Angela and I decided to jump into a 5K at the Cooper River this morning. The weekend forecast was finally warm and not rainy, so we had no excuse not to. I was excited to work out with Angela, since the last time we raced together was the Haddonfield Adrenaline Run, back in March.
This 5K was put on by The Childhood RND Educational Foundation, which promotes awareness for pediatric amplified pain syndromes. The race was extremely well organized and well attended by local runners, doctors, and patients of CHOP. There was ample water and a DJ playing some of my favorite Justin Bieber beats.
I woke up around 8:40AM and did not want to get out of bed. Angela texted to tell me the race had beautiful t-shirts, which motivated me to throw on my running gear and head over to the Cooper River. The t-shirts were beautiful! Everything at this race was purple-themed, which was a nice touch.
Angela and I jogged a one-mile warmup together and agreed our legs felt like lead. It was about 80 degrees and 70% humidity, so there was a touch of soup in the air.
I’d done a 6-mile shakeout the night before and felt great. Something I learned from skating: If you feel great during the warmup, you’ll probably feel like crap during the competition.
I wasn’t really expecting much out of this race, other than a workout. Which is just fine by me. Summer running is for building base and learning how to keep your cool in the intense heat. I don’t anticipate any PRs during the summer months, but I do look forward to becoming more resilient (and tan).
Anyway, I figured Angela and I would lead the race once everyone lined up at the start. Sure enough, we found ourselves in 1st and 2nd place overall after the first quarter mile, and we stayed that way through the rest of the race. I spent the first mile going out way. too. fast. 6:10 is not a realistic first mile at my current fitness level. It was so exciting to be the race leaders (and beating all the boys), that I got a little carried away.
While I was running, I noticed a few signs with inspirational quotes decorating the course. I didn’t have time to read any of them all the way through, but even small fragments like “Every time you want to give up…” and “Pain is fleeting…” really spurred me on. I hit my second split in 6:32. I was on track for a PR, but dying a slow death.
My last mile felt like a shuffle and seemed to last forever. I’ve raced the Cooper River loop many times and I know the course is long (3.15 miles), which fact doesn’t help when I’m in the final stretch and trying not to cut myself any slack. I hit my 3rd split in 6:47.
I could hear Angela cheering right behind me in the finish chute, which made me so happy. I love my running friends because they’re competitive and supportive at the same time.
When I reached the finish line, there was actual tape to break! I’ve been the overall winner at a 5K , but I’d never gotten to break tape before. I threw my hands up like you’re supposed to and promptly forgot to stop my Garmin.
I finished the race around 20:20 (unofficial), which is a pretty good time for a long course on a hot and humid morning. (My Garmin says I ran 20:09.)
Angela and I chugged some water and jogged an easy mile cool down. It was a treat to catch up on running and life in general.
We received two beautiful purple trophies for our effort. We took a picture with the third place lady, because she was awesome.
I’m happy I raced today. I’ve been cutting back on mileage a bit and focusing on running faster tempo workouts. I’m back to doing mid-week hill workouts with the Haddonfield Running Co. group this summer. They always whip me into really good shape, so I’m excited to see where my fitness is in the fall.
Questions for the Internets:
Did you race this weekend? How did it go?
Do you ever run in a group?
How often do you switch up your training?