Monday, April 4, 2011

We Did a 5K

We being she and I! The Running Opener 5K and 10K took place at Lake Phalen on Saturday, and I decided to sign up for the 5K earlier in the week. At 31 weeks, I'm still able to run without discomfort, so I figured I might as well go for it!

It turned out to be super fun and not more than I could handle. I'd been curious about doing a race during pregnancy because no one is going to tell a pregnant woman she could be doing more, but deep down I think each woman knows for herself whether she has it in her. Obviously, if anything wasn't feeling right I wouldn't have done it. But when you're feeling fine, it's kind of fun just to find out what's possible.

My strategy was pretty basic: no racing. Just treat it like the workout you were planning to do on your own anyway. And no timing. I know myself well enough in race mode to know that if I know where I'm at time-wise, it's extremely hard to just go off feel.

Out of habit I did end up hitting START on my watch, but then changed it back from timer to clock for the race. I started in the middle back of the pack (which wasn't huge) and took it slow the first half mile. But pretty quickly I was finding that the people around me were going pretty slow and/or breathing way too hard, so I passed a lot of people without effort. 

The course was mostly flat and one easy loop around Lake Phalen. My main concerns were that I'd have the unrelenting need to make a pitstop (number, oh, 12 of the day by 9am) or get a little "I started too fast" sideache, but neither was an issue. So I continued to just jog my pace and continued to pass people.   

There was one super steep but super short hill on the east side of the lake, and that's probably where I started to get a little warmer, but the very long, gradual downhill that followed it was wonderful!

I looked at my watch a few times at the different mile markers without too much focus and guessed I was running about 10-11 mile per minute pace. So you can imagine my surprise when I crossed the line to discover I was running a lot faster than that! I fought every urge in me to kick it in AT ALL in the last half mile, because it really wasn't about that. The fact that I was running at all was the cool part. I was a little warm at that point and had pulled my hat off, and was most focused on keeping my breathing slow and controlled.

I crossed the line and wasn't out of breath at all, which affirmed to me that I hadn't taken it too far. In the end, I ran the race in 28:53 (9:18 mile pace)! 22nd out of 129 women.

To put this in perspective, my 5K personal best from a few years ago was about 30:00. Last spring I ran a 5K on a similar course for my all-time 5K personal best of 22:59. Considering I weigh significantly more at the moment and duh, am pregnant, I'd say it was a good day!

Now we have a nice little race number #409 that I'm thinking about framing and putting up somewhere in the baby's room. I think she'd think that was cool. 


Mom/Mary Jo said...

And so do I.

Pharmie said...

Congrats on having tons of fun and taking it easy. You are one speedy mama!

Cindylou said...

Good for you Abbe! I am so impressed!