It’s been about 4 years since I ran my last 5K, and I can’t say I had any intentions of returning to the type of race where you run so hard you feel you’re going to puke. When it came to the Rockin’ Ham 5K though, there were extenuating circumstances. Chief of which were the fact that my husband was one of the race directors, and the fact that it was a fundraiser for the PTO at his school. He was really excited about the race and really proud of all the work he’d put into it, so he desperately wanted me to come and run it. I stubbornly held out on registering until the week of the race when his increasing excitement finally rubbed off on me, and I decided it would be fun to do a short race for a change.
My goal going into the race was, as usual, to win. It was a fairly small race (200-ish people), and most of the entrants were students and their families, so I figured I had a good shot. Race day was chilly and very windy. I showed up about half an hour early and ran one loop of the course (2.5K) to warm up and get an idea of what I was in for.
At the start: Peter is on the far right in yellow, and I am to his right in green. Photo by Gail Hynes.
When the race started, only one other girl went out faster than me, so I decided to tuck in behind her and wait for a chance to make a move. Most of the first half of the loop was downhill, so I enjoyed the easy speed. After that we started heading back uphill towards the start, and that’s where the lead girl started to fade. I decided the hills would be a good chance to put some distance between myself and her, so I powered through the rest of the loop imagining that she was right on my tail.
As it happens, I never saw her again, and my second loop of the course was slightly more relaxed since I didn’t have to fight for the lead (and my stomach was threatening to rebel, so that may have had something to do with the slower pace as well ). I finished triumphantly, high-fiving my husband as I entered the finish chute with a clock time of 21:07! Peter had run the race as well and finished in 5th with a time of 18:17.
This was a 5K PR for me, and it was also the first time that I’ve won a prize of monetary value!
Easter dinner: check!
One thing I’d forgotten about 5K races: it’s insane how quickly the race was run and done! I’m used to my races taking up an entire day, and this one only took about an hour, including driving time and getting there early! I didn’t quite know what to do with myself when it was over, so I went out and ran another 5 miles just for good measure.