I guess technically this was not her first 5K. Technically her first 5K was this same race, just last year, when I was somewheres around 10 or 11 weeks pregnant. This race was the "race that started them all" for us. I first ran it back in 2004 on a whim. A friend who lived a couple of blocks over had just started running and we had started running in the evenings with her. We decided to put our two weeks of experience to the test and found this 5K at someplace called "Shelby Park". Little did I know on that June day that it would be the first of many races, and in a few years we would only live a half a mile away from Shelby Park.
I don't have any pics of us racing from 2004, we probably didn't even have a digital camera back then! Here I am - super skinny after my first year of running - in 2005. I had just finished my my first half marathon - CMM - a couple of months earlier and thought I was big stuff! I placed in my division for the first time - I think I was either 2nd or 3rd.
Here I am in 2006. Brent must've run it that year because there's only after race pics. I had just finished my first full marathon earlier that year, and this was the first time I'd ever placed first in my division. I tore it up that year - 3 full marathons and tons of age division awards at the shorter stuff! Far and away that was my fastest year of running!
Here I am in 2007. At that point Brent had retired from running and was back to picture taking! I held my ground that year, kept my first place division rank and was even the third female overall. Not bad!!!
Enter 2008! The year of the preggo!!! I took it slow and easy, so no hardware, no PRs, just another race for the recordbooks. And here's how long it's been since I pinned on a race number - late October! I think I was around 28-30 weeks pregnant? Something like that...
Want to make someone mad? Fly by them when you're enormously pregnant....or pushing a running stroller. I look so short here!
I think in years past the race has started at 7:30, but this year's start time was 7 am. Blah!!! Although we certainly don't even remember what it's like to sleep in we do try to keep little bit asleep until around 7 on Saturdays. Well, it would've been a fat chance today anyways. She started stirring around 3:30 am. Ugh. She must've been super excited about the race. In an effort for me to try to get a good night's sleep I put in earplugs and Brent said he got up with her about 4 times to replace her paci. I think this may be a fussiness from the teething situation that we're not a big fan of! Ironically enough, she fell back to a deep sleep right around alarm time at 6 am. We already had all our gear laid out the night before, so we got dressed, feed Lilli and headed down to the park. It was already wickedly muggy before the race even started. I wish the race was at a cooler time of year, but it's always right after Father's Day since it's a race to benefit inner city kids who don't have a father figure.
Lilli and I tried to start in what looked like a good spot in the pack, but I quickly found we had started way too far back. It's very frustrating when inexperienced runners don't know where to line up. If you don't know - GO TO THE BACK!!! It's so hard in the beginning to get around slow people, and stinking impossible with a running stroller. The first section is very narrow on the Greenway, so we passed when we could and twice I got so frustrated we jumped off the pavement and ran through the grass. Why have a top of the line runner if you never go off road?? Brent was exactly where he always is around the halfway point to cheer and take pics, and then off she and I went to finish via a lap around the lake and back to the start! All of the volunteer course monitors would cheer Go Baby Go! when we'd pass, and I had one sweet girl tell me she didn't know how I was going so fast in that heat with a stroller! I had several people ask if I could push them as well, and heard a couple of people tell each other they're way too slow if a baby is beating them! Ha!
Anyway, it was really hot and muggy this morning. The path is not very shaded, so it was just sticky and sunny. My first mile was around 9:30, which could've easily been a 9 if I wasn't stuck behind so many people. Mile 2 and 3 were each right around 10, and I crossed the finish line with a watch time of 30:03. Not bad, but I would've REALLY liked to be under 30. And it's a far, far cry from my usual low 24:00's. My overall pace ended up being 9:47 for the 3.1 miles.
Here we are heading around the final curve, heading for the finish:
Here's Lilli after the finish: She woke up really quickly once we weren't running anymore.
Last year and this year Vince Gill served as the celeb race chair. He pretty much says Go! and then stands at the finish line cheering. Last year I had my picture made with him (and told him I was pregnant, making him only about the 4th person to know at that point) so this year I wanted mine and Lilli's pic with him. Vince doesn't know a thing about running - and he really doesn't like touching sweaty people. I kept getting closer to him and he'd back away. Vince really needs to RUN it. But he might start with figuring out how long the race is - he made the comment that many people here can run the 5 miles faster than he can drive it. Buddy, a 5K is 3.1 miles, not 5. Regardless, Lilli was totally unphased by his celebrity status. Atta girl!
Just like last year, Vince performed a few songs before the awards ceremony. Last year he took requests, but considering none of the runners nor the inner city families knew any of his songs, it was a bit awkward when no one requested anything. This year he sang three songs, none of which we knew. We like his "Mountain" song about his brother's death, but he didn't do that one. It was still really good! (for Vince Gill and all!)
We didn't win an award today, I was only about 30 seconds off 3rd place in my division though. And I totally could've gotten first in my division if I had run solo. But, Lilli doesn't need no stinking medal - she had the best prize of all, her paci on a string:
Hanging with Daddy post-race, telling him how fast we were and how many people we passed!
I got a race number for her baby book (which I haven't touched in.....4 months....). I think she had fun!
I'm not sure what our next race together will be, probably Tomato Festival 5K in August. I won't run Oktoberfest with her, I'd like to PR there and it's a very crowded and hilly race so she'll just have to be my cheering section for that one!
Have a great night!