Finally, a race where my two worlds collide! After convincing my sister to start running, she agreed that a 5k has a possibility of being a good fundraiser for our team. My sister is the head coach of the Copley Speech and Debate team so yes, it's a very big family affair. Like most cocurricular activities at Copley, we are not given money from the district, but raise our own funds throughout the year. This past year, a few of the bigger programs opted not to attend our tournament, and we were hurting a bit financially. We tossed the idea around a bit of having a 5k, but I was a bit scared of the undertaking, particularly of the potential liabilities. My sister, however, took the bull by the horns and did an absolutely amazing job. She has absolutely no qualms about going door to door at local businesses to ask for donations or help with the event. She was able to obtain substantial support from local businesses. Heck, she did such a good job that we contemplated not even having the race, but we did manage to get 41 people to sign up for the event, and to be honest, a few very strong runners made the small field pretty competitive, despite some pretty cold and wet conditions.
Now, the race morning itself was pretty hectic. First of all, I had many friends come down and support the race, and I felt it necessary to greet them all. There were a few that I hadn't seen in a while, others who I just love to bug every chance I get. I really appreciated the support. While greeting people, I still had to organize the volunteers/students, straighten out the course with the timing company, then drop off volunteers along the course and at the water stop. Since it was cold, I made these drop offs as close to the race start as possible. When I got back, I made a mad dash to get ready for the race. As I went to put on my running shoes, I noticed that they had no inserts. I had forgotten that I had taken them out for some reason and needed to get my other shoes. I ran back to my car, gathered my old running shoes and started the panic that I wasn’t going to be there when the gun went off. I went to the bathroom, got my water bottle, and nearly gave up on taking my phone with me, but managed to find it and the headphones just in time to get to the start of the race.
Because it was cold, my sister opted to start the race early. I had given the kids at the mile markers explicit instructions to start exactly at 9 so I was kind of like “dang it” when the horn went off. It was kind of startling and one of those, I wasn’t ready so I felt rushed to get on the course and that rush didn’t subside until the race was over.
I started the race feeling that same rush that I had been feeling for the 20 minutes before the race. The course was a simple down and back on a business parkway that is directly across from the gym where I and many others run throughout the week. It's also pretty flat so feeling how fast I started, I knew I had the potential for a relatively fast 5k.
Just a sidenote: I have been running once a week for probably the last three months. I usually run somewhere between 5 to 8 miles, but my focus is almost completely on cycling.
When I got to the first mile marker (student), I looked at my watch and listened to the times he was saying and told him to add 2.5 minutes.
Mile 1 split: 8:09
As I continued down the way, I ran to the girl at the second mile marker on the other side of the street to add 2.5 minutes to her time as well. On my way to the turn around, I saw a good friend Steve in the lead followed shortly after by a couple of teammates.
Side note #2: If you have ever done the Akron marathon, you know that the first couple of miles are out and back on teh Y-Bridge. It's pretty cool as it's the only opportunity really that you can see the people actually racing the marathon. Almost every time I have done the Akron marathon, the first person I saw who I knew at the front of the race has been Steve. He's that fast.
I also saw that I was the 2nd overall female. Knowing that the woman ahead of me is a good runner, coworker of my sister’s, and the wife of one of my favorite trainers at physical therapy, I felt like I knew there was no way I was going to move up in the standings. Let’s be honest, being 2nd overall is still pretty shocking, even in a small field.
At the water stop was my nephew and a couple of my debaters, I tried to say hi, but I was easily in Z5 and didn't have much oxygen to spare. As I made the turn, I saw Mentor nipping at my heels. I had an instant flashback to 2011. A week before Ironman
Wisconsin, he and I did a 5 mile run up at . It was miserably humid and hot that morning, and I crashed and burned, finishing a minute or two after him. Every time I contemplated letting up on the pace, I imagined him passing me, and I continued to push. Crocker Park
Mile 2 split: 8:18
At that point, the mile 2 is kind of down hill and had a significant tailwind so my pushing too hard at the beginning of the race was compensated by having an easier second half.
Mile 3 split: 8:25
.1 split (actually says .13) 1:02
Total: 25:57 (25:54 on my watch). I ended up 2nd overall with my 2nd fastest (I think) 5k of my life. I equate the faster 5k with a few things: having better fitness through cycling and being about 10lbs lighter, thanks mainly to my skin removal.
Most people hung out after the race as we had a TON of food: a party sub from Subway, cookies from a local bakery, bagels from Brueggers, donuts from Leaches, and food left over from our tournament this past year. Nearly everyone there said it was one of the best organized and best fed races they have attended. Almost everyone there got their money's worth: a gift card, post-race food, and a coupon from Brueggers.
The best part was that our team raised close to $1,000, which is a huge benefit for this coming year in terms of being able to compete. Not the best part: I won a gift card for my placement, but when I went to leave, it was nowhere to be found. I couldn't believe someone would steal it. But then, as I was chatting with people, I caught a glance from one of the kids I coach and just knew that the little punks had taken it. After about 5 minutes of "give me the gift card" they finally fessed up. It'a amazing, the same kid who got me on April Fools Day got me again (along with his co-conspirator). When did I become so gullible?