Happy Monday! How hard was it to get up this morning after the long holiday weekend? I was not ready for it to end! Despite a rainy day on Saturday we had a lovely time celebrating the 4th, hanging out, and enjoying some beautiful weather.
I intended to run Saturday morning but there was a huge storm brewing that was set to hit about the time I was planning to start, so I put it off until Sunday. I worked at the gym for a couple hours and then made it to the Saturday night service at church. It had been a while since I had gone! It was great to get back and remind myself how good I feel after. Without that weekly reminder, I have a tendency to take things for granted, forget to be grateful, and don’t count my blessings as often as I should. It does take practice! I definitely plan to get back in to the routine of going regularly.
On Sunday I did my long run outside with a friend. It was a step back week so I only had to do 6 miles…so thankful it wasn’t a longer run! This run felt hard! It was about 80* with 90% humidity by the time we started at 8am and I just felt sluggish. We still kept up a fast pace–we may have been racing to catch up with some runners in front of us, just because we’re stupid and competitive for no reason–so that was probably part of the hard feeling. And I think I may have still been recovering from my race on Friday.
After my run I came home to find Rossi playing in the laundry basket. She thought she was hilarious! I have to admit, it was pretty cute.
After nap time on Sunday it was about a million degrees outside so we busted out the baby pool. It was so fun and refreshing! Rossi is definitely a water baby and played in the pool for a solid 2 hours with her brother, Benj, and had to be dragged inside for dinner. I also got some sun and hopped in the pool a few times! It was great to spend some time as a family! I’m usually working more on the weekends, or we’ve got other obligations and commitments. This actually felt like a nice relaxing day!
Now, on to the race recap!
The Fifth Season Races have been held in Cedar Rapids for the past 29 years! I remember watching the runners from my friend’s front lawn as a kid. So fun! There was an 8k race and a 5k run/walk offered, as well as kids’ fun runs. I ran the 8k once before, but the course was different, as there was construction on the regular course that year. Both courses were out and back with very little elevation change. The big difference on this course, as opposed to the alternate route used the last time I ran this race, was the crowd support! Running through downtown and mostly residential neighborhoods offered a lot of opportunities for spectators to cheer on the runners.
My dad accompanied me to the race and waited until I started before he went home to pick up my mom and my daughter. The temperature was cool, in the 60’s, and the race started on time at 8am. I lined up in the 8 minute/mile group and planned to just run by feel, no watch. There were a lot of runners and with such beautiful weather everyone was very happy and excited to run. There was such a great energy in the air!
As we took off I picked out a handsome gentleman to follow. He was about 10 yards ahead of me for the first half of the race. I like to pick out another runner that seems competitive with me to push myself, and this worked pretty well. There were clocks at every mile of the race and I hit the first mile at 7:30, which was fast, but I tried not to let it scare me. I reminded myself I was feeling good and to just go with the flow.
I hit the second mile around 15:20 and from there we headed into a park before making the turn around at the half way point. Things got a little tight in the park, and that stretch felt longer than I thought it would, but coming out of the park I felt great and like I could really turn up the intensity. At this point I passed the guy I had been following and tried to find a new target.
I’m not sure what the clock at mile 3 read, but I was still feeling good. I was cruising at this point, feeling fast, but motivated by the finish line and already being half done. Closer to mile 4, I started to lose my breath and felt a sharp pain in my right side. I tried to push through and keep my pace up, but that was getting harder and harder.
At mile 4 the clock read 31:30. I had told myself before the race that I just wanted to finish under 40 minutes, so I knew I was on pace, but the pain in my side was increasing and I felt like I couldn’t get enough air. I decided to walk and put my hands above my head to see if that would help. I’m not sure how long I walked, maybe just 15-30 seconds. I felt a little better, but not much. I decided there was less than a mile to go and I would run it, even if my pace was slow.
As I got closer to the finish the pain eased up a bit and I tried to maintain a comfortably hard pace. Seeing the finish line I found a kick and sprinted the last 100 yards. I could hear my parents call out my name as I was crossing the finish line and I knew my baby was there too! It felt so good to be done and know that my family was there waiting for me!
Overall, it was a great race! Beautiful weather, well organized, nice, flat course (a few rough spots on the roads due to all the severe weather lately, but they were patched and didn’t disrupt the flow at all). And I’m very happy with the results! I haven’t raced in a while, let alone a shorter race, so I really wasn’t sure how fast I could be. I totally surprised myself and now feel even more confident in my marathon training. My speed work and hard workouts are paying off, now I just need to keep up with my long runs and get used to time on my feet. I looked up my previous time for this race in 2011 and I actually finished 21 seconds faster this time around! The 2011 race had previously been my PR for pace for any distance race (I ran the 8k at a faster pace than I’ve run 5ks before), so I’m totally stoked to have a new PR! I needed the confidence boost!
Did you race last weekend? Any races coming up? What big goal are you working towards right now (not necessarily fitness related!)?