Oh man, because I delay on recaps, everything I write here seems to be at least 1 month late! Well, for some old news, here’s how a local 10k I didn’t know I signed up for up went: I took the W.
At the end of April, the Alameda Hospital Foundation hosted a 5k, 10k, and children’s 3/4 mile running event in the Bay Farm area of Alameda to raise funds for the hospital system on the island.
When I signed up for the race months ago, I thought I was signing up my son for the 3/4 mile race, his second since the Holiday Run last November. About a month prior to the event he was game for going on rides on his tricycle and running/walking around in 10 to 15 second intervals to train for his race with the “big kids”. The week leading up, however, he lost all of his enthusiasm. I’m not quite sure what happened there, but I chalked it up to legendary toddler moods and whims.
A couple of days before the race, however, I realized that I didn’t actually sign my son up. I had signed myself up. See, RunSignUp had all of our old Boston information saved by default, and it was kind of a pain of the ass to change if you were in the middle of registration as I was. I believe in my haste to change the information, it defaulted to select me as the athlete, and erased my son’s information from the registration process. I didn’t bother to check the confirmation until months later, and just a couple of days before the race. It wasn’t the worst thing as D no longer wanted to run with the big kids.
When I arrived the morning of, I felt pretty terrible. Not because of nerves. Mostly because my stomach was doing its hey-hormones-let’s-stir-some-sh*t-up dance. I grabbed my bib and beelined for the restroom like 3 times. I washed out my mouth as best I could with other runners in the bathroom, and hustled back to my car to find some gum to mask my vomit-breath. I didn’t find gum, but I did find lipstick. So I put on some lipstick for a morale booster and headed back out to see my teammates gathering to cheer and warm up for the 5k near the start.
Because the 10k starts before the 5k, I had time for 1 very quick snap, courtesy of my father-in-law. I dry-heaved a bit, but my mother-in-law came to the rescue with some gum. Feeling minty-fresh, I went to the start where a small crowd had gathered and some nervous local high school track and xc studs stood right behind the line. I sidled up right beside them and mentally set my sights on not letting a single one of them pass me. I thought, I may be a tired and pukey mess, but I’ve got pride dammit. I really just needed a goal for a race I was basically jumping into.
The stretch of Alameda we were on is just about always very windy no matter what direction you go, since the pathway is right by the water and in a part of the island where it juts right out towards the Bay. From the moment the race started, I told myself to stay relaxed and to run tall as possible, and to keep the breathing and heart rate down. Given that Boston was barely 2 weeks prior, the gusts of wind – though not nearly as strong – brought back a little bit of apprehension. I tried not to think about the wind, and focused on breathing instead. After Boston, my heart rate hadn’t been spiking oddly as much as long as I could keep my breathing controlled.
I stayed ahead of the group of teens and tailed two men the entire race. I had been vaguely worried that their bodies would feel fresher than mine. I didn’t think I could catch the leaders, and ultimately didn’t. However, at the 3.1 mile turnaround I felt strong despite running right into the wind again. At less than two miles to go, I saw the 5k runners on the path, and caught as many high fives from my teammates as possible as I headed towards the finish, while also speeding up a bit to finish strong. Paces were 6:37/6:35/6:27/6:38/6:32/6:12/5:31 for a time of 39:35. Then, with the 10k out of the way, I went back to the home stretch to see my 5k teammates kick in their finishes, and cheer with D for the children pounding the pavement in their race.
It was a good impromptu effort, and I was pretty happy to head home with the win – especially considering the timing after Boston, and being about 1/3 of the way through the pregnancy. The better summary of the race was: Puke, Rally, Win. What a way to usher in the second trimester!