This past weekend I ran my second race and second 5K. I signed up with two of my friends that I had persuaded to run with me and train for just three weeks before the race. Girls on The Run is an organization for young girls in which for 10 weeks they learn about health and fitness and train to run a 5k at the end of the program. For more information on this program or organization visit http://www.girlsontherun.org.
Several days before the race, the temperature dramatically changed here in St. Louis. Just 3 weeks before when I ran my first 5K, it was 70 degrees, but the weather for this race day was forecasted to be 30 degrees (brrr). So I made a point to train the week of the race in the cold weather to help prepare me for the conditions on race day. I learned that the body quickly heats up during the run, so it wasn’t so bad after all. My first time running in the cold I actually peeled off my top layer of three about 1 mile into my run. That helped me to relax about the cold weather, but I also read about the hills that downtown St. Louis has, my first race was a pretty flat course. This one would be quite different, so I made a point to run hills, and avoided the track. Those hills are definitely a challenge, but I’m glad I did them to help me prepare.
Race morning it was freezing!! I heavily relied on warming up once in the race, so I only wore one layer pants and two layer tops. Once I got out there, the announcer reported it was 24 degrees, and the lowest I had trained in was 35 degrees, I was starting to become a little nervous. But, I kept positive and moved around to help heat myself up.
The race was a mass start, meaning everybody just lined up and went across the start line at the signal to go. My friends and I agreed to a run 60 secs walk 90 sec pace, with a 4 min walk break after each mile. I thought to myself, piece of cake, I have been doing as much as run 3 walk 3, and even ran a full mile once, I got this! The race started and off we went! I was pretty comfortable for about the first half mile, but then after that there was steady slope upward, I mean the biggest hill I’ve ever seen! This is where my calves and feet began to scream! ( I knew I should have got those new running shoes) I quickly became fatigued, and was very much looking forward to those walk breaks. I was so hot I unwrapped my scarf and wanted to take off my gloves. This hill continued for the next mile or so, mile 2 begin to go downhill, thank God for that four minute walk break. This is when I begin to gain my momentum and feel rejuvenated, I just let the gravity pull at me, so much so I separated from my friends. I then realized it should be walk break time by now, but I didn’t hear my friend call it out, so I looked around and notice I was ahead of them. I decided to stop and wait for them, I wanted this to be a group effort, and I wasn’t really concerned with time. Our only goal was to finish in under 45 minutes, and according to my Nike app, we were doing good on that time.
Most of the race from that point was flat and or mostly downhill, and it become mentally easier after that first long uphill. My friends were looking good, but just in case I decided to give some pep talk, I chanted we are almost there we got this, keep it up! I can recall during my own 6 mile run when I had to give myself this pep talk. After rounding the last corner the finish line started to come into view, we took our last walk break and ran it out. Then the race clock came into to view and I pointed to my friends, “Look!, Look! 42 minutes!” The look on our face is priceless!
After we crossed the finish line ,collected our medals, water and a snack bar, we went to the result tent to see our official time, 42:33 at a 13:42 pace! I couldn’t be happier with that, we made our goal and some. This race was a great experience, It was so uplifting to see the little girls out there running with their families, especially with the dads. That stood out to me most because I’m a daddy’s girl, and I know those little girls will cherish those moments forever. They have this 5k twice a year, once in fall and once in spring. I definitely will be running this race again. I did some video of the events, it just a peek of the race and some pictures. As Always thanks for reading and I hope you were inspired!