I know, I know – the Run Like a Diva 5k was LAST Sunday and I am just now getting around to my race recap. It’s been a busy week helping my sister and brother-in-law unpack in their new house, and helping with the nephew.
That said, all excuses are just excuses, not reasons enough. But finally I am recapping.
All week leading up to the race I checked the weather. It was supposed to be mid-high 60s. To be fair, I think I had last checked on Thursday morning. A lot can change weather wise in 4 days! Change it did.
I woke up at 5:30 to leave my house at 6:00. First think I did was checked the weather app on my phone. BRRR – as of 7:00am, the temp was supposed to be about 50 degrees, maybe. By 8:00am it was supposed to be 52. Coldest temps I had run in since the winter was low 60s, not low 50s! I didn’t have a tech shirt I could wear. Don’t own arm warmers (yet) so there was I dressing in my Nike Dri-Run capri’s and Under Armour Superman (Supergirl?) shirt ready to face the chill.
Since this was a local race, my mother came out to cheer me on at the finish line. This is one of the perks of running a race close to home. I have run 3 5ks, a 10k and 2 half marathons in the 22 months I have been running. This is the second race my mother came to cheer me on at. It’s only the second race I’ve run on Long Island! The other race was my very first 5k of this running journey – the JFK Runway 5K in April of 2013.
I left her in her car while I fast walked down to the finish line. She was going to hang in the warmth a bit longer before heading over to find a seat on the bleachers to cheer me across the finish.
As I started walking I realized, I should probably find a bathroom. Perfect, there was a bathroom house right next to the parking lot we ended up in. Of course, as this is a women’s race, the line for the ladies was long. Of course, as this is a women’s race, the line for the men’s was non-existent. So myself and a few other ladies hopped in to the mens for a pre-race pee break. At this point, many ladies followed.
After the bathroom break, it was time to fast walk down to the start. It was a little over half a mile walk from my car to the start line. Took a bit of searching, finally found my friends who were also running the 5K. We all had a similar goal – sub 40 minute 5K! However, we were ultimately each running our own race.
We lined up, our wave started, across the start line we went. I had a goal to finish between 38-40 minutes, really, as close to 38 minutes as I could get. I was ticking to my 90 run/walk interval pace. As our start line was the same being used in the half marathon, we started by heading south for about .2 miles, make a u-turn and head north back towards the park entrance. Before we exited the park, we hooked a left to a running trail. The trail was quiet twisty, not nearly wide enough for all the runners so there was a bit of dodging between runners while making sure I found the edge during the walk interval.
We encountered a slight incline up towards the War Memorial inside the park looping back down the hill to head around the pond. Here was encounter more wind. The sun had risen so the temperatures were slightly better, but inside the park, on the trail, in the shade of the trees, the chill set in again. Mixed with the wind, my lungs started to yell.
As we finished around the pond, up another hill we went. I got lucky that my walk interval took me half way up the hill before the run time was up. I jogged up the remainder of the hill to encounter a parking lot with some Diva’s Entourage members directing up so the water stop as well as pointing us in the correct direction. Grabbed some water, a sip of gatorade, kept running along the path.
Found some spectators with signs cheering on runners. It was nice to see them on the running path, not just at the start or finish lines. More dodging between runners, more twists in the path, more trees. It was a nice run, being in a park, but not much in terms of cheering on the sidelines, or encouragement. No cameras half way through the 5K as I’ve encountered on my other two 5Ks.
Around the 2.5 mile mark the boa and tiara station was upon us. This meant the race was almost over. Having studied the map, and living near the park, I knew we didn’t have much further to go. However, my legs were already feeling fatigued. My quads and hamstrings were ready to quit on me. My lungs were starting to get unhappy. The tiara made me smile, but the one I grabbed some to small to run with it on my head, so I held it in my hand until I saw the finish line area. We crossed back over Park Avenue, ran past the admin buildings and down the final path to the finish area. At this point, I was happy yet tired.
I put the tiara on my head, a smile spread across my face and then I saw my mom standing on the sidelines, phone in hand to take some pictures of me. I sprinted across the finish line, where finally some cameras were waiting for us 5K runners.
The finish area was congested. They didn’t leave enough run between the finish line and our goodies which included a 5K finisher medal, a rose, some champagne and some hunky firefighters. There was a corral to get your finisher picture taken, the line was long yet moving a bit. The put all the tables in center of the finish area instead of along the sides so navigating was tricky. A few of us weren’t even sure we were on the line for the finisher photo!
I was thrilled with my finish. I finished in 38:51 minutes! I was smack in the middle of the goal and achieved the sub 40. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, according to my garmin GPS my race was clocked at 3.01 miles NOT 3.10 miles. I noticed this from the start when I came up on the 1 mile marker and Garmin informed me we were at .89 miles, not 1.00 miles. Now I wouldn’t be terrible concerned if I was over, as you usually end up being during a race. But to be .10 UNDER, that causes concern.
I am still happy. It is the furtherest I have run since hurting my hip back in March. Even if I did run the full 3.10 I know my time would have been better then my previous 5K time! I motivated myself, I ran when I was supposed to, walked to regain my lungs and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face.
Not the best 5k experience I’ve had, but still I ran. The expo was small with not many vendors. The course was nice with trees being in a park, but overall could have been a better experience, more support, maybe some photo ops half way through.
Here’s hoping the half marathon runners had more support and photo ops throughout!