This weekend was race #3 for 2014. My husband and I planned to run a 5k together and work on my speed/pace.
Growing up my husband ran competitively. He started young, at around 8 years old, and continued to run through his college years. But after so many races and long distances and training weekly for such a long period of time, he left running and didn’t turn back. Nowadays, he’ll take a stroll on the treadmill as his cardio in between his weight training sessions and he’ll jog along with us in our races on occasion. So when he told me we should run together, I was thrilled!
I felt SUPER special that he wanted to run with me. And his motivation to do so was my improving speeds in both my training and on my last race. Super excited and ready to find a race for the two of us, I picked the Reaching For The Cure Ride & Run 5k on March 30th, a weekend we didn’t have any baseball plans. We even made plans for the little guy to stay with his grandparents so that we could have a Race Date together, just the two of us!
Then Friday night rolled around, LITERALLY! We started quaking after dinner while friends were hanging out with us. We all felt it but shook it off as a nothing tremor, something we Californians deal with for our prime coastal real estate and year around sunny days. Our friends said their goodbyes and left us to put the monster man to bed and enjoy some grown-up time together watching none other than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because we’re adults and we can!
That’s when the earth decided to share in its joy for our movie selection and showed it with jolt and some rolling. A good 5.1 magnitude quake hit near us and we felt it good and strong! It shook long enough for us to get up, run to Jake and get him out of bed and into a doorway (the old fashioned duck-and-cover). The shaking wasn’t so bad but the reaction of our 8 year old, who struggles with anxiety issues, was terrible. His eyes were wide and terrified. He was shivering uncontrollably and was inconsolable. He’d jump between normalcy to panic in seconds and clung to us wherever we went. When we thought the earth would be quiet, we attempted to put him back into bed and another shock would hit.
What started out as a nice night together turned into sleepless one. It took some time for our kidlet to finally go to sleep and even after that, a tremor hit. I could feel my husband holding his breath as we waited to see if this one would get bigger or if it would shake our son out of his sleep. We got lucky and it didn’t. Other than small handful of times he woke up and called out for us, we all slept the rest of the night. And to make matters worse, I was dealing with my feminine monthly issues so I was emotional and extra tired. Ugh….
The next day was full of little quakes and shocks. There was a point I felt like I had sea legs! I couldn’t tell what was a real tremor and what was just my imagination. Even the wind brushing up against the side of the house and that one damn cat that likes to walk on our roof made me stop to wonder if we were having another. But life went on and I managed to get my son and myself out of the house to pick up our packets and tee-shirts. Even though it was a bit of a trek on a day when we had chores to do around the house, it was worth making our way out there to get the packet and chip timer pick-up done the day before. This is ALWAYS my goal even if it doesn’t always work out this way. It’s my one big tip to first time races: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE PRE-RACE PACKET PICK-UP!
With our packets in our hands and the night coming to a close after a few more aftershocks, we took the little one over to his grandparents’ house to spend the night and stay the morning while we ran. This was tough. Knowing his anxiety issues and his concerns over all the shaking he was feeling, I wasn’t confident that he’d stay the whole night. I actually slept with my cell phone near by just in case they called needing us to pick him up. So I was anxious much of the night before the race.
Add to that the three tremors we felt later that night as we tried to sleep with severe cramping on top of that, I didn’t get much rest. It felt like every time I let go and felt confident we were done shaking, I’d close my eyes to drift off and BAM!!! Another aftershock. It was starting to get on my nerves and I didn’t feel like I could really let go and sleep. But sleep I did, thankfully. My alarm went off at 5:15am after a fitful night of rocking and tossing. After a bagel with peanut butter and my coffee, I dressed for the chilled morning and together we headed out to run our first 5k together, just the two of us!
Parking was easy to find and there were NO lines at the porta potties (thank goodness!) so we made a pit stop to use them and start stretching. The half marathon started at 7am and we had a start time of 7:15. I am SO thankful of the punctuality of this organization. The half marathoners were all ready to go and standing in place with their pace markers well before the start and when the gun went off, they started promptly and without a hitch. Then we stepped into the starting line-up and waited our turn. Right at 7:15 we took off! Gotta hand it to the organizers, everything started right on time!
We took off at a decent run and I had my Nike+ add to call out to us at each half mile with our pace. The mister was really set on keeping a decent speed, one I’m not used to so we wanted our pace and mileage spoken at intervals to keep us in check. Our first mile was quick at a pace of 9:52 mins/mile. WOAH….me running a sub-10?! You betcha! But dealing with my cramps and feminine issues didn’t help me feel like running fast. I did the best I could to keep up with his pace and found myself struggling here and there. Our second mile split came in at 10:31, a little slower but still running at a sub-11 min pace, excellent for me! By the third mile I was dragging ass so hard and came in at 10:52, still keeping each mile under 11 minutes.
As we came around to the end, I saw a photographer smack dab in the middle of the race route and decided to catch up and run beside my husband. Why not get a cute photo of us together, sweatin’ and huffing! We laughed and he jokingly told me to pretend there was a photographer every 10 steps so that I would keep up with him. At that point, though, I could see the end. How BADLY I wanted to cross that finish line and be done! So I kept up with him and got my speed on to cross that finish line before 34:00 minutes. And we did!!!
And I cried!! Hahahahah! What can I say? I’m an emotional person!
I cried out of joy and amazement and excitement. I ran a 5k in 33:30!!! That was AMAZING TO ME! I kept checking my phone and reading my times over and over. I couldn’t believe that I had done it! My fastest time EVER! It’s still a blur to me even though I now have my chip time in my email as even more proof of my awesome running.
Major big hugs to my husband who ran with me, encouraged me and would keep up our pace so that I never fell behind my goal of an 11 min/mile pace. We had talked about it before hand and I knew my ultimate goal would be to break my 35 minute 5k and run the whole thing. I shared this with him and he made it is mission to keep me running and on track. And he did that with love and positive encouragement and just the right amount of push.
With March done and April on its way, I have race #4 sneaking up on me next weekend. My sister and I are participating in the Run Seal Beach race on Saturday April 5. I’m stoked to have a race with her and also one in such a beautiful location by the beach! And the best part of this race is that it is apart of a race series, one I’ve accidently found myself lined up for. I’ll post about that situation later this week.