This was my third year running in the Kirkwood 5k. It’s a nice race that benefits a local charity called BackPack Beginnings. Their mission is to provide food and comfort to underprivileged children in Guilford County. They have two programs: one provides a backpack of food on weekends and the other provides a backpack of comfort items. Races are fun but it’s cool when you are supporting a good cause too.
This race is kind of special to me since it was my very first 5k in 2010 and actually it was also my second 5k ever in 2011. I’ve come a long way in terms of my running and overall fitness level since 2010. Even though I’m not some awesome athlete by any means, sometimes I can’t believe I am actually out there running and doing races. I NEVER would have imagined that a couple of years ago. Just goes to show that goals can be accomplished even with baby steps.
So my half training plan for race day had me doing a 2 mile warm up, 5k race, 3 mile cool down. I thought there is no way I could do that. I have never tried to run before a race (worried what little I had would be gone by race start) and certainly have never wanted to run after a race. But the training is all about getting the miles in. I was thinking about doing the race on Saturday and then running my 8 miles really slow on Sunday. I asked coach Jen her opinion and she preferred I didn’t run on both days. And since she’s the coach and knows what she is doing, I figured it was best to stick with the plan.
A few other Streakers were doing the race so we decided to meet up for the warm up run. None of us had done this before and we were all a little worried that it might hinder our race performance. We decided to go slow and ended up getting about 1.5 miles in. We were shooting for 2 miles but it was getting closer to race start and we also needed to make our way to the porta potty line. After the warm up run, I felt pretty good. My muscles felt loose and my heart rate was up a little. Maybe this warm up running isn’t such a bad idea!
Going into the race I didn’t have expectations of a PR but I did hope to improve my time from last year. I also wanted to see if I could run the race at a negative split since I still haven’t learned how to pace myself yet. I usually start out too fast and by the end of the race I don’t have much left (or anything left). There was a small gleam of hope that I could finish sub-30, but it wasn’t my focus since I know I’ve been slower with the half training. Well I did meet both my goals of a course PR and running a negative split. My official gun time was 30:31. Still not sub-30 but that’s okay. I did set a course PR. My previous times were: 41:21 and 33:54, 2010 and 2011. So I’m happy with that. My splits were: 10:02, 9:55, 9:41, 8:09.
Let me tell you, I was sprinting at the end! I knew it would be close so I just had to give it all I had. My friend Janet was ahead of me the whole race and once I heard them call her name with a finish time of 29:50, I knew it wasn’t going to happen but I still kept running as fast as I could! Even though I was able to run a negative split, I’m not going to get to my sub-30 goal by running 10 minute miles. Somehow I’ve got to get faster. I just don’t know how these fast runners do it. My legs just won’t move that fast! Maybe after the half training I can try some more speed work (hopefully no injuries this time).
Everybody I knew in the race did great! My hubby finished fifth overall with a sub-20 but not the time he was shooting for. He was surprised to receive an age group award since we thought it was only overall awards. First place male 30-39 and it was a medal! My son ran the race with only 1 1/2 weeks of training. Not his best time but I’m proud that he did it. He’s not really a fan of running for some reason. My BIL set a PR. Scott, Janet, Melissa and Mollie all did great too. They also had a nice goodie bag (t-shirt, reusable bag, pen, koozie, coupons, sunglasses wipe cleaner). First race in a while that actually gave out goodie bags.
I almost forgot…after the race we still had to run 3 miles!! That was the hardest part of the day. We decided to run to the greenway which was close by since it was flat, 1.5 miles out and back. I started running (very slow) and it felt like my legs were made of lead! They just did not want to go. Janet said she was feeling the same. But we kept going. It was slow, but I got 3 more miles in while my family was eating all the cupcakes and getting awards! Oh yeah, they also had a nice spread of food even though all I got was an orange. I got to hear how great the strawberry cupcakes were – next time, can’t you save a girl one?!?
I was a bad blogger and didn’t take ANY pictures!! I was so worried about running before and after the race, I just didn’t even think about it. It didn’t help that my whole family was running in the race too. There was a professional photographer there so maybe there’s picture somewhere of at least one of us! WAIT...here is one of Michael and his medal! Typical being silly, HA!