Hello from Bay Harbor, Michigan!
We are in Bay Harbor to celebrate Heather & Mike’s Wedding Day!
This picture was taken shortly after Heather & Mike got engaged while we were in Cinque de Terre, Italy last spring. We are very classy and helped them celebrate by giving them one plastic cup to share their champagne.
I was a little bored in my training class this past week, so I started researching races in the area for today. I knew Brad would be golfing all morning and thought there was no better way to spend my morning in a new place than to race! I eventually found a 5k in Charlevoix, MI which is only about 15 minutes from where we are staying. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I couldn’t find any results from previous years, but I knew it would be a small, laid back race, which was perfect for today!
There was no early registration, so I got up at 7:30 and headed down to the race, so I could register at 8:00 when it opened and still have plenty of time to warm-up before the 9 a.m. start.
There were very few people there when I arrived and the few that were there were taking pictures or decorating bras to sell or wear in the race.
I registered then went in search of an ATM so I could find $5 to add to my race donation (there was no entry fee) so I could get the cute t-shirt. I finally found an ATM at the 7-11 and also picked up a chocolate chip Clif Bar. I intended to only nibble on half of it, but I was so hungry I ate the whole thing. Big mistake.
Finally, I got my jacket, t-shirt and water bottle back to my car and was ready to warm-up. I only had about 25 minutes left before the race, so I knew I would have to cut it shorter than the easy 3 miles that I planned. I ended up running 2.5 miles, but a little too quickly since I was nervous about getting back to the start in time: 8:02, 7:49, 7:41. Probably not the ideal “warm-up” pace for me.
I made it back to the start just in time to hear the National Anthem and a few words about the fund-raising efforts of the race. Then a guy with a megaphone quickly went over the turns on the route and shortly after, we were off. I had lined up on the sidewalk at the front of the crowd, with a bunch of kids and another girl who had been warming up and looked like she was going to run hard. (I was worried when I got there and saw the crowd that everyone was just going to walk or “fun run” and I would look like a moron trying to run “fast”.)
The kids took off sprinting and the girl took off FAST. The kids missed the first turn but she looked back at me and said “Aren’t we supposed to turn left here?” I said yes and she yelled at them to come back. It wasn’t long before she pulled ahead at a fast pace and I backed off, knowing I couldn’t keep up.
Three guys quickly pulled up behind me and I paced with them for about a quarter of a mile. I felt pretty good, but when I looked at my watch and realized I ran the first half mile at a 6:30 pace, I decided I should probably back off. I let them go ahead and slowly backed the pace off.
When my watch beeped a few minutes later and I realized that we had only been a mile, I knew I was in trouble. I could feel the Clif Bar sitting heavily in my stomach and I already had that blech-I-am-going-to-vomit-feeling that is inevitable (for me) in a 5k. First mile: 6:47.
I tried to keep the same pace, but was already hurting at 1.5. We went up a hill and as I hit the turn around point, my pace dropped to 7:10. I picked it back up on the downhill and managed to finish the 2nd mile at 6:59.
At this point we were passing all of the other runners and walkers and everyone was really friendly and cheering for us, but I was hurting so bad that it took everything I had just to smile back.
I was gaining ground on the three guys in front of me and set my sights on catching them. I felt like I was pushing with all I had but still couldn’t manage to get the pace back under 7:00. I finally passed one of the guys and was close to the other two when my watch beeped at mile 3. 7:06.
I pushed up the final hill and as I rounded the corner, the third guy passed me back as we sprinted in to the finish with the final .13 at 6:33 pace.
Final time: 21:40, 2nd female, 5th overall – definitely not a PR (21:09 in a triathlon), but I am not overall too disappointed with the effort. I certainly pushed as hard as I could!
It felt so good to stop running but it took a little while for the blech feeling to go away. They gave me a silver medal for being 2nd female and I hung around for a little bit and cheered for other finishers before grabbing a banana to throw in my car and then heading out for 3.5 more miles to make 9 for the day.
My legs didn’t want to run fast anymore so the final miles were pretty slow: 9:25, 9:03, 8:58. Then my watch died so I don’t know what the final 1/2 mile was. I do know that I felt really great in these final miles. I was just running by feel, not worried about the pace, soaking in the cool weather and nice views and truly loving running.
I am definitely glad I raced this morning, but I can say that I am not sure how many 5k’s I will be signing up for in the near future! Wow that was painful!