Monday, May 18, 2015

New PR! Run with the Rapids Race Report

On Saturday I ran my second 5K race since I started running again, and my third ever. Run with the Rapids takes you through the little downtown area of Niagara Falls, NY – unfortunately with no view of the falls or rapids as it implies.

Still, the course was pretty even and the race was well-directed with plenty of police managing traffic and ensuring the safety of all who participated. I'll definitely do it again, since it's right near where I live!

I'm especially excited to report that I shaved off more than three minutes of the time I ran in the last race! Wow! I expected that would do better for a couple reasons: One, that last race took place at noon on a warm day, and I wasn't used to running in those temps; two, on Thursday I finally got a training run in (the first of the whole week!) and I ran an average pace of 14:17 – fastest ever. So I knew I would do better, just not by how much. I was super excited, to say the least, by all of this!

The race was extra fun because I ran with friends. Even though the running group is on hiatus, I'm still meeting up with one new friend in particular, who is also an Amy – together in NoBo we are known as Amy Squared, which I love. She's usually a little bit ahead of me on pace, which is kind of nice because it always gives me something to aim for – I would love to fully catch up with her one day, but for now we can at least run together for the first parts of our runs. Usually after the first mile, she gets in her groove and moves on ahead. Go, Amy! So anyway, Amy was there and so were a few other folks we've met through the program – two mentors, Liz and Pat, and another participant, Sara, who was in the more advanced group. Here we are along with another running friend, Jessica.

Liz, me, Pat, Jessica, Sara, and Amy
We all did really well, each besting our 5K times. I had the pleasure of running alongside Pat for most of the race – she stuck by me and that was really appreciated. It's always more fun to run with someone, I have come to feel – it certainly gives extra incentive not to give up.

I started out probably a little stronger than I should have – I was just ahead of everyone except Sara in my group, and that is unusual. I knew that I should start slow, but I admit it, I did get a bit caught up in the rush of the start and the music I was listening to (I think it was Kanye West's Power that came on first) really got me going. But it felt good! I didn't suffer too much the rest of the race for it, though sometimes I did feel like I just couldn't do it – but that's not really anything new.

Long story short, I did really well, I felt good, I didn't cry at the finish line, and I enjoyed the camaraderie of my running pals. I did get a little bit wobbly at the after party and had to sit down. I was starting to see stars but didn't pass out, thankfully. At this point now I know I really need to start hydrating and eating for this distance. Until now I've become used to going out on empty in the mornings, but if I am racing or doing 3 miles +, that's got to stop. I don't want to hurt myself!

Here are Pat and I approaching the finish line together. I just love this photo! You can see Liz cheering us on to the left.

Some notes to self regarding gear. I have a wish list!

• New sneakers!
• More Dri-fit clothing – except for a slightly damp waistband, my new compression pants were all dry by the time I got home. I also loved how they held in my belly! I think it is these capris that I got the night before at Target, and I just love them, even if my fitting room experience was pretty traumatic.
• Various belts: The one for the bib number, one for water or a fanny pack or similar, etc.
• Hand-held water bottle, like this one by Nathan

I'm hoping to be all geared up by the start of the next NoBo session starting June 21st.

I am really starting to feel like a runner now. It's super fantastic!

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