Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Reston, VA Firecracker 5k

First, let me start with what I woke up to this morning:

What this means at my 5'5" frame is I am now no longer obese but "just" overweight.  This is a LONG time coming and I'm so happy.  In 9.2 lbs I'll be at 100 lbs lost since September 2011.

I want to start by apologizing for the crappy pictures.  Since my husband was running this race we had no photographer so everything is done with my crappy phone!

Ok back to the race.  This morning my husband and I (with our daughter in the jogging stroller) drove to Reston, VA for the Firecracker 5k.  I ran my first 5k at 8 weeks post-op.  If you need a refresher on how that went you can find it here. I was still well over 200 lbs and just barely broke the 15 min/mile mark which was my goal.  Fast forward to today.  I had two goals this time; 1) run the entire thing, and 2) do it in under a 12 min/mile pace.  I've been running an entire 5k regularly for a fair few weeks now so  I knew that number one was a given but up until today I haven't run faster than a 12:15 practice and that was on a treadmill where controlling my pace was easier.

Before we get to the finish and pace I'll give you a rundown on how the race was handled.  I went and picked up our packets yesterday.  They did a cool thing, if you picked up your packet the day before you also got a pint glass with your tec shirt.  I guess it was to keep lines down on the day.  I'm always happy to have another pint glass so I made the 35 mile trip yesterday.  Potomac River Running is a great little running store and the staff was helpful.  Packet pick-up went off without a hitch.  I do wish they would have given me a pint glass for my husband as there was no way he could get there but oh well I understand why they did it that way.

We left the house at 0630 expecting an hour drive but there was no traffic so we got there just a little after 0700.  The nice thing about going the day before is I had some sort of a clue of where we were going as Reston, VA is not somewhere we've ever gone before.  For once there were plenty of port-a-potties and no lines.  They had a beautiful courtyard that looked like this:

Here's the happy family waiting to start:

What you can't tell there is my husband is sick as a dog.  Pretty sure he has walking pneumonia but no matter how much I told him he shouldn't run, he wanted to do it anyway!  He's wearing the male tec shirt and the female one was red.  Really nice quality shirts.

The race was well run.  It started at exactly 8am, which apparently took the cops on the course by surprise! Because of the stroller we started at the back but quickly made up ground.  The stroller really made maneuvering difficult and before the crowd started to separate a bit it was rough going to move past people. There were over 1,700 people in the race and honestly one lane of traffic just wasn't enough.  I'm not worried about placing or anything now but if I was that may have been frustrating.  We were solidly in a pack the entire way and it didn't look any better in front of us.

They had a photographer right before the finish and this is her shot of me.  I always think I'm looking great then I see the picture and realize I look like I might keel over at any moment.  I didn't really feel like that though!

And the finish line from the other end:

After getting the results I can see that this is a race than many "real" runners do.  The fastest time came in at 14:41!  I looked at some other race results run by this company and that is a good deal faster than any of the other overall winners.  Being a 30-34 female it's a tough group.  I ran the race in 34:44 (a 10:44 min/mile thank you very much) over 10 minutes FASTER than my last race and it still put me at the bottom of the barrel.  I was #132 out of 163 30-34 females and #709 out of 955 females.  Still at the last race I was second to last in a much smaller field so I'm happy.  I don't think I'll ever be competitive but I can compete against myself and as long as I improve I'm a happy camper!

After the race there was free water, bananas and banana muffins.  I didn't partake in anything but a half of a banana and I'd brought G2 to drink.  They had a band playing, and free massages and other cool stuff going on.  Unfortunately, my husband (who was/is very sick) was having trouble breathing so we had to get him away from people and lying down.  We did stay for the 100m dash for the kids.  It's how we bribed our daughter to actually get in the stroller for the race.  Here she is (you can see my big butt in front of her)

And here she is with her medal!

All in all PR did a great job with the race.  I would definitely do another one with them and I'm thinking of signing up for a 10k with them in Sep. just to have a little better idea of how a longer race will feel before the Army Ten Miler.  Right now after this race I really do feel like my goal of a 12 min/mile pace for the 10 miler is completely doable!

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