As I’ve said in the last few posts, I was in Seattle last week and since my foot was magically feeling better every day that passed, I started thinking about racing the Fremont 5k. My decision was going to be based on a few factors:
- Is my foot completely pain free? I wasn’t going to race until I knew it was feeling 100%.
- Can someone watch my daughter? My husband was potentially going to be busy all night and I didn’t really want to race with the jog stroller.
- Is it raining? Usually this wouldn’t be a factor, but I was flying out early the next morning after this night-time race and I didn’t want to fly with wet shoes and clothing!
- Are any of my Oiselle Team ladies running? I love a Oiselle meetup and hoped I could meet some teammates who I’ve only talked to on Twitter.
- Is anyone else I know running? I love the social aspect of running and always hope to bump into someone I know at a race. We left Seattle in 2009 after living there 5 years so there’s a good chance I’d bump into someone I know.
Well, the stars aligned and it looked like all my criteria would be met (I’m not usually this high-maintenance!) so as I was snuggling into bed on Thursday night, I decided I would be racing.
On Friday morning, my daughter and I drove over to Green Lake and met with the wonderful Oiselle ladies for a little hang time.
I did just a few minutes of their “sweaty core” routine (bicycles, boats, planks) then decided it’s not a good idea to kill my abs on race day, especially since I don’t do core work normally.
After the Oiselle visit, my little lady and I played at a playground, then went to meet a friend for lunch at Chaco Canyon. I had the Thai Peanut Bowl (quinoa, spinach, cabbage, peanuts and peanut sauce) and the Blue Green Blast smoothie (blueberries, bananas, fresh apple juice, and green superfood powder). This was not the smartest pre-race lunch, but more on that later.
After lunch we went to another playground by our hotel. I started thinking a nap would be a good idea for both my daughter and myself since we had been on our feet most of the day and didn’t sleep much the night before. I got a good 15 minute powernap from about 4:25 until 4:40 then pounded down 2 clif bars, a banana, and some Trader Joe’s Honey Nut O’s along with some water. I got dressed in my Oiselle gear and started over toward Fremont with my daughter and husband.
We parked at Gas Works Park, about a half mile from the start, and I messaged Oiselle Teammate Megan hoping we could meet up in person. By the time I got to the race site and registered we spotted each other and were able to say quick pre-race hellos. Meanwhile, I was having major stomach issues, most likely from the cabbage, spinach, fruit, and clif bars and was contemplating not racing at all. I didn’t feel like I could even jog through the bloating, cramping, and all over stomach discomfort. Jeff told me “it’s only 3 miles, you will definitely be able to finish” and that gave me the little push I needed to get my game face on.
I did my warmup, found a good bush to pee behind, and made my way to the start line. I heard someone say “hey, I know you!” and I was so happy to see my friend Jim, who was the head coach my first season coaching with Team in Training! We were able to chat for a few minutes then I went out for some strides. I started surveying the other runners and I only recognized a few. I lined up about 5 rows back, even though I knew I could probably start closer to the line. It’s hard to tell where to line up when I don’t know the people I’m racing, but I usually like to be conservative at the start line.
Before I knew it, the race was starting. I found myself pushing hard from the beginning and took the lead in the first 400 meters or so. I saw the one mile marker, 5:23. At that point, the guy in front of me was settling in so I came up on his shoulder and started passing. He made an exasperated moan and tried to stay with me, but after a few steps, settled in behind. A few minutes later, I heard a strange grunt followed by a creepy sounding “you have a beautiful stride”. Not knowing what to do I just waved my hand back at the dude and continued pushing. A few steps later, we were at the turn around point of this out-and-back course. The way we turned around was a little jumbled and confusing. We ended up running a figure-8 type pattern, which meant we had to cross over the path of runners coming towards the turn around point. It was quite congested but I made it through ok.
Before long we hit the 2 mile mark, 5:32. I was slowing down but I didn’t know because I still hadn’t checked my watch. At this point, I was passed by a few men and there was a group of 4 of us all running together. I tucked in behind and could feel us slowing as a group. I was playing a game of pass-and-get-passed with a kid who appeared to be in high school. He was making it clear he didn’t want to be beat by a woman. With about a half mile to go, I passed him hard. We turned a corner and I could see the finish line… sort of far away. Instead of being motivated to start kicking, I just let myself coast to the finish line. I was definitely feeling the pain, but I believe I had a kick left in me and don’t know why I didn’t use it! The high school kid passed me along the stretch and I made no move to get him. When I could first read the clock, it said 16:40, my 5k PR. That was sort of cool, but I still had some road to cover before the finish line. I finished at 17:16, first female, feeling good. I had a slight lung burn and that made me happy. Haven’t had that in awhile!
After the race, I cheered on Megan, who had a 45 second PR! Then I met Paige who took a picture of us.
I am happy with this race. I wanted to break 18, as a primary goal. I had been racing sporadically and running easy most days until a few weeks ago. Since I decided to pick up the intensity I’ve done 2 track workouts and both have gone surprisingly well. Because of that I had confidence that I could potentially run low 17s and that’s exactly what I did. The only thing I’m not completely happy with is how I coasted into the finish line and didn’t even try to kick at the end. I think I am off to a good start for the summer!