we knew we would be some of the fastest runners at the race.  Unfortunately, we got stuck behind a bunch of young kids, who didn't know the rules of racing.  So when the gun went off, we had to sprint very fast to get ahead of them.  

D Step was just a little bit ahead of me, but I knew I couldn't catch up to him.  But I was still doing pretty well.  The race was very fast, and went through familiar streets of my hometown.  
I ended the race with a time of 23:17, a personal best for me.  Guess those shoes served me well after all.  My first mile was done at a 6:33 pace, mainly because I was darting around young children.  
The food afterwards was great.  Lots of bananas, watermelon, and other random things I never grabbed.  I am a firm believer in bananas and water post runs.  

We stood by the finish line to wait for my brother in law, sister in law, and their baby cross the finish line.  They walked, because he is still pretty young.  Though technically, he beat them both since he was in the stroller ahead of them!  

Daddy Step came in 4th place for his division, and had he known he was so close, I know he could have gotten at least 3rd.  His time was better than mine.  

After we all munched a bit and hung around, they began the award ceremony.  I had a feeling I placed, so we stuck around.  

When they got to the Women 19-29 division, I was ready to at least get 3rd.  But when they said the time of the 3rd place winner, I knew I at least got 2nd.  But then the second place winner got up, she had a time of 24:55.  I knew then that I must have won.  And I did.  Who knew that someone wearing walmart shoes could win 1st place in their division.  

And with that I hope to give encouragement to everyone out there reading this.  When I began running after my injury last year, I was only running at an 11 minute mile.  I was also breastfeeding a 10 month old, and just moving back to the US and adjusting to the time change.  Some runs were better than others, but with consistency I noticed my time getting better each week.  I ran a lot of hills, and a lot of long distances.  Every Sunday I added mileage.  I ran for 1-2 hours.  I ran in cold, I ran in rain, I ran in the hot sun.  My final training run before my half marathon was in the pouring rain.  I was dripping from head to toe.  I ran alone, which was sometimes scary.  I almost got hit by a car once.  I was once almost chased by a redneck. (True Story)  But I ran.  I never gave up on it.  And I hope to give encouragement to anyone thinking of lacing up those shoes for the first time.  It gets better, I promise.  Eventually you will find solitude in it.  And eventually you will begin challenging yourself further.  

And with that, I'm done running for awhile.  I am looking forward to hitting the weights at our new home!