I’ve successfully completed my first* 5k race (*at which I didn’t have a sprained ankle)! This morning I ran the Springfield 5k. Springfield is technically one town over, but we pretty much live on the line, so as good as a hometown race for me! The race was at a lovely park that I didn’t even know existed, yet is a mere 15 minutes away, nestled behind a few neighborhoods, away from the suburban hubbub. It was so serene, you’d never know that you were only a mile from the Beltway. There’s a big lake, where you can rent canoes, and an old-style carousel!
The race started at 7:30 am, so I picked up my race day packet yesterday to maximize sleep time this morning. I conveniently woke up just a few minutes before my alarm, put on my race gear (which I laid out last night – sometimes I have good ideas!) and chugged a few glasses of water. Even before 7am, it was already warm and so humid – I started sweating pretty much as soon as I stepped out of the house. Fortunately, as I realized when I got to the park, much of the course was under heavy shade. While not much help with the humidity, at least the sun wasn’t beating down on me the whole time!
Last night I made a “Summer Workout” playlist to listen to on the run… I was getting really tired of most of the songs on my list from February! Unfortunately I didn’t realize until I was standing at the starting line, my Nike+ sensor seems to have died! I started (and restarted) the App on my iPhone but every time it told me to “walk around to activate sensor”, it couldn’t find the sensor! I know that the sensors have batteries in them, but I expected it to last for at least a little bit longer. I’ve only had it since… April, I think? So I ended up just listening to the playlist, sans Nike+.
I took off at a pretty fast clip, one that I definitely could not have kept up for the whole 5k, so I made myself slow down after about half a mile (damn adrenaline!) The first 2k was up the long road that leads into the park, which runs through a heavily wooded area, which was nice. Then we turned into a neighborhood and looped around a block before heading back down the road into the park. The worst part was the first 1/2 of the loop around the neighborhood – it was an arse-kicking, really steep hill! Steeper than any of the ones I’ve run around where we live, that’s for sure. As soon as I turned the corner to it, I saw that everyone was walking. I kept up the jog for about 10 meters, but then I ended up slowing to a walk, as well. It was like running through molasses! Thankfully, as we all know, what goes up… must come down. And there was a terrific downhill back to the road into the park.
I ran the rest of the way back, but on about kilometer 4 my pace was down quite a bit. Then I rounded the corner and heard a Mariachi band playing at the finish line – so you better believe I sprinted that last quarter mile! (You cannot move slowly to Mariachi music. It’s physically impossible. I challenge you.)
Here’s a lovely self-portrait of my sweaty mug immediately post-race:
I hope you enjoy my slightly askew tiara-motif Bondi Band (those things are life savers!) One of the sponsors was handing out free t-shirts… not gonna lie, I took one just to wipe the copious amounts of sweat off my body. Yuck!
I bested my time by a whopping 12 minutes! Bearing in mind that I had a sprained ankle at the one other 5k I’ve participated in, of course… I came in 165/220 overall, and 16/26 in my age group. Not too shabby!
This is the Mariachi band that welcomed us into the finish line. You haven’t lived until you’ve run a race with a Mariachi band playing you in.
The post-race refreshment tent was easily the best I’ve ever seen. Not only did they have the standard water/bananas/granola bars, but Trader Joe’s was there giving out cups of Blueberry Pomegranite Sorbet (yes please!) and Panera had fresh bread and coffee!
Free sorbet? Don’t mind if I do!
After refreshing myself, I headed to the “First Aid Tent”, also known as the “Free massages and chiropractic adjustments Tent”. I had my regular weekly chiro appointment on Friday, and my doctor said she was going to be at the 5k and to stop by for a free adjustment! I was a little nervous since I was all sweaty and gross, but she was fabulous and professional as always. And she had her adorable chihuahua Lily with her, too! No picture of the pup, unfortunately… :-)
Overall, the race was a HUGE hit. It was the first annual, and I am already looking forward to next year’s. And I will definitely be back to the park before then! I gotta get out on that lake!