Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Tale of Two Races

Saturday Morning I ran the Komen Race for the Cure 5k. This is always a special race because it was the first 5k I ran, 4 years ago. I must really love this race because I was up at 520am to get ready.

The race is held at Meredith College but it's impossible for the 1000s of people to park there, so off to PNC Arena we go. The great thing about doing the competitive race is that it starts at 7am and you can get a parking spot fairly close to the bus pick-up. Always a good thing because I lose my car. If it's not nearby, I walk around waving my key in the air clicking the lock button and hoping I hear the faint sound of the horn. Remembering landmarks, never gonna happen.

The sun was barely up when I headed to the buses.

Bus selfie. Glad to see I brought those eye bags with me.

I got off the bus and started walking towards the starting area when I ran into this awesomeness. That's Alvis. He serenaded everyone and passed out candy.  I loved that his jumpsuit was covered with jeweled ribbons. Love this guy.

Walking towards the starting line.

I was a little early so I hit up the porta potties. Another nice thing about being in the first wave? Being the first in a porta potty. No one ever wants to use those but at least no one was in there before you. No awful potty stank, I'm a fan.

While I was waiting I was thinking about the last 4 years and how so much had changed while others remain the same. I don't know, I guess a got a little nostalgic while I was waiting. Since I needed to shake it off, I took another selfie. This time with headband. So many of my running accessories are pink I usually look like a Komen poster child. This is the one day I can rock all of the pink and not look like a freak.

Before I knew it, it was time to start! Interesting fact, I start every race listening to "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns n Roses. Try it. It's the BEST way to get pumped at the beginning. I also listen to "Hearts on Fire" when running uphill. It's the song in Rocky 4 when he's running up the side of the mountain. DRAAAAGGGOOOO! Rocky 4, Best. Movie. Ever.

We took off and the first mile was AMAZING. Do you ever have that feeling like you could run for days? I don't. Not ever. Seriously, all of the stars and moons and planets have to align perfectly for me to enjoy a run and I swear they all did. For the first mile. We hit mile 1, I looked at my Garmin and it said 9:58! I haven't seen a 9 in at least a year and a half. I might have even threw up a fist pump.

Then at 1.25, the hills came. Now I can handle some hills, and I routinely run in some hilly areas but I have been staying on the relatively flat for the past few months. I swear, the last 2 miles was completely uphill. I remember the course being hilly but they added some new ones this year. As awesome and amazing as mile 1 was, mile 3 was equally as crappy.  Between the hills and humidity I finished in 34:32. Meh. I was on pace for a much better race and I'm a little disappointed.

At least when I finished, these guys were there to serenade us.

One of  the best things about this race is the sheer volume of swag to collect. It's seriously epic and I think it deserves its own blog post.

This year I had pleasure of joining the "Mindy's Angels" Team. Mindy is a great friend, fellow KD and 3 time breast cancer survivor. After my run I stopped by the survivors tent to chat with hear while she waited for the rest of the team to arrive.

Regardless of the hills, it was still a fantastic race and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to race it again. I did just realize that my race schedule is completely empty. Hmmm, might have to remedy that.

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