Saturday, May 12, 2012

Round the Rim – 5K

I have discovered that the best way for me to get motivated to run is to sign up for a race. I use the term "race" loosely as I don't really consider myself to be racing, more like I am attending an organized running event. I am just thankful for the ability to run, albeit at my tortoise-like pace.

About two weeks ago I noticed on Facebook that a friend had signed up for the Round the Rim 5K at Raccoon Mountain and I thought, "I should totally sign up for that."

In true Cheree fashion, I didn't have make time to train and before I knew it, I only had a week to get in a few runs. Not wanting to show up completely unprepared, I somehow managed to squeeze in four runs last week and then rested yesterday.

Logistically speaking, getting to this race was a bit of a challenge.

1) We live in Central time. The race was located in Eastern.
2) You have to show up 30 minutes early for this race because they close access to the rim for the safety of the runners.
3) I have a 6-month old baby. Did I mention that he is still nursing full time {i.e. I have never pumped or given him a bottle}?

Here is an overview of how we dealt with the logistics and how my run went. 

1) Daniel graciously agreed to get up at 4:50 am Central with me in order to drive me to the race. There were several reasons for him to go: He is used to getting up early for work. He could drive when I was exhausted {before and after}. He could watch Jack so I wouldn't have to push Jack in the stroller. *I actually train with Jack in the stroller, but the thought of pushing Jack up a hill that lasted for 0.4 miles was a daunting one.

2) Getting to the course by the cutoff time meant that we had to leave our house by 5:15am CST. I'm not gonna lie, this was tough.

3) Since we left so early we woke Jack up for a quick diaper change and stuck him in the car. We hoped that he could wait until Chattanooga to eat. We arrived at the starting point of the race by 7:20am EST and I nursed Jack in the car while Daniel went to find my running packet. This actually worked out really well. Jack hung out in the stroller with Daniel while I ran and then he napped when we went to eat breakfast at Cracker Barrel, post race. I had to feed him in the car one last time before heading home, but it really wasn't too difficult to make work. By the time we got home we were all ready for naps.

As for the actual run... my main goals were to 1) not walk at all and 2) to finish before the first 10K person did. I met both of these goals.

Kicking off the race was a long hill that lasted for about a half a mile with 110 ft of elevation gain. Not fun. Once we reached the top of the hill, it was a full mile of flat running on the rim. And then you finish with a downhill. It was a truly beautiful run with views of the Tennessee Valley Gorge and the Raccoon Mountain Reservoir. To top it off, the weather was perfect: cool and no humidity.

Toward the end of my race, I was getting tired when the song, Another One Bites The Dust, came on my iPod. When you are tired, this is a terrible song to listen to. It would have been different if I was passing people, but for a few minutes I felt like I was going to be the one biting the dust.

As for finishing before the 10K. I did it. Just barely. The winner of the 10K came in right behind me. But I am cool with that. I know that am a slow runner and I am just thankful to be able to get out and run a 5K, six months after giving birth.

Thank you Daniel for making today possible! For being my personal cheerleader and giving up sleep on your only day to sleep in this week!

And for letting me indulge in breakfast at Cracker Barrel after my run!

When I got home, I checked MapMyRun to see the actual distance. According to MMR, it seemed to be more like 3.5 miles instead of 3.1. All I gotta say is that the middle mile seemed kind of long to me...

My race results: gun time was 38:18 and net {real} time was 37:58.

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