I was not planning on running this race. Hell, before that week I had not ran consistently since August. Finding out I am pregnant with its ensuing nausea put a damper on my consistent running, at least until recently. But I wanted to run it just for fun. Bruno and my whole family joined me. It was my sister’s first 5k. My mom and step-dad moved out of my hometown this past summer, so I thought it would be a nice way to pay a quick visit to Minster before spending the rest of Thanksgiving in Coldwater.
Three years ago — when Bruno and I first started dating — I had a PR 5k at this race. No surprise, because Minster is flat-as-a-pancake and stand-on-a-tin-can-and-see-for-a-hundred-miles land. I can run thirteen miles and maybe change my elevation only ten feet. When I first moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, I struggled. Now whenever I go back, I can run about 30-60 seconds per mile faster than I can in Hillsdale. Anyway — that PR is 23 minutes 55 seconds.
I knew that was not going to happen. I ran a 26:30 5k this summer as a CrossFit work out. I knew that would not happen either, so my main hope was to stay at the very least a ten minute pace. Or just not walk. Or not puke. They were pretty minimal goals.
It was cold, but we were able to hang out inside my old high school until the race started. I decided to crank up some U2 (Beautiful Day gets me going every time people) and just see what happened.
I felt pretty good during the first mile. I had to stop and tie my shoes at least three times during the race. Side note: I am loyal to Nike running shoes, but what is up with their shoelaces? I considered going faster and just hanging on, but decided to just take it easy and inch my way up. Mile 1 – 9:40.
The second sort of flew by and I don’t remember any of it. Some woman tried to talk to ask me a question and I just kind of looked at her with a face that said, “I’m a nice person, but can’t you hear me panting like I’m about to spontaneously implode right now?” Around this mile though, I decided to make sure I finished under 30 minutes — something I was not sure I would be able to do before I began the 5k. Mile 2 – 9:10.
I started to hurt during the third mile, but mentally I felt ok with it. I think I was just so surprised at how I was doing. I know. I know. This is slow to most people. People run marathons minutes faster than the pace I was going for a 5k, but here I was having not run for two months, twelve weeks pregnant, and going 8:45 for the pace for the rest of the 5k.
I finished at 28 minutes exactly (damn you, Nike shoe laces!), only a minute and a half slower than my timed 5k this summer. So much better than I thought. The only thought I had was “maybe I could have went a teensy faster on that first mile.”
As I begin to eventually lose speed, I will be very grateful that I decided to see what I could do. It was not my fastest 5k, but it was definitely my proudest.
As for the race itself, I highly recommend, especially if you would want a 5k PR. You could not ask for anywhere better or easier to do so. I did not buy a shirt this year, but thought they were cute and bought one for my sister. Sign-up, registration were well-organized and easy. I’m not sure where I’ll be next year, but if I’m still able to make it home for Thanksgiving in the Midwest, I’ll look forward to returning to see what my post-baby self can do.