I was dreading this race all week and regretted signing up for it in advance. I’m not in 5K racing shape, and had a stressful work week – all I wanted to do Friday night was be lazy at home. But! This is a “local” race for me now (and the last of the ZB Run Squad series for the year), so that made me still want to participate, AND, Anne and Terry were coming over after for dinner, so I knew that part would at least be fun if the race sucked! Ha!
I’ve only ever run these ZB Run Squad races on Friday nights in November or December. The races are always at 6:00 pm, and I’ve always had to wear a headlamp because it’s completely dark! Sunset was at 6:10 last night, but I was lazy and ran without my headlamp (despite bringing it), hoping I’d be able to see my way to the finish!
And there was indeed a full moon!
This year the race benefited Cory’s Project, a charity with the mission of assisting children and their families residing in the Pediatric Cancer Unit at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Cory lost his fight with blood cancer in July 2012 at the age of 16, and his mom was there last night, MCing the awards ceremony and running the race. She said his seven months of hospital bills were 2.5 million dollars (and she said thank heavens for insurance) and that they started the charity to help families with the financial burden of cancer. It was great to hear her speak and see her passion for the charity. Also, it seemed like A LOT of people were there specifically to support the charity, which was awesome! (Ha, random, but there was also a couple there from Pennsylvania running a 5K in every state – and this is the race they chose for Illinois! Neat!)
On to the race! We had decent weather – around 62°F and 9 mph winds. I lined up in the front since the course is not chip timed, and all the way to the left since I know the tangents well (I ran a perfect 3.10 distance!).
I planned to run on that left edge for quite a bit until it was time to cross for the first turn. Also, I told Steven I would be on the left side if he wanted to get any pictures.
So this guy in blue comes up behind me and decides he needs to be in the same spot as me – apparently he wanted to run the tangents too, and didn’t want to pass me on my right. I was thinking, “what the heck, dude?” And could tell he was annoyed with me. He ended up going on the grass to get around me.
I was annoyed that he just HAD to be between me and my photographer, ha!
My “WTF?” face
I didn’t know this until I finished, but when he passed Steven and Terry he goes “Seriously?!” and they weren’t sure if he was talking to them – being annoyed they were taking photos – or to me, for being in his way (probably that). It was all very strange – in the progression of photos Steven took you can see him being unnecessarily aggressive to get around me. Chill out, dude.
So because the guys were thrown off by his “seriously?!” comment, they almost missed Anne! But she called out to them!
My watch said I was running 7:45s at the start, and I felt decent, and was hoping for an 8:00 average, so I stuck with it. I had picked out who I thought would win for women (a lady in pink – I thought maybe she was the one who beat me at my last ZB Run Squad race) and was surprised to overcome her in the first mile. “Oh, here you go Kim,” I thought to myself, “passing now, just to be overcome later!” Then I looked ahead and saw a little girl was in the lead for women and WAY ahead of me, and forgot about being first overall.
My first mile clocked in at 7:35, and I felt decent, like the pace was manageable. My second mile was 7:30 and I was surprised it wasn’t slower, ha! I accidentally had my watch in pace per mile mode, rather than overall pace, but it actually worked well (and is super easy to switch out during a run, but I liked focusing on one mile at a time)!
Then mile 3. That’s when the pain started. I encouraged two guys running around me to keep it up, so we could carry each other to the finish. I pumped my arms and told myself “You can do hard things!” And… there was my 8:00 mile, ha!
I ran a 7:27 pace for my last tenth and finished right behind one of the guys I was encouraging! My finish time was 23:53 and I was excited to be second woman overall and first in my age group!
Steven and Terry and I talked with a friend, Garett, and cheered Anne on to her finish, then went in for the awards ceremony. And it turns out, that little girl in front was banditing the race (Garett said her dad was pacing her on a bike and encouraging her to keep up with him… odd that they didn’t register), so, I was actually first overall, and Garett was first male overall! I wasn’t expecting that! I ran a slow-ish time, but it’s all about who shows up to race (and who is registered).
I was surprised when Anne didn’t place in her age group. We checked out her time afterward and realized they had someone else’s time listed as hers (because they had the same last name), and had her in a different age group. So then we compared her actual time to her age group and she was second in her age group! Woo hoo! I’m so happy we checked, and excited for Anne!
So, something I was dreading turned out to be pretty awesome, yay! (But man, running 5Ks is SO hard – my stomach was wrecked for the night!)