About a month ago when I knew Kyle was coming home for a few weeks, I asked him about joining me for a 5K that I knew would be this weekend. We are both conscious of our need to get in better shape, and so while I was more eager, he begrudgingly agreed.
Then I kind of forgot about it.
Until last week when I was reminded by a work friend about the Cinco de Miles 5K — which, come on with that name! — so I re-approached Kyle, who was probably a bit more unenthusiastic than the last time. Here’s how the text conversation went:
“So you remember that 5k I was talking about a few weeks ago?”
“Well I hadn’t signed up for it and then thought about going hiking that day instead, but now it looks like it might be a little chilly on Saturday… so I was thinking we could run on Saturday and hike on Sunday.”
“How much is the 5k”
“It’s $30, but look how cool the t shirt is!”
“Babe! Do stuff with meeeee”
“Fine!!!! What time Saturday?”
“Ok yeah. Sign me up”
“There’s gonna be a mariachi band!”
“LEAD WITH THAT NEXT TIME!!!”
So, yeah. Point is, I got him to run the 5K with me.
We both actually ended up waking up way earlier than we needed to on race day, so there was no mad scramble to get ready and eat like other races we’ve done together or he’s driven me to. We both had some Ezekial toast with peanut butter and a banana about an hour and a half before the race, which was just right for me, but apparently a little too much for Kyle.
Luckily, the race was just about two miles from where we live, so we had plenty of time to get there before it started at 9 a.m. I like to get to races early in case there’s trouble parking or I need to go to the bathroom, so we got there around 8:25, easily found a parking spot and then hung around the start area for a while.
It was then I realized my pants where on inside out.
I’m 95% sure these particular pants are reversible, but I still felt weird about it, so I got in line for the bathroom and made the quick change. Absolutely no one would have noticed but me, but my opinion matters! 😉
After changing I found my work friend and we chatted for a few minutes before making our way to the start line for a guided warm up. But first we stopped to get some pictures of the mariachi band, which was Kyle’s main motivation for the day.
The warm up ended up being pretty Zumba-ish and dance-y, which is not really my thing, so I just did some of my own dynamic stretching. Good enough for me.
The start of the race was delayed about 10 minutes because apparently someone had messed with the arrows on the course and they had to fix them. I’m glad they caught it, because I was not in any shape to run any more than this 5K.
Finally we were ready to go. I was not expecting a great time during this race, and it quickly became apparent I wasn’t going to get one, which wasn’t that surprising given my sporadic running over the last several months. I decided just to enjoy the course, which was along the river in town. It was actually really pretty (I had never been down there before), which was nice because I’ve run a lot of local races that were pretty crappy in the looks department. It was also a gorgeous day in the high 40s — perfect running weather.
The course went down one side of the river and crossed over to the other side to loop back. You re-cross at the end back into the park, and here the course was lined with volunteers and onlookers who were actually pretty loud and cheered you on to the end. That was really nice, because I was just about ready to be done.
There were a couple of people around me that were stuck at a similar pace, so I focused on staying with them and possibly outrunning them at the end. There were two women about my age, and then a dad and his five-year-old son. There’s nothing more humbling than being outrun by a child, so my motivation was to get to the finish before them.
Once we turned the corner to the final stretch, I was kind of over it and told myself I wasn’t going to do my normal final sprint this time. I was already ahead of the little boy (lol), but then I saw the two other women just ahead of me, and I knew I could catch them, so I actually did turn it on. I passed one easily, but the other was a little up ahead. Once she heard me gaining on her, she tried to put on some speed, too, but by then she was apparently done and I heard her say “You got me,” just before we crossed the finish line. Small victories.
My time was pretty terrible, my worst in at least three years, I think. Kyle finished about five minutes faster than me, which is pretty standard, but I don’t think he was happy with his time, either. But we had a great time and it was good motivation to get back into a regular running habit and get back some speed. My goal this summer is to hit that sub-30 5K that’s been eluding me forever (my PR is 30:23), so it’s time to get some work in!
Overall, I’d give the Cinco de Miles 5K five out of five sombreros.
What races have you done recently?
How have you used a bad race as motivation?