Okay, I am not going to lie. Racing is much more fun when I am pregnant. The excuses are just so much better!
6 months ago I ran my last 5K. I was 37.5 weeks pregnant. I think it took me something like 25-ish minutes. Today I ran the Orthopaedic Rehab 5K as a fitness test, which is so counter intuitive to my normal running. (Normal running MO: train, selectively register for very few races, usually PR.) So this was good for me, going to a race that would help dictate training for the next few months as opposed to a race that I hoped would be faster than 20:20, which is my time to beat. Though I will admit that sometimes I hope I will just show up and run an 18 minute 5K out of the blue. I’m not holding my breath on that one!
The race was listed as “fun and challenging” which in my experience usually means the latter. And it usually means hills because it’s just hard to avoid some amount of hilliness in Michigan.
Since we have three children, they all stayed at home while I drove our minivan into town with enough time to do a lengthy (for me) warm up. I missed having my family there but it was nice to be early and to not have to think about anyone else. At 8:00 the 8K runners took off. At 8:15 the 5K pack was off.
The course was new and ran through downtown Jackson. The morning was beautiful! Not windy at all, with a lovely sun rise, and 45 degrees. Couldn’t have asked for better weather or a prettier day! Since normally I would not run downtown, it was fun to be some place new. The course was well marked by volunteers and cones and people were very kind about letting us know when potholes were coming up.
We took off and immediately there was a woman in front of me. This was not surprising, only disappointing. It is no fun to be chasing someone who is making running look effortless and does NOT have 10 pounds of baby weight still to lose. (As an aside, if there is anyone out there who knows how it is possible to train well and lose 10 pounds, I am all ears. I have never had this problem and I have not lost a thing since 6 weeks postpartum. That would be 4.5 months ago.)
Two steps into the race and I got a wedgie. Seriously? Are we in junior high or something? This detail was augmented by the fact that my running felt very chaotic and unfocused. Like I could have been waving my hands and spinning around and felt more pulled together than I did. It was very weird. Hit the mile mark at 6:35. Mile 2 was wrong on several levels. First, it was a mostly on an incline and second, the entire mile you could smell donuts because we ran near this bakery that makes the best donuts in Michigan. Truly. They just won an award so I am not making this up. Mile 2 was done in 6:59. I have no idea what mile 3 was, only that it was my fastest mile. I picked up the pace, passed the woman in front of me (who ended up finishing just seconds behind me and, oh yes, turned out to be 50) and finished in 20:35, a 6:38 pace. I had hoped to be under 21 minutes, so that felt good. I also felt like I was going to throw up, which either means I am pregnant or I’ve run hard. I am not pregnant, so it was good knowing that I had run as hard as I could.
There were no donuts at the finish line. That was sad. Though I suppose it would have also been counterproductive. There was coffee though, which I very much appreciated!
My time was good for first woman, which was fun. I ended up with a long sleeve shirt, gloves, and a coffee mug. Great race on a beautiful morning! I would run this one again.