Thursday, February 9, 2017

Esprit de She

Sometimes, when you joke about doing something, things work out in such a way that you have no excuse to not do the thing you joked about. 

When I finished my first race in May 2016, I joked with my husband that I should run five 5K's before my 35th birthday. Over the last few weeks, I've posted about my second and third races that were mostly coincidental. With my entry into those races, it was almost as though life was placing these neatly wrapped opportunities in front of me. The same can almost be said about my fourth race, too. My neighbor won an entry to a race through the same contest that I won my entry for the Torchlight 5K. The day after I ran the Super Run, she found out that she won her entry, and she basically asked me if I would run with her so she didn't have to go alone. At least that's how I remember it. In any case, I just happened to have a discount coupon from running the Torchlight 5K, so I took advantage of that and on July 25th, I signed up for the Esprit de She. 

I actually had the opportunity, and surprisingly the motivation, to run three times between the Super Run and the Esprit. I was at the point where I was actually excited to be running another race with my neighbor, though, I still didn't think I was at the point where I could keep up with her. 

The Esprit de She was on August 4th. My neighbor drove us to Maple Grove where we had to park and take a shuttle to the finish line and then walk the short distance to the starting line. While the race wasn't quite as large as the Torchlight, it was definitely an energetic atmosphere. We went to the pavilion area to get our wristbands (for the alcohol after the race), and we began our trek to the starting line. As we walked, we stopped to get an official pre-race photo. We stretched a bit, found our pace group (10:30 min/mile–an improvement from the Torchlight), and waited for the race to start. 

For almost the entire course, she was at least 100 meters in front of me, though, there were times that I lost track of her completely. I wasn't really concerned with where she was because I wanted to focus on me. I did my best to run the whole 3.1 miles, and if I recall correctly, I was successful. As I neared the finish line, I saw my neighbor. That got my adrenaline pumping! I had spent the entire race lagging behind her, and here I was less than 200 meters from the finish, and I was within distance of catching her! My legs sped up and I flew around the last two corners; she didn't even see me coming. 

I ended up crossing the finish line one second ahead of her, but because of when she started the race, we actually ended up with the same exact time of 34:36 (although my official race time is 34:37). I don't claim to be a math whiz, but when I started the race at 6:42:21 PM and finished the race at 7:16:57 PM, I'm pretty sure that I finished the race in 34:36. But, whatever. It was a personal record all the same. 

I had now run four races in slightly over two months. I was determined to run a fifth race before I turned 35, and since my birthday was still nine months away, I was pretty confident I could make it work. And since I'm writing about it, I bet you can deduce that I was successful. So, you can read about my fifth race next time.

If you want you can follow me on Facebook. You can see pictures of my races, and keep up on how my training is going. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Super Run

A couple of days after the Torchlight 5K, my friend from high school, a fellow runner mom, posted that she had an entry to The Super Run. She was training for a marathon and had bigger training plans on the day of the race.

Unfortunately, if I wanted to participate, I needed a baby-sitter, at least for my older two kids. I figured I could bring my youngest with since he was still nursing pretty often. The friend that I got the race entry from also happened to have a single-jogging stroller that she gave to me. Once I solidified a sitter, I was good to go. I was about to run another race only four days after my last.

Now, it's not technically allowed in most races to give your bib to someone else. There are too many people that cheat, especially in marathons. However, the Super Run was a relatively small scale race, and there wasn’t even an official time. So, I didn't feel too guilty about using someone else's bib.

The race was a little unorganized and a bit chaotic. After starting on a college track, where people ran the wrong way and were poorly guided, the next part of the course went down a big hill and then after that, of course, we had to go back up the hill. Ugh. It was humid, and I was pushing the jogging stroller. There were a lot of sidewalk congestion issues. I felt bad for having the stroller, but I did my best to stay out of other people’s way. I had to stop a couple of times to tend to a very sleepy boy, who eventually gave in and slept for about half of the run.

Needless to say, my time wasn't great, even though according to my GPS app the course was only three miles long. After experiencing the high of the Torchlight, the Super Run was slightly disappointing. Regardless, it was a fun experience because some of the costumes that people ran in were amazing! I have no idea why or how people run in crazy outfits. I had a hard enough time running in the cape that came with registration.

So, now I'd run three races. I was at the point where I absolutely planned on doing two more before my 35th birthday. It was just a matter of finding races that worked for me, because weekday races fit with my schedule better, but most races are on weekends. It just so happened that my neighbor won an entry through the “Summer of Run” to a weekday race that was scheduled for a little over a week away from the Super Run. So, naturally, I signed up to run with her, and you'll find out about that race in my next post.