Sunday, April 10, 2011

Proud to be an Athena

Ok, kids! Time for a race recap.

As I've mentioned about a jazillion times, I ran the Jog Into Spring 5K yesterday. Here's how it went:

It was a new experience being a mom and running a race. Just the little things that you take for granted (like being able to go to bed "early," for example, or waking up and doing your pre-race routine, get thrown for a loop when you have to tend to a little person). Luckily, Derek was there for support just in case it turned out to be a poor sleeping night for Lorelei. It wasn't really that bad, but she did get up at around 5 am. By the time I was done feeding, burping, and changing her, it was 5:45. My alarm was set to go off at 6:45, and I tried to go back to sleep, but after a little while, I thought: If I fall back asleep now, there is NO WAY I'm going to feel ok in only one hour. I'm going to be miserable, cranky, and groggy, and I'll probably snooze my alarm and then have to rush and feel panicked.

So, instead, I just took a hot shower, made some coffee, and had a leisurely breakfast. Then, in about an hour, Derek woke up, and we got ready together. We timed it pretty well, and Lorelei got up at around 7:30 for the day, so I fed her and we were ready to go by around 8.

We got to the Independence Civic Center by 8:20 or so, and I got all my race-day stuff. It felt so good to pin on a bib again! And I almost forgot how to attach the D-tag. Ha ha.

It was a bit chilly (like around 40 or 45 degrees), but I knew with a little warm-up, it would be fine, and I always appreciate that kind of weather for running (for me, 60 is already too hot!). Derek walked Lorelei around in the stroller while I did some jogging around. I was still feeling a bit sick (no voice, cough), so I knew I wasn't going to push it. (I did make sure I could breathe deeply, and I could -- there was no mucus in my lungs or anything.) I was still happy I was racing.

As I was getting ready to start, I saw my mom and Jack, who were waiting there, and my mom got this picture of me:

I was excited, but also a bit nervous. What if I couldn't finish? What if I came in last? It's funny to have these fears after having raced so much. But still, it had been a long time, and what if I was rusty?

We started off with a little jingly bell, which was funny. Shortly after we began running, I realized two things: 1) this course was kind of hilly and 2) this course was SUPER boring! Ack! All school buildings, convention center circumferences, and the like. Oh well.

For the first mile, I really had to keep talking to myself: Don't worry if people are passing you; just let them go. Don't worry if you feel tired; you're still warming up. Don't worry if you have to walk; you're only human. And so on! Oh, and I didn't wear a watch this time, but as I passed mile one the woman keeping time said, "11:04." Ok! Much better than I thought. Based on my "training" for this race (or lack thereof), I was expecting more like 12:xx or even 13:xx.

During the second mile, this older guy caught up to me, and we exchanged hellos and "good job"s. It turns out that he hadn't been racing since '09 either, and that Renee Roche (who this race is dedicated to) was a relative. That gave me a little more motivation to keep going. It's always good to find someone really close to the cause to send the message home: I can run. I can keep going. Some people aren't as lucky.

We did run through a fairly nice (and again, hilly!) residential section during the second mile, as well as a water station (thank god), during which I walked to drink. But that was the only time I walked! Yay! At the second mile, my time was 23 minutes. So just under a 12-minute mile.

The third mile was ok. It wasn't as bad as it usually is. It was a sort of modified out-and-back course, so I started recognizing things, and the end went fairly quickly. Right at the 3-mile mark, a stroller mom passed me (dammit! How on earth do they race with those things?!), but I kicked it into high, or maybe medium-high, gear. The clock read 35:50 with about 100 yards to go. I tried to make it under 36:00, but it didn't happen! Oh well! 

But the online official time was actually 35:53, due to the good ol' 10-second delayed start or what have you. So that made the last mile around 12 again, and the last .12 around a minute. Not bad! That made my pace for this race 11:38/mile.

I am really satisfied with this. Based on how I was feeling leading up to this race, and the wild card of no sleep, I would have expected a time closer to 40 minutes. This 5K time was just about a minute slower than my first 5k ever, during which time I was admittedly in much better shape (although inexperienced at racing). I am very confident that I can get my time back down in the low 30s by the fall. (Hello goals!)

Me, Derek, and Lorelei after the race
Also, I hadn't mentioned this before, but I entered into the Athena (150 lbs. +) division for women. Did I place? Wellll... I got fourth. Out of five. HAHA! But still, I was super proud to enter into that division. To me, "Athena" doesn't say "overweight" or "lumbering." It says "powerful," "strong," and, at least for me, "determined."

So all in all, it was a good race, and a great birthday present to myself. And I'll consider this a PRPB (PR Post-Baby!).

Hope everyone else had a great Saturday!


  1. Congrats! So happy that you're back at it! That's a really cute pic of your family post-race. :)

  2. Congrats on a great race (and a great race report!) I raced on my birthday for the first time last year and it was amazing! Glad you got to experience that. And while not quite an Athena myself, I absolutely LOVE your definition of Athena. Yes ... you are powerful, strong and determined! Enjoy and celebrate!