I feel like I’ve done a handful of races as of recent on the “I’m not racing, I’m just here to have fun!”-mentality.
For the Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em 5K, it was no different. I knew I would be doing (the rest of) my long run after the race so I wasn’t going to go crazy. (Marathon training stops for no one!) Joanna said she would stay back with me too so we decided we would just take it in stride, go with the flow.
We just ran on our love for running and had fun with it.
There were signs at the race start that “designated” where runners should line up based on pace. The 8:00 minute-pace and slower people were considered “joggers” based on the race signs. I told Joanna I didn’t want to be known as a jogger so we nudged our way to just before the 8:00 minute sign so we could be considered as “runners.”
The crowd of runners were decked out in red and pink. Some in costumes, others standing side by side with their significant others. It was February 14th, after all.
We were in our normal race clothes and with each other. (Our boyfriends were sleeping and/or coaching ultimate).
When the race started, there was a mad dash but the mass of runners around us didn’t clear out. This was just one loop around Green Lake so there was a limited amount of space. We didn’t panic. We didn’t freak out. Because, we were just there for fun.
We chatted as we ran the first mile. We passed a few people but maintained a comfortable pace. The first mile we clocked in around 7:40.
During the second mile, we ran mostly on the marked off street rather than the lake trail and bit by bit started picking off other runners. We were still talking, but a little less now. Because we were picking up the pace, a little. I felt great though.
As we continued into the third mile, I started to feel a bit fatigued. My body was working harder. I told Joanna she could break away and sprint to the finish if she wanted to. But, she stayed with me. (I guess it you’ve been friends for +15 years, you won’t leave the other on a fun run!)
I felt all good and well until about the last 800 meters of the race. But, in true Kristin form, I gathered all I had for that last kick and Joanna and I, side by side, sprinted past multiple people to the finish.
And, we both clocked in at 23:13.
Not bad of a time (for me) since we were not seriously racing it. But, what I am more proud of is the fact that we got faster and faster each mile! We had negative splits! Our third mile pace was about 7:20 pace.
After the race, we found my friends Jackie and Brent, and looked around at the free giveaways from the sponsors. (Free chocolate and a rose? Thanks!)
Shannon and another friend, Jeana, met up with me at the lake and we did 7 more miles together to make up the total 10 miles we had scheduled for Eugene Marathon training.
Was I tired after all of this by the end? Yes, definitely.
But, I got through it all with the love and support of those dear to me.