I should NEVER have written THIS POST.
My poor hubby, who has spent all summer getting ready to run his first 5K, despite hating every second of it, came down with this insane illness last Thursday (that I will spare you the details) and is still sick here on Monday morning.
All my birthday weekend plans went out the window and I spent most of Friday (my actual birthday), running around to different stores buying over-the-counter meds and getting ingredients for the BRAT diet. My man was siiiiiiiick. I was bummin. Friday afternoon we made the decision that it just wasn’t safe for him to even attempt this race as he was insanely dehydrated. I decided to try my legs out and attempt this 5K with absolutely no expectations other than get to the end because there was a medal involved.
I’m discovering I’ll do lots of crazy things for bling.
So I quick touched base with my coach on Saturday (who was in London for the last 2 weeks doing up the whole Olympic scene), and we got a plan in place. 5:1 Run/Walk ratio and I could pick it up towards the end if I was feelin good.
I could handle that.
Sunday morning I woke up at 4:50 to watch some of the Men’s Marathon at the Olympics while I spent the next 2 hours stretching, foam rolling, eating a solid breakfast. We got downtown around 7:15. The weather was a perfect 63 degrees and cloudy with a slight breeze. Minneapolis was lookin all gorgeous.
The “Fifteen’s 5K” was put on by our MN Twins pitcher, Glen Perkins and his wife Alisha and the proceeds went to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The course ran from one end of Minneapolis (starting at the old Twins Stadium, the Metrodome and ending up on Target Field plaza).
My hubby thankfully hung out with me in the car for a bit. I didn’t feel like standing there for 45 minutes wandering around alone until the start. Since the finish line was at the other end of downtown, he did have to go find another place to park, so I left him about 10 minutes to “go time” and took off towards the front half of the pack. I was probably about 8 feet behind the starting line and felt pretty comfortable being there.
There were some familiar faces running around the start line to get everyone motivated..,
I am CRAZY OBSESSED with mascots. I know. It’s weird. My not-so-secret dream is to perform some event as a mascot some day just to get the experience. I go to games and I don’t watch a single minute of them if a mascot is in the vicinity. So this was huge that I was standing 5 feet from one of my favorites, TC the Bear.
At promptly 8AM, the race took off and we headed all the way through downtown. I felt like the 5:1 ratios worked really well for me. Up until this point, we’d been doing 4:2 in daily training these past 2 weeks, so this was a bit of a push. I didn’t feel bad at all, though. My leg held up really nicely and I didn’t really notice anything too much. My calf muscle did start to cramp up a bit towards the end, but I’m attributing that to the last almost 1/2 mile being completely uphill into the plaza. The course was really REALLY nice for the most part. This is the first 5K where I actually had all the room around me that I wanted. I never felt crowded, I don’t remember having to weave very much. It was nice for a change not having to spend the entire 3.1 miles irritated at everyone around me. I fell into my groove very comfortably. I had my Garmin on, but only to keep my minute ratios in check. I didn’t obsess over pace. At one point I looked down to check my minutes and saw myself busting out an 8:38 pace. Whoops. But it felt comfy?
I crossed the finish line into Target plaza at 31:00 right at 3.1. So a 10:00 avg pace WITH 4-5 walk breaks (I lost count). This means I was definitely running strong. Obviously not my best time by any means. I haven’t not sub-30′d a 5K in over a year and a half, but time doesn’t mean a thing right now; being able to run does.
As we crossed the finish line, we were greeted by high 5′s by the mascots. As we turned the corner, the MN Twins pitchers were on hand to put our medals around our necks. How fun is that?!?!?
My hubby was in the parking ramp stalking me on our “Find Friends” iPhone app that allows him to see my location. He projected a 34:00ish minute finish time for me, so he almost missed me at the finish and ended up having to haul butt down to Target Field because I clearly ran a lot stronger than we had both expected. I apparently “showed up on 7th street on his phone way too early.” Not too early in my opinion!!! ;-)
I’m so thankful for all the hard work my man put in this summer to attempt running as a means to understand me better. While it didn’t pan out for him to complete his race, I am just amazed that he even tried. Even more importantly, I’m glad he got out of his sick-bed at 6:30 that morning to come watch me run. Again.
While standing there eating a banana, there was a huge roar of the crowd at the finish line and a horde of people started moving in one direction. It became very obvious that someone who is “kinda a big deal” just showed up. We made our way to the crowd and happened to get about 1 foot away from this guy. Joe Mauer.
I never ever thought I’d get that close to any Twins player, let alone Joe Mauer. It was so nice of him to make an appearance and he was so gracious about taking a million pictures and signing a ton of autographs. He was there for about 30 minutes before they whisked him away to get ready for Sunday’s game.
We hung out listening to some music for a bit and watching the crowd. I flagged down Glen Perkins (the pitcher who put on the whole race) and he signed my medal.
The obsession continued with Goldy the MN Golden Gopher.
Not gonna lie, though I was pooped out after running 3.1 miles. Not sure how I’m going to handle another half marathon in a couple of months, but we will get there and I will do it right again. I just crashed immediately after the above picture. Take me home!
Obviously this day wasn’t supposed to be for me, but for my husband. And while it didn’t end up quite the way we wanted it to, I am thankful that for my birthday, God gave me the opportunity to run and experience my greatest passion again. 2 months ago I could barely walk and for 5 weeks I was in a boot. I spent countless hours spinning my legs off on a stationary bike. 2 weeks later I ran a race and ran it well. God is too good to me.
I have a few races I’m doing in the next couple of months, but they will all be fun runs with friends with no intentions of actually training for them. I’m looking forward to just getting back out there with my buddies.