I had the BEST holiday weekend! My husband said he wanted to have an EPIC weekend. I asked him what he meant by that and he said he did not know yet but its going to happen. Did he? I am not sure but I have to say, for me anyway, it was action packed! Normally, Memorial Day weekend consisted of the parade ( because Allyson was in marching band ) and then picnics on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a whole lot of sitting and eating. This year though, I ran a 5K this past Saturday with running buddies, Kiel and Jen called the Doylestown 5K. It is a part of the Bucks 5K Series which is a set of seven races from March through June all over Bucks County, PA. I could not think of a better way to unofficially kicking off summer for me!
On Friday night, I managed to get a really good night sleep. I was not anxious or nervous. I had the one great run earlier in the week and I was feeling good. I had my outfit and gear packed and ready for Saturday morning. I woke up at 6:00AM giving myself plenty of time to eat, hydrate and allow for travel time ( approx 30 minutes ). As I was eating, I was starting to get nervous. Not about the race but about parking! Most of you have never been to Doylestown so let me give you an image: it’s a quaint small old town with lots of shopping, dining, narrow streets and a lot of them are one way. I am getting more comfortable with driving around but I still get lost. My husband always drives. The head count for the race was estimated at around 800 people (which to me is a MOB) and so I could not imagine where ALL THESE PEOPLE where going to park! It was time to leave to meet up with my friends. When I got to town, I was relieved to see absolutely no traffic and the parking garage was empty! It was an hour before race time but still… Where was everyone? Did I mention that I have no concept of what 800 people actually looks like? I am really bad at judging that type of thing. The “guess the jelly beans in the jar” game was never my forte. LOL It was actually only 647 people. I really was worried for no reason. There was plenty of parking and even the parking by the start has spaces open by the time the street was closed off.
I was really happy to have my Urban Running Girl shrug with me. This is one of my favorite articles of tech gear I own. It was perfect for the cool breeze that was blowing in the morning, very easy to pull off over my head while running and not bulky tied around my waist. I actually wear this a lot when I am not working out too. I would love to get more colors!
Anyway, back to the race…. I lined up at the back of the 10+ pace because I did not want to get trampled at the start. I average 12:00/mi anyway so this was good. I do like to walk when I first start off but everyone else just sort of carried me into a jog when the gun went off. There were race volunteers stationed at every corner to cheer you on. The race website had mentioned a spirit contest for the houses along the route to decorate, play music… make it a fun atmosphere. Because of this, I did not bring my earphones to the start. I wish I did because there was nothing like that short of a few people out on their driveways. Those who did come out were super nice and their encouragement was greatly appreciated! I stuck to my game plan of not stressing over the numbers ( I kept my GPS off). I did have to argue with the negative talk in my head a few times.
Some of it went like this: “My friends are so far ahead of me!” “Who cares?! This is your race. You are not competing against anyone but yourself.” “I am going so slow.” “You are not last, keep it up! Everyone else is just super fast!” “Man this mile sucks. You want to do a 10K and you can’t even do this without wanting to die?” “Marcia Marcia Marcia”
See music would have helped. I was so excited however to see my time at the 1mile marker to be 11:11! I was actually faster then I had thought!
Music would also have helped on the hills. There is no such thing as a flat road around here and Doylestown is no exception. It was mostly gradual inclines which is no big deal. But there was one mother of a hill during the 2nd mile. After the turn around, this hill seamed to tripple in size now that I had to go up it! This is the point that I started to feel more comfortable, the aches in my calves were subsiding and I wasn’t mentally battling myself any more. Now I just wanted to finish. I pushed up the hill refusing to walk the whole thing. By the time I got to the turn to bring it in to the home stretch, there were more volunteers cheering me on. There was one that really stood out – a young boy, maybe 12. I had just stopped to walk ( my legs were feeling like lead again ). He said, “Are you tired? Don’t stop now! You are SO close!!”. I picked up my pace and heard my current time from a volunteer 35:06. I am so close! At this point, I was not going walking anymore. I know I said I was not going to worry about time, but I know I would be so disappointed if I did worse then a training run. I felt like I was running at snail pace as I saw the finish line in sight. Then something crazy happened! I heard the music, the people cheering, shouting for me to keep going…. and like magic, as if some invisible force took cover my legs and I was flying down the street. I remember thinking, ” Holy crap legs! Where was all this speed a mile back?” I was not out of breath, I did not ache, I had a big smile on my face and I saw the clock as I hit the first finishing mat say 38:08. Then I stopped before running someone over, grabbed a water, felt dizzy and forced back a dry heave – LOL I PR’d by 9 seconds.
What about my friends? Kiel PR’d by 3 minutes finishing a minute before me. Jen PR’d by 4 minutes and finished a minute after me. After we all met up again, we decided to get some grub and free beer! The party at the end of the race was great. Planet Smoothie was there handing out small treats- all dairy free so thank you for that! There was also waterice, bananas, orange slices and cookies! After hanging out for a bit, we headed over to Chambers 19 for our free beers and some grub.
Over all, this was a great race and I would do it again next year (even though there is no bling – Boo). I thought it was very well organized from sign up, finishing and receiving the Racewire text and emails at the end. Plus, everyone was so nice! My friends and I had fun hanging out. It really was a perfect way to unofficially start my summer!
What about you? Did you race this weekend? Did you find it hard to transition from a 5K to a 10K?