Another 5k! This was my 5th of the year. That’s about as many 5k races as I’ve done in all the previous 7 or so years of running! I’ve always been a long distance runner but lately the 5k has been fun. It was a great distance to “race” while pregnant (I did that three times) and a fun way to get back into the racing scene after giving birth. This was my second 5k since becoming a mom. I set the bar pretty high that first time by winning the race! This time I had no expectations of doing that again, but did hope to knock off a good chunk from my finish time. That race was only 7 weeks after Penelope was born and she’s now over 3 months old, so I am much stronger.
I signed up for this race at the last minute, as I have done for all of these 5k races this year. And once again I also kept quiet about any plans to run. My reason for this was I wanted the chance to change my mind at the last minute! No pressure.
The Monster Moon 5k was part of a series of races held at the Reserve Golf Course the Saturday before Halloween. All three races had a Halloween Theme and all looked fun. I chose the evening race because it fit best with our schedule for the weekend (Zach had a long run that morning and we had plans for mid-day). It was weird running an evening race and I can’t say I really liked it. I didn’t like thinking about it all day! Especially when that afternoon fog hit around 2pm. Getting geared up for a race didn’t seem that appealing!
But, I rallied my energy and we made it out to the golf course. I picked up my bib and was once again impressed by the organization of an Uberthons event. This is the second race I’ve run by them and it’s top notch. Professional set up, accurate course, instant results, etc. Love it! I sat in the car and breastfed my baby, and then sucked down a Gu and headed to the start. Life of a racing mommy!
There weren’t too many people gathered for the start, but at least a few of them looked legit. And they were all dressed in fitness attire (unlike that last 5k where most people seemed to be in jeans). I had no expectations of winning, although I had been joking about it with Zach before the race. I lined up front and seemed to be the only girl with my race face on. I thought, maybe I can win after all!
The run started at 6:00 pm and it was just getting dark. They required that we wear headlamps although they weren’t really needed, but it made for a fun sight. It was lightly drizzling- a break from the heavy rain we’ve had lately. The golf course was gorgeous- lots of colorful leaves and a few spooky looking trees, plus the ponds and great expanses of grass that you see on a golf course. It was warm too, about 60 degrees. Lovely.
They rang the bell and we were off! I planned on not looking at my watch once again and just running by feel. I never thought this would work for me but I did it last time and loved it. I started off and was the only girl in the front pack so I just made it my goal to keep it that way. There were about 5-6 guys ahead of me. The first couple took off super fast and the others I was able to keep in my sight for a while. Two men passed me and I think I passed two or three guys the whole time.
The only girl I saw was on a glance behind me in the first mile. She was a ways back and was struggling to take off her outer layer. I didn’t see her again after that. The way the route wound around the golf course you could always see runners ahead and behind, so I knew no girls were catching me.
The course was fun. It was winding with lots of turns that were all well marked. The scenery was nice and there were only a few baby hills. The wind was quite stiff in the last mile but that’s the only time I noticed it. Generally a very fun run! The only bad thing was there were NO mile markers! Or at least I didn’t see them (not sure how that would have happened). I did look at my watch to check the distance a couple times, but didn’t look at my time or pace.
I was working very hard the whole time and didn’t feel the need to check my pace. I knew I couldn’t go any faster. I figured I was slowing down a bit, and I was right. But I was holding my position and that was my main goal. My stomach was cramping up a bit. Not like a side-stitch but a general gut cramp. Ugh! I just held on best I could.
Finally, I saw the club house lit up in the distance and knew it was less than a half mile away. I wasn’t really able to pick up the speed at all but that’s ok. I paused my music so I could hear the announcer- something I missed the last race. He called me through as the first place female! Yay!! I smiled and waved at Zach and Penny as I ran through the finish line.
23:10 (7:27 pace)
Mile 1: 7:04
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:49 (fade!!)
Last 0.12: 0:52 (7:15 pace)
I walked around a bit and tried not to throw up. I was beat. I kind of wish I’d ran that 10 seconds faster to break 23 minutes but I don’t think I could have. Something to shoot for next time!!
This was over a minute faster than my previous race 7 weeks ago. It’s over a minute slower than my PR, set in 2007, but a fast time for me in general. I’m very happy with it.
We hung out a bit to wait for the awards. I got a big pink ribbon and they took a picture of the top 3 women. Love these small, friendly races. We headed home, put Penny to bed, and ate a big pizza dinner. Such a fun night!
I’ll keep running shorter distances for a while but do plan on ramping up soon. A half marathon is my next big GOAL race- I’ve officially registered for the Vancouver Lake Half Marathon in January! This 5k predicts a 1:47 half marathon- I know those predictions are not 100% reliable, but that seems reasonable to me and jives with my past times. Seems like a realistic goal to me.
A couple of Pictures:
PS Here is a race report on the same event on the Run Oregon blog. I’m the runner the author mentions passing and splashing! :)