(Special Thanks to TriSaraDad for being the race photographer) :)
Before the race I chatted with some friends.
Chris, Canada Jenn, Me, and TriSaraMom posing before the start.
Second Sole friends! Chris, Me, Canada Jenn, Platinum Jen, Tracy, and Courtney
I lined up for the start and thought how strange this was...it was really the first 5K, since my very FIRST 5K, where I didn't have ANY inkling of what my time would be or what pace I could hold. My normal 5K pace is around 7:40ish. I know that it's been a struggle to hold 11 minute miles...(agh!) so I thought if I could run comfortably and come in under 11 minute miles, I'd be stoked. Funny how your sense of accomplishment changes here, huh? I also thought it would be nice to NOT be in last place. See, Competitive Sara still rears her ugly head from time to time, even 4 months preggers. :)
CanadaJenn was a SAINT and said she'd run with me. I tried to tell her she didn't have to but she'd have NONE of that--this from a girl that could easily go sub-23 if she wanted to. This girl rocks the house so much. I am really going to miss her when she moves to Peoria, IL in July. We started running together when she moved to Cleveland in 2002 and I really can't remember what it's like to run without her. Together we trained for and completed the Flying Pig Marathon--for me, a HUGE PR race, and for her, her first marathon. Peoria doesn't know how lucky it is.
The gun went off and we ran...slowly! It was such a nice day that I didn't even really notice it. We went over a few bridges in the industrial section of downtown and then before I knew it, it was time to turn around. We got to the 2 mile marker and the guy yelled, "22:20." I started laughing and said, "Hey, we're at Mile 2 when we're usually about ready to finish!" CJ laughed, too. It was OK for today!
The course was pretty easy--there was one gradual hill before the turnaround and I thought, "wow, this would be a great course to negative split!" Little did I know that most of the speedsters got caught by a BRIDGE going UP for a BIG BOAT and had to come to a DEAD STOP for over 6 minutes! And the poor RD had even called ahead of time to stop the boats! I bet the poor guy's getting flooded with emails. Let me tell you how mad I woulda been if I was on track to PR, then had to come to a dead stop. My buddy from work Eric said that some people JUMPED TO THE OTHER SIDE WHILE THE BRIDGE WAS MOVING! Okay, there's where I draw the line. No race is worth an accidental dip in the Cuyahoga River. It's cleaned up its act quite a bit since it caught FIRE (?!) in 1969, but STILL...
We came near the end and I almost tripped on a broken bottle of Hennessey...which was a little bit funny, but would have been NOT FUNNY AT ALL had I really fallen! I think they could have done a little bit to sweep the street...Jenn and I were laughing at the Colt 45 bottles we saw lying around. Nothing but the best in the Flats... :)
Finally, we jogged to the finish very easily! My chip time was 33:33, which is my slowest 5K on record, but we had FUN. I found out later I achieved my 2 goals: I ran a 10:49/mile pace (not 11! yahoooooo!) very comfortably, and I came in 19th /29 in the age group--not last! Yippee! The times were all skewed because of the bridge debauchle, so my time didn't even look TOO bad! ha ha
They even had finisher's medals, like it was a marathon or something! I wore it. :) And, it was baby's first 5K, so they even let me take a medal for the baby at Jenn's suggestion. It's totally going in the nursery.
(That's one for me, and one for my HOMEY.)
Afterwards, we ate and relaxed and waited for awards. They had to shorten the 10K to about 5.2 miles because of the bridge and boat situation. I thought that was good that they were even to change the race course on the fly like that! So the "10Kers" really were only a few seconds behind us! DaisyDuc was 3rd overall female and grabbed the 1st place in AG!
We waited to hear awards and TriSaraMom won a great door prize! She was pumped. But she was even MORE pumped about her FIRST EVER AGE GROUP AWARD!
It was such a great day! Seeing my friends got my mind off some things, and watching my Mom accept her award made me so proud. It was better than any age group awards I've won!
So I suppose that was the first of many race reports where Baby Z will make an appearance. It was nice to take him (?) or her along for the ride, and it was nice to feel like TriSaraTops again. Albeit, a much slower verson....but for the first time, I think I ran an EVEN PACED 5K!!!!!