Kevin and I began our 4th of July celebrations by running the Let Freedom Run 5K yesterday morning. This was actually the 7th race I have done while pregnant!
We did another 5K a month ago but I knew this one would be different. For one, I’m much bigger now than I was 4 weeks ago and I’ve been running slower. Second, it was REALLY hot! Like in the 90s when the race started. So I knew I would come nowhere near my time from the Belmont Bay 5K (26:30). Instead my plan was to have fun, take it easy in the heat, and enjoy my 7th race with baby.
The race didn’t start until 9 a.m. and we arrived a little before 8. We got our bibs and shirts and then hung out in the car for a while. Kevin took advantage of the free time and went back to sleep for a little bit 🙂
At 8:45 we went back to the start area and I ran to the bathroom one last time. These days I find that I have to get every last drop out of me before I go to run, or else it feels like I have to pee the entire time which is really uncomfortable!
There were tons of people at this race which I loved! However, since it was already 9:00 it was getting pretty hot. I was already sweating and I hadn’t even started running yet. I knew I was going to have to take it really easy.
Kevin and I waited at the start together, and when the gun went off he went ahead at his pace and I started running at mine.
The course started at Fairfax Corner which is a big shopping center, and went around through neighborhoods and the surrounding areas. It was not shaded at all and there were hardly any clouds in the sky. I had no idea how fast or slow I was running because I didn’t wear my Garmin, but I just tried to keep it comfortable so that I didn’t overheat and my breathing stayed controlled.
I had no idea where we were on the course since I wasn’t wearing my Garmin. I somehow missed the 1st mile marker and all of a sudden I was at the water stop at the halfway point. I stopped to walk through it, grabbed 2 cups of water, then started running again.
I followed the lead of a few people at one point and went off to a shaded paved trail on the side of the road because the sun was so hot. The course was pretty hilly too, but I just took it slow and steady. I felt good despite the heat. I wore my new maternity support belt and it really helps me feel more supported in my belly and back, and lifts everything up off my pelvis and bladder. Before I knew it we were at mile 2.
This race allowed strollers, and it was so great to see so many parents out there running with their kids! I talked to this man and his wife who was behind him for a few minutes about how it was to run with a stroller. I told him I have one but we still have to wait a couple more months for baby 🙂 Maybe next year we will run this race with our stroller!
I also saw this man who ran the entire race hand-in-hand with his two daughters. They all ran the entire 5K and they were faster than me! It was so adorable.
We got back to Fairfax Corner right at mile 3. I picked it up at the end and gave it my all to finish strong!
I turned the corner and saw the finish (that said start for some reason), and shortly after taking this picture Kevin came up next to me and ran through the finish line with me!
I was surprised to see that I finished the race in 31:39, which is an average pace of 10:12 per mile. That’s a little faster than I have been running recently so I was happy with that time, especially since it was so hot! Kevin finished in 24:35. Not a PR for him but still a great time! We headed over to the finish area and Kevin grabbed a Muscle Milk. They also had popsicles for everyone which was great!
We had a great time at the Let Freedom Run 5K. It was a great way to kick off our holiday together. We are looking forward to coming back to this race next summer and running with our baby in the stroller!
Here are some photos from the race’s website that were taken by the photographer there. Kevin sent them to me when he was at work and I literally choked on my coffee. His pictures are INTENSE! You can tell he is booking it to the finish line.
And a couple from when he ran through the finish line again with me 🙂