This race has been on again/off again right up to the night before. Miraculously I actually ran it! Well mostly. Eye roll.
First there was the issue of a conflicting skating competition, then a bris for a new baby in the family. Then my ornery salsa funk shoulder made training such a bitch I questioned the wisdom of running at all.
The day before, Thing 1 learned she’d qualified for the conference championships in hurdling, so again I ruled the race out. But that evening she found out it didn’t start til noon, so I could run the race, book it out of Dodge and make it to the track meet.
Me, Bobbi, Kim, Kim, Kayla, Sierra, Lauren
I was treated to a pink sunrise as I headed to Kenosha. Conditions were perfecto: 50′s, overcast, light breeze. I found a group of bloggers at the start then Kayla, Sierra and I headed to the corrals. This was Sierra’s first full. Squee!
I had no grand plans for this race: Fun run. Last year, this was half #3 for me. This year it’s my first. I did one 13 mile training run this year so my endurance isn’t what it could be. I’m ok with that. It’s the year of the 5k after all.
The first miles were effortless, except at mile 1.5 the salsa funk shoulder started hurting. I pressed on, hoping once some inflammation cropped up it wouldn’t be so bad. No such luck. By mile 5 I considered stopping. If I hadn’t gear checked my car keys I might have quit since the race went right past my car. Once we got out along the lakefront, there was no turning back. An agonizing jolt of shoulder pain with every step. I tried walk breaks to reposition it and take a breather from the pain. Boo. But too damn stubborn to stop. I gazed out to the water for distraction. Then along came a cow (ok a guy dressed as one) so I drafted behind him and enjoyed the ‘udder’ barnyard humor.
By mile 10 I thought my shoulder was a tad better, or maybe the rest of me was hurting to match it. There’s a turn at mile 11 where you go right. But if you go left you head right in for the finish. Oh how I longed to make a left! But I trudged on.
At last, just a minute from the finish line I saw Rachel and Kim, already finished and cheering. I finished, passed on the beer/brat tent and other festivities this year and high-tailed it home.
Pros: There’s so much to be said for a great race that is reasonably priced, has a great shirt, fun bling and plentiful free parking! The course is rolling and goes through town, cute residential neighborhoods and lakefront path so not boring. I would do this one again in a heartbeat.
Cons: The only con is the lakefront path is very chewed up in many places. One must be very careful to avoid tripping. Definitely in need of repair!
I beelined home for a quick shower and made it to the conference championships where Thing 1 rocked the hurdles and is moving on to sectionals. So very proud of her! I also ran into Dr. Miracle, my trusty Sports Chiro who, after some diagnostic tests, told me I had a torn rotator cuff. Sigh. I’m going to layoff running this week and reacquaint myself with my road bike after a long winter. I swear it’s always something.
Did you race this weekend? Vega/Balega winners are here if you missed them!
5k #2 for the year is on the books. I did this race last year in sideways rain/sleet. Today we were treated to sunny skies, mild breezes and temps in the 50′s. Glorious.
Goal A: Beat my time at the Eggshell Shuffle.
Goal B: Beat last year’s time.
Goal C: Run strong and enjoy the day.**
The race loops twice around Big Bear and Little Bear Lakes on paved paths and a narrow sidewalk. Despite the crapola spring we’ve had so far, the day could not have been more beautiful. I went with capris, Boston tank and Zensah arm sleeves, all ninja black, since we wouldn’t be on roads and visibility was not an issue. I wore my oldish Newtons because after all the rain we’ve had, I suspected parts of the path may have been flooded/mudded out.
I lined up behind a woman who looked my age-ish and hung behind her, hoping she’d keep me from barreling out to fast. I lasted behind her maybe a quarter mile before my need for faster foot turnover won out and I passed her.
Lots of kids in this race, doing their trademark sprint/swerve/die/walk/repeat. While I might normally be the slightest bit annoyed by kids underfoot in a race, today I was delighted to have them there. This was my first race post Boston tragedy and I focused on embracing the beauty of the day and running strong to honor those who can’t.
I came upon a woman wearing a Detroit Marathon shirt and immediately thought she’d be faster but passed her as well. Although I felt I was holding back, Garmin showed a sub-8 pace. Faster than I knew I could hold. I cooled my jets and a guy in retina-searing hi-viz orange zipped past me.
While this course is incredibly beautiful, it isn’t particularly easy. The paths are narrow and undulating, featuring 3 wooden bridges and 2 nasty hills x 2 loops = the uphills wear on you.
By mile 2 I felt cooked. Hot. Hurting. Wanted to be done. My zen must must have been on holiday because I had no luck channeling it. The last half mile is the most challenging part of the course…where the two steep hills are and one mudded out slick spot. I soldiered on, reeled in retina orange guy and thought to myself “done in a few minutes, stay with it.”
In the final straightaway, retina orange guy came up once again and made me press hard to prevent being duded. As we blazed passed (author’s embellishment) a course marshall motioned for 2 walkers on their first loop to move over. One of them muttered “I guess walkers are second class citizens” as we passed.
I finished thinking I ran better than I did. I was about a minute faster than last year but 14 seconds slower than this year’s first 5k. To be fair this was a much harder course. But I would like to have paced this better. Still lots of fade.
But it was good enough for AG1. Second place went to the lady I passed in the first quarter mile and never saw again.
Final words: This race really stepped up with the awards this year. Last year there were medals for only 1st and 2nd place in 10-yr. age groups. This year they kept the 10-yr. increments but added a third place. First place swag was a pretty crystal paperweight and a $20 Dick’s GC.
**I was coming off night of the puking child and didn’t know it then but it turned out to be a night of the puking child sandwich, since I was up with Thing 1 the night before and Thing 2 the night after the race. A ‘meh’ 5k trumps 2 nights of a puking child every time.
Do you judge other runners by the race shirts they wear? Apparently I do. Congrats to all of this weekend’s racers! Cannot wait to read everyone’s reports!