Warning- This is an uncessarily long blog. The quick summary is -I got a PR in 90+ degree weather, pushing a stroller an I'm totally stoked about it.
Admittedly, I had some hesitation about this morning's race. My husband is out of town which meant that I would have to push Max in the stroller. I hate pushing the stroller. I always make Brett do it when we run together. I can't tell you the last time I pushed the stoller on a run for more than a block or two. Plus, the process of trying to get Max up and ready to leave the house is a big enough pain.
Second, it's hot here. And disgustingly humid. The race didn't start until 8 which is about the time the temp hits 90. (It was 97 yesterday, for reference).
Third, I had a late night last night. A friend who I haven't seen in two years was in town, so I got a babysitter and joined my group of friends meeting up with him a local bar. I only had one light beer, early in the night and sucked water for the next 2 hours, but I got home at 10:15. Normally I am passed out by 9:30. By the time I finally got settled into bed it was 11....and then Max started fussing. Luckily, all it took was a blanket and a head rub and he went back down but I couldn't fall back asleep.
So, the conditions weren't ideal but I was going anyway. My goal was just to run. No time goal. No hopes of a PR. Just get out there, burn some calories and be inspired by other runners. The race was put on by the hospital where I work so I knew it would be fun and well organized. I knew it would be when I picked up the race packet the day before and saw that the shirts were actually tech tee's. Wooohoo! There was also some decent swag which for here, is great. Normally all you get is fliers for future races!
When I got to my race I saw two women from my HM group but I didn't want to run with them. I was a bit pissy because Max was being a pill from the moment he woke up (at 5:30, ugh) so I wasn't in the mood for chatting while I ran. We did exchange pleasantries and I also chatted it up with a few co-workers who were working the race festivities. I even took a picture of my running coach who was less cranky once all my co-workers starting oohhing and ahhing all over his cuteness!
The race start was anti-climatic because it was about a block away from where we were congregated (and the sound system). There was no national anthem or announcer getting everyone riled up. Just a guy will a bullhorn that I couldn't hear. I was actually surprised when the horn blew and started the race. I'm used to a little more ceremony.
I started towards the back since I had the stoller and but luckily it wasn't too congested. Immediately my right hip started a dull ache which led to mild knee and ankle pain. Pain isn't even the right word. Just an annoyance. I was reading that might have weak hip muscles which can cause other pain, so I am going to start adding some hip exercises. If that doesn't work I'll need to suck it up and find a sports medicine doc. Ugh. I hate doctors.
Anywho. Back to the race.
Within the first half mile the crowd started to thin and was near the group that I ended up being around for the majority of the race. I stuck to the 2:1 intervals, though at one point, I was trying to get ahead of a small group that was taking up most of the road, so I ran through one of my walks so I wouldn't keep passing/being passed. Once I did that I didn't have to do too much weaving. With the stroller I prefer a lot of space.
The route was in a beautiful part of town on the water so there were great views. Unfortunately the roads weren't very smooth was I was mostly looking at the ground ahead of me so I wouldn't trip. I was also keeping an eye on Max who was fussing on and off. Pushing the stroller wasn't as terrible as I thought and it was nice to have someone to "lalk" to. I kept telling him "We got this Max" and "Almost there buddy" which actually was just encouragement to myself!
At the water station I only drank a sip or two and splashed the rest in my face. Surprisingly, that helped big time. When we hit the two mile mark was I was a bit disheartened because it felt like I had been running much farther. I mean, I've done 8 miles before and felt better than I did at that point. The heat was a factor. Around that time, Max and I started passing/being passed by a super cute old man. He was at least 75 and kicking ass. He commented on how he was the oldest participant and Max was the youngest and kept cheering Max on. Talking with him kept me occupied and the last mile wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.
As we rounded the last bend, with less than a half mile left, I checked my time. I was shocked to see that I was making great time. I totally thought I had already passed my PR of 36:31. That inspired me and I kicked it up, running through my last walk. As I saw the finish I really pushed and when I saw the clock from about a block away it said 35:58. I dug deep knowing I could get under my PR. At that same time I saw a bunch of my co-workers at the finish screaming "GO LAURA! GO MAX". It was freaking awesome!! I pumped my fist in glory as Max and I went through the finish! I wasn't 100% sure that I beat my time but even if I didn't, I still did way better than I planned. I really thought this was going to be my slowest 5K ever. I pushed so hard I could barely catch my breath. It was actually scary for a second. After a swig of water, I was fine.
The post race party was also pretty awesome. Pizza, subs, pastries, fruit, water, soda and most importantly FREE BEER! I love running because it's totally acceptable to have a beer before 9AM! I grabbed a small slice of pizza and some fruit. I wanted a cookie but I decided to be good since I wasn't about to turn down free beer.
While Max chowed on some watermelon I sipped my beer and talked to a few co-workers. Two people stopped me and complemented me on running while pushing the kid. That did stoke my ego a bit! :-) I also grabbed a towel soaked in ice and put in on my head. It was bliss. I stuck around long enough to see the results posted. My chip time was 36:04! I DID IT! I BEAT MY TIME! IN THE HEAT. PUSHING A STROLLER!
Hell. yes. I rock.
Thanks to everyone from the Gallowway Team who stopped by my page and wished me luck. I thought of all of you when I was digging hard at the end.