As mentioned last week, I had been planning on visiting my partner in crime in MA and coincidentally found a race that was just a short distance from her apartment. I signed up over a month ago and asked her if she’d like to join in on the fun- she was after all, the one person who got me running almost ten years ago. Her immediate response was “yes!” however, she held off from registering because she didn’t know how she’d feel… this far into her PREGNANCY!
Shut the front door! My best friend is pregnant and I can finally say it out loud! This whole thing is so surreal for me- I’m having a hard time believing that 90% of my friends are getting married, buying homes, having babies- I don’t feel old enough for any of that yet! Pinch me. Back to the super news, as you can tell, I’m over the moon happy for them and can’t blame her for not wanting to get out there and hustle it in the rain. Yup, the rain.
I woke up yesterday to sunshine and because the two of them were still sleeping at six a.m., I decided to read and dose back to sleep until shortly after seven. I cooked my oats (with almonds, cinnamon and apricots), sipped on water and tried to stay calm (I noticed the rain clouds rolling in) until we left her place at nine. By the time we got there and I grabbed my bib, it was pouring. We had almost an hour to waste until the start, so we sat in the car to keep warm. I felt going into this race that I wasn’t going to perform my best, so I just wanted to have fun and enjoy the new route. Like the Shamrock Shuffle, I did last-minute decide to write splits on my wrist, just in case I felt great and wanted to aim for a PR. My previous 5k PR was 28:02 from 2011.
After a quick trip to the bathroom and then following the crowd to the street for the start, Lindsey snapped this photograph of me. Moments later, we were off!
Mile 1: I was nervous that I started off too far in front of the pack, but when we took off, it thinned out even more. I saw a dead opossum. I then started to run/drift off of this guy for a couple of minutes but then realized that he was indeed running too slow for me to synch with; I passed him. We then approached the one hill of the race and once I saw its size, I knew I had it in the books. I kept up my intensity and flew up that hill, passing just a few people along the way. (Can you tell I’m totally patting myself on my back this early in the race?) What goes up, must come down and I picked it up just slightly as I reached the first mile marker.
Mile 2: Once I saw my time on the Garmin, I was in awe of how good I felt. I told myself that even if I couldn’t hold that pace, I would have plenty of time to slow it down and still PR. This was the mile that I realized I was running with grown men. Men! That never happens. I had passed all of the women that had been around me from the start, so I began to look ahead to see if there were any ahead of me to push toward- one.
Mile 3: I felt myself starting to tire but I reminded myself to keep my feet quick. I had closed the gap between that one woman in yellow and me, but couldn’t push any faster to catch her. I then told myself that I couldn’t let her widen the gap. With a little less than a quarter-mile to go, I felt my heart starting to speed up- then slow down. Multiple times. This was the first time I’ve felt it (while running) in a long time but was happy to feel it correct itself. It did make me nervous but as I rounded the corner, my Garmin beeped and I had only .1 to go!
I got passed by a woman who told me she loved my sneakers and a man who was like 7 feet tall. It started to rain harder but once I made the small turn toward the finisher’s clock and saw 25:XX, I picked it up and couldn’t believe what I had just done. 25:47 A new PR! Lindsey gave me a high-five and back into the car we went. My final stats were an 8:19 overall pace, 37/150 and 4th in my age group. Boom! I couldn’t be happier with myself.
The rest of the day was filled with a hot shower, a delicious udon noodle miso soup, shopping/scoping out maternity clothes and plenty of catching up. It always stinks having to get back into my car for long drive home after such a great weekend but last night, I had the windows down, tunes cranked and the fresh smell of new car to enjoy. Lindsey’s husband (RJ) details cars on the weekends in between studying to become an engineer, and let me tell you, he does a phenomenal job! My car looks just as clean inside as it did the day I drove it off the lot 6 years ago. It’s embarrassing to admit that he found french fries under my seats- ha! If you are in the Lowell, MA area or have friends/family who are nearby and are looking to supporting small business, then RJ is your guy! Message me and I’ll get you his info!
It was a great weekend away and I’m looking forward to visiting them later this summer to see her baby bump in person!