So this blog is called “Running Forward” and you may have noticed there hasn’t been much running in it. That’s because I dropped the ball over the winter. I did some running over the winter but nothing over 6 miles. Every time I seemed to pick up momentum, I seemed to get this on-again, off-again chest cold. Plus I had gone back to work after Thanksgiving and it was hard learning to juggle work and single motherhood. I hate making excuses and I am usually very hard on myself but I am trying to cut myself some slack.
I was registered to run a half marathon the weekend I was in Ann Arbor but as the race approached, I knew I was not in any shape to run a half-marathon. At first I thought I could tough it out it. I mean, I ran a half-marathon six weeks after Bryon died. But I was in the most raw grief at the point. Then the chest cold was cycling back around again. My Maine best friend told me that there was no shame in switching to a shorter distance. I have never run a 10k but I decided I wanted to be in better shape to get a base 10k time so I decided I would run the 5k.
My Maine best friend came with me to the race expo. I went to the Half-Marathon table and explained my dilemma. I was directed to another table that was labeled “Registrations and Solutions.” Changing my registration was painless. The woman that at the table assured me that there were lots of people in my situation with illnesses and injuries.
After I changed my registration, I went to the other side of the room to claim my t-shirt. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling checking out the tables for swag. So my Maine best friend and I checked the course map so we could plan the logistics for the next day and then left.
The next morning, I got up around 6:15 am and tried to be quiet as I didn’t want to wake my daughter. But she woke up. I told her she could stay at the house with my Chicago best friend or come to the race and my daughter immediately says “RACE!” So we fed her some breakfast and bundled her up. I ate half of a plain bagel and drank a little coffee and water.
The race was set to start at 7:30 am and it started right in front of the University of Michigan Stadium. We decided to walk because my Maine best friend, and her fiance, the Scientist lived close enough that it didn’t make sense to drive. It was about a 20 minute walk. All four races had the same start. There was a lot of excitement but I don’t know what I would feel about it if I were a marathoner. The start was slow because there was a large bottleneck of runners. It ended up taking me two minutes to cross the start line.
I was not mentally prepared to run. I was not focused, I forgot my inhalor and I forgot my garmin. I decided that since this was just a 5k that I would just enjoy the run since I was anticipating an awful time.
The 5k was one lap, 10k was two. There was a half marathon lap and marathoners did two. The 5k was not well marked but I managed. I had forgotten my garmin and had no concept of how fast I was running. The race was quick. We ran down the main street and we turned onto the campus. We ran by the natural history museum where we were the day before. Before I knew it, I saw the 12 mile and 25 mile markers for the half marathon and marathon so I knew it was the last mile. I was actually feeling pretty good despite not having my inhaler.
Before I knew it, I was running through the finish chute. I was convinced my time was going to be awful but the timer said 45:59 so I knew my chip time was going to be faster. I got my medal and snagged a 5k brownie for my daughter. After the race, I went to a Starbucks for my Venti Iced Americano with cream, sugar and an extra shot and then my Maine best friend, The Scientist, my daughter and I walked back to the house.
My official time was 43:34. I was satisfied. It wasn’t my worst time and it wasn’t my best time. For being under trained, I was content and even a little excited. I had never run a 5k that was in conjunction with a marathon and a half marathon so that was exciting and I am glad I went through with racing. It actually started to rain heavily after we got back to the house so in a way, I was relieved I didn’t run. I don’t mind running in the rain but I wouldn’t have wanted my Maine best friend, the Scientist or my daughter to have to stand around in the rain waiting for me. All’s well that ends well.
Overall, I thought this was a great event. And I will be redeeming myself in 2018.