Yesterday morning I woke up and ran the 20th anniversary of the Tallmadge Memorial 5K. I’ve done this race several times in the past (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012). I believe when I first started running it was “small” enough where everyone started at the same time. For the past several years they’ve done a special “women’s only” early start. Woman may opt to start later, but their qualifications for awards change. Back in the day we were given t-shirts and another year weird tech shirts. One year I missed or skipped and they were given tanks which I am STILL sour I missed. Last year we were given lightweight jackets (I LOVE mine) and this year, we were given jackets again, but of a heavier nature. I apologize for the poor quality of the picture. It looked nice at first, I swear!
I am proud to say I woke up on time and arrived on site on time too. Which is saying A FREAKING LOT because the women’s early start was at 7:30! Yep, I was there by 7:00 on a holiday, can you even estimate when I woke up? Well, don’t. It worked for me though, because some people were given shirts instead of jackets and since I was early enough I was not stuck with a shirt. Shirts are great, don’t get me wrong, but I have plenty. Given the early start most people were a little in zombie zone at first and milled about. I went back to my car to finish charging my music and do a lil social media check-in. Then it was to the starting line and preparing for the fun. My body felt good and so did my spirits, even if I knew I was running on tired legs, given I attended a Zumbathon on Saturday. If you missed the Facebook posts, I attended my normal Saturday Zumba (1 hour) then went 2 hours later to a benefit for Relay for Life, where I danced for another 2 hours. 3 hours later I was sore-sore-happy-sore. I also gave away some Aquaphor.
Back to the race. The starting gun or whatever went off and I started to run. I had lined up mid pack, but found myself moving forward again and again and again. I knew the beginning was slightly up hill and I tried not to go out too hard. I felt like I was pushing, but not pushing too hard. The course is essentially out on a main road for about 1/2 a mile, then you turn right into a residential section and make it to marker 1. Up that aspect until maybe mile 1.5, turn around in the residential section and exit turning left onto the first main road. Instead of returning you take a right into another residential section, crossing marker 2. Down a slight hill before making two lefts and encountering a slow and steady hill. This is the hill I always hear first year runners complain about after the fact. Considering some years this race has been super hot and humid, it WILL get you if you’re not ready. At the top it’s another right onto the main road and all the way back to the finish!
I made it to mile one around 9:30. I could not freaking believe my eyes. Of course my body hates me (not really) and I started battling stomach issues immediately after this accomplishment Not wanting to ship my pants (Love ya Kmart) I slowed up my pace and walked a little. I picked it back up, fighting the unpleasant urge for at least another mile. My stomach let up after the massive hill, but honestly what was the point? I didn’t give up, but I was slightly angry. I pushed it into the end though with a smile on my face. After all I was representing Team Aquaphor and I was proud!
I finished about a minute slower than last year, but ya know what? I also finished pain free and having fun! I’m carrying more weight on me right now than I have my entire running career and I’m still making decent time. That has to count for something, right?
Afterward I went to my car to gather samples and picture taking devices and mingled with some friends. I ran in Elizabeth from my Grunt Girls team. Niall, a long standing running buddy, and Janice, one of my original racing buddies (from my triathlon days) and an amazing woman who walked the race on a broken femur! No for real she did. She’s due for surgery in a few days so she figured “What harm could I do?”. Amazing!
I also loved watching the men start, and of course after the men’s start there was a special Marine’s start. Have to remember it wasn’t all about the BBQs yesterday.
How did you spend YOUR Memorial Day? Have you started the Runner’s World Run Streak? 1 mile a day from Memorial to 4th of July? I’ve never done a streak before, but I figured now is as good of a time as any to give it a go.