Yesterday I ran the Blue & Gray 5K, which was organized by our favorite local running store, VA Runner. This was the first post partum 5K that I planned to run (I walked two 5Ks before I was cleared to run). Originally, I was planning to really race it and give it my all. I was excited to try to get a PR, since I ran such a great race at the Turkey Trot 10K a few weeks before. But since I fell and hurt my knee, I knew that now was not the time to try for a PR. Instead I decided to run with the stroller and my friend Danielle, and have fun!
We met my two friends Amanda (left) and Danielle (middle) before the race started. These two ladies have been on the blog before and they are two of my favorite race buddies. Danielle has recently gotten into running and was trying to get a PR, so I offered to pace her since she doesn’t have a Garmin (yet!). Running with other people and helping them meet their goals is one of my favorite things, so I was excited. Plus, I was at a race with both of my boys- what could be better?
We all gathered by the store to wait for the start. They also had a half marathon that apparently is very popular, because more people ran the half than the 5K! The half started first, and the 5K started 15 minutes later. Luckily, it was a nice morning and temps were in the 50s. It didn’t feel like December at all!
Soon it was time to start, so Kevin headed toward the front while Danielle and I went all the way to the back with the stroller. Baby Kevin was ready to race and so were we!
Danielle told me that her previous PR was 32 minutes and some seconds (she couldn’t remember exactly), so we decided to shoot for a 10:30/mile pace. She was nervous because she hadn’t been running as much lately, and she finished her last few races in the 34-36 minute range. I knew she had it in her though, and I planned to push her to get that PR!
We started running and Danielle looked great and strong. The first mile was hilly, but we ran it in 10:04. It was challenging maneuvering the stroller around people, and I hit a curb once. Oops! But baby was fine- he slept the entire time I was running. At one point we went down a huge hill, and then when we saw Kevin pass us going the opposite direction we realized we had to run up it on the way back. That made Danielle nervous, but I told her not to worry about what is to come and just focus on the mile she was running at that moment. She pulled out a 10:14 split for mile 2, and that included a quick walk break at a water stop. I told her she was definitely on track to meet her goal if she ran the last mile in 12 minutes or less.
After mile 2 she started saying she wanted to walk when we got to the hill. I told her to try to run up as much as she could before stopping to walk. She made it halfway up the huge hill before walking, which was great! We walked almost to the top and once she had control of her breathing she started to run again. I told her she had less than a half mile to go- something she had run many times before. We entered the parking lot where the store is located and hit 3 miles shortly after that. Our third mile split was 10:47, and I knew we had about a minute to get her to the finish line at 32 minutes. I asked her if she had anything left in her to pick up the pace because she had a minute to run .1 miles. She started sprinting to the finish line!
She finished in 32:18, and I was a few seconds behind at 32:22. I was so proud of Danielle and how hard she pushed herself! Afterwards when we looked up her previous PR we found out that she had missed it by 2 seconds! She was still so proud though- and that’s just more motivation to beat it next time 🙂
We quickly found Amanda (who finished second in her age group!) and Kevin who finished in 25:58. Baby Kevin was awake at this point and very happy to see him again.
We hung out for a little bit and watched more runners finish, then we decided to go next door to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. It has been a LONG time since I’ve eaten there, and it was sooooo yummy!
I LOVE running races with my friends and family. It is one of my favorite ways to spend the weekend, and I have made so many great memories this way. I think the best part is just sharing in each other’s accomplishments and celebrating together. The three of us ladies have a few more races that we’re planning to do, including Danielle’s first half marathon this spring! We signed up for the inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC and I am crossing my fingers that we both get picked from the lottery this week. If not, I am trying to convince her to do the Rock & Roll USA Half in March. She is totally bitten by the racing bug, so I think I can persuade her 🙂
My next 5K is on New Years Eve- and if my knee is feeling better I WILL be racing that one. I want that PR before 2013!