I participated in the Mission Run 5k in Manhattan, IL this past Saturday. The run was put on by Derek's sister Andrea and was for a good cause so I decided to sign up.
I wasn't planning on trying to PR this 5k for a couple reasons:
- I am no where near in "race" shape
- It's between the Chicago Marathon and the Ultra (one week before the Ultra)
The race was small and we were able to pick up our packets race morning and wait inside St. Joseph's. The weather was about 50+ degrees and I kept debating on wearing a long sleeve under a short sleeve, or just the short sleeve (I kept changing in the car!). In the end I decided on the long sleeve under my FNRC short sleeve shirt. In hindsight...I should have just worn the short sleeve but I'm not quite used to this weather yet.
We met up with some more of Derek's family while waiting for the race to start. His sister and brother-in-law (Andrea and Joe) were inside organizing everything and getting ready. His brother Craig was running it, his nephew Adrian was running, and his mother Nancy was walking.
Knowing it was a smaller race, I started sizing up the competition..."I wonder if she's in my age group?" That kind of thing. Even though I technically wasn't racing, I've never gotten an age group award and this would be the kind of run that I may actually be in contention (small, not super competitive). I then found out that my age group (30-39) was the largest in the competition. Great. There probably go my chances!
We started and Derek and I split up immediately. My garmin didn't catch signal for almost a mile and I had no idea what pace I was running at first. Derek's brother was way ahead right from the beginning. Funny thing is, both Derek and I thought that he would probably slow up later because he has never done a 5k, and really is kind of a beginner runner (he runs on the treadmill but did participate in the St. Jude run earlier this year)....he had on a cotton t-shirt, you know... :)
I realized close to the beginning that I was running too fast, based on my breathing and slowed it up a bit (again, unsure what pace I was actually running). Originally I had wanted to be about a 9:00 min/mile pace for the overall average. Near mile 2, my watch decided to catch signal and I turned it on. I started talking to a woman but then passed her up... (yes, I was passing people for a change! So unlike me! Haha!). I ran a little with someone else in the second or 3rd mile but passed her too! (Smile).
My breathing was definitely off for this race but since I haven't run "fast" in a while with all these marathons...I understand why. Also, the amount of gross food (aka donuts), I've been eating at work this past week were really catching up to me! I wanted to walk but decided to just hold on and try to keep my pace. My second mile registered at 8:58 and the 3rd registered at 9:02 or so.
While running, I noticed that while Derek was a pretty good distance ahead of me, I could always see him. During mile 2 & 3, I noticed his pace must have been slowing up because I started catching up to him... although just a bit. But those bits added up and before I knew it, close to the end of the race, I caught up to him. Seeing him and trying possibly catch up to him motivated me to keep my pace during the race. I caught up to him and said "Hi babe!!" I think he may have been surprised to see me! We ran for a minute and I noticed my shoe came untied. I was close to the finish, guessing only about 0.2 miles away. I decided to run through because the finish was close and I didn't want to stop.
When we saw the finish line cones, Derek (being Derek) said "Good luck babe!" and took off sprinting. Me, not being a sprinter at all and really feeling like I could die,decided to let him have his finish and beat me as I just kept my steady pace to the finish line. The clock read somewhere past 27:30-ish. I just didn't pay attention.
Derek's brother Craig finished in 22:31 minutes!!!!!!!!! What??????? Ok, yes were were surprised and so was he. For a newbie 5k runner, wearing a cotton shirt (and almost wearing his sweatshirt and sweatpants before talking to Derek), he did fantastic!!
Craig: 22:31 - 1st in age group 30-39
Derek: 27:31 - 1st in age group 20-29
Amanda: 27:47 - 3rd in age group 30-39
Adrian: ran/walk with friends
Nancy (Mom): finished 3rd in 40+ age group walkers
All in all...we were a bunch of winners with the Taylor family (and me...the girlfriend) taking home some medals! This was my first age group award in a run (I received a 2nd place age group award in my small sprint triathlon I participated in in 2012). It wasn't a PR 5k for me but I wasn't going for that anyway. I was happy with my little 3rd place medal!
I really enjoyed running this 5k. It was a nice, small, local 5k. The course was nice and they had 2 water stations. It's definitely a "to-do" race in the future.
Next up: Lakefront Chicago Ultra 50k.
Please help me...