This doesn’t necessarily sound much like a blog title to recap today’s 5-mile run, does it? Especially considering today’s race was my first since I did the Super Hero 5K at the end of October and the first time I’ve run more than 3 miles at a time since then.
Today started out like any race day, just a little more low key. Normally I’m the world’s biggest pain on race days because I get so rattled. I’m worried I’ll be late, worried I won’t do well, worried I won’t have time to stretch, etc. Joe is a saint for putting up with me on race days.
This morning, however, I wasn’t too concerned. It wasn’t because I knew I’d do well, it was because I had signed up on such a whim that I was putting very little pressure on myself. Today’s race was the Race Against Cancer Super Sunday 5 – a 5 mile race with a 5K option. I knew that if for some reason I couldn’t bang out the 5 miles, I could always stop at the 5K point.
Still, I kept referring to the race as a 5 miler because I didn’t want to really give myself an out. I ran three times this past week, once for a mile before doing the stepmill, once for a mile and a half, and once alternating sprints and jogging in our basement for around 15 minutes (I’m guessing somewhere between 1.75 and 2 miles). I took yesterday as a rest day because my legs were a bit sore from some lunges and squats on Friday.
When I woke up this morning there was a thin film of snow on the ground, but nothing major. My biggest concern was the cold. The first time I looked at my weather app it said we were at 28 degrees with a wind chill of 16. I gave myself a pat on the back for going to buy running pants and a running jacket yesterday. They still weren’t “winter” running clothes, per se, but they were certainly warmer than running in a t-shirt and pair of capris.
I made myself an energy fizz drink in lieu of coffee and then made myself a breakfast protein shake. The shake included Arbonne chocolate vegan protein powder, Almond Breeze original unsweetened almond milk, PB2 powdered peanut butter, half of a frozen banana, and a scoop of chia seeds.
We left home just before 9am to get to the race location early enough to take advantage of the free parking (which we were certain would fill up). After checking in and picking up my race bib, I saw a table for Team In Training (this is where the story gets interesting). At first I didn’t realize the table was for Team in Training so when I asked what races they were offering sign-ups for, I thought I’d be registering for the St. Patrick’s Day race I saw an advertisement for on the Race Against Cancer website. When the nice lady behind the table started talking about marathons and triathlons, I knew I was in
She must have seen my eyes light up because she asked if I wanted to travel or stay local. I told her I would prefer local-ish so she told me about the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, VT over Memorial Day weekend. Again my eyes must have lit up because I LOVE Burlington. I got the details from her, including my fundraising commitment and information about the hotel (which is included in the fundraising commitment!) and told her I wanted to think about it.
Joe and I walked to the nearby mall to warm up and kill time before the race. On our way over I started grilling him about what he thought about my signing up. We talked about the details, what it would require of me in terms of training and fundraising commitments, etc. By the time we got to the mall and sat down at one of the tables in the food court, I had made my decision. I filled out the registration form and committed to running my very first marathon on Sunday, May 26 in Burlington, VT with my funds benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
This particular organization is close to my heart because my cousin Sonja lost a battle with Leukemia just over a year ago. I also have a friend from high school who is now over a year in remission. My grandmother also died of cancer, but of a different kind, so I am honored to help an organization that furthers research into treatment for cancer.
As overjoyed as I am to be part of Team in Training, I’m admittedly already VERY nervous. So nervous, in fact, that any concerns I had about today’s 5 mile race disappeared. I took a handful of EnergyBits in preparation for the race and bundled up to go back outside. Joe and I walked back to the race start location (in the now lightly falling snow) where I handed in my marathon registration form and got in line for the race.
Once the gun sounded, I spotted Joe. I made sure to smile despite the fact that I couldn’t feel my feet. This was true for the first mile. Between miles 1-2 I started to feel them a bit more and by 2.5 miles in they were almost like normal. Almost.
Aside from my numb feet, I felt great! I didn’t stop for water at the first station (2 miles) because I was afraid I’d splash it on myself and freeze to death. Ok, maybe that’s not exactly what I was thinking, but it’s close. My first mile was at about a 10:30 pace because I had told myself the most important thing was for me to do my best at finishing rather than trying to get a specific time. The last thing I wanted was to re-injure my knee.
By the second mile I had cut my pace down to around a 10 minute mile, which is where it stayed for pretty much the remainder of the race. As we neared the 5K marker, I realized I still had lots of energy left in me and knew there was no way I wanted to stop. Once I was almost to the finish, with just a quick circle around the block to go, I spotted Joe again.
I crossed the finish line at a time of 50:35! Not my greatest ever 5 mile time, but pretty dang good considering how long it has been since I ran that far.
My official results confirmed my own time-taking as well!
The post-race party was also a great time with samples from some awesome companies. I stuck with Vita Coco coconut water, sweet potato Pop Chips, and Blueberry Raspberry Body Armor SuperDrink. I had never heard of Body Armor SuperDrink before, but it was delicious and packed with all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Plus it’s gluten free and naturally sweetened. Call me a convert.
Now I’m home, showered, and have an awesome dinner in the crockpot, so I’m off to write a 10-15 page paper (I have no interest in the Super Bowl this year, which is a first in my life). I hope you all have an awesome Super Bowl Sunday, whether you watch the game or not. Find a way to be active if you can, even the small steps count!
Will you be watching the Super Bowl today? What are you doing to stay healthy and active?