I woke up this morning, May 9, 2015, to run my third Avera Race Against Breast Cancer 5K. This race is my favorite 5K for a couple reasons. I love running in cool weather and since this race is at the beginning of May it usually has nice cool weather perfect for running. My 2nd reason is the cause that this race supports. I don't mind donating to Avera Breast Cancer research and facility because I know people that have been affected by and survived Breast Cancer. My third reason is that this race kicks off my annual summer 5K season and it is usually my best time of the season, so it gets me really pumped up for the summer as I try to beat that time.
As I mentioned this is my third 5K with Avera. I ran my first 5K in May 2012, 2nd in May 2014, and 3rd this morning. I woke up at 6 am this morning. No matter how many 5K races I have ran I'm always excited for race day. I'm usually restless at night waiting for my alarm to go off. Then I promptly get up and start getting ready. I can't get over the smile on my face when I took this picture around 6:15. I look extremely happy, radiant, and excited. I was all of those things.
South Dakota took a turn with the weather. I was running in the mornings around 8 am and it was usually 50 degrees. Today on the other hand when we left the house it was 34 degrees outside, so I bundled up with a sweat shirt and sweatpants. My brother thought ahead and wore his running tights and a hat. It was around 40 degrees when the race started. I like to run in as few layers as possible so I gave my dad my sweatshirt and sweatpants to hold during the race.
We went and stood in the shoot and I was jumping up and down trying to keep warm. There were people behind us that had on pink blue man costumes or the mesh cloth covering their face. They gave us a good laugh. Then we got squished into the shoot and when the race began the line was off to a slow start. We weren't really able to start running until we crossed the starting line and were able to spread out.
The first mile my butt and legs were really cold so I couldn't run very fast. I was also still in a crowd of people and found it hard to pass anybody. I don't know if I'm the only one that does this, but I'm constantly giving myself pep talks during my run. I know what my body is capable of and I want to accomplish my goals. Anyways I made it through the first mile with no problem, I was still focusing on my body warming up. Then I made it to the hills part of the course. Usually I would let myself walk up the hills and run down, but this time I was determined to run up and down. It felt good to have the downhill to recover from the tough uphill.
Then around the 1.6 mile mark I reached the water station. I spilled most of the water on myself, but got enough to feel good. Then we made the turn on to the main road. This is a beautiful part of the run and also the last mile of the race. I hadn't walked yet and with the finishing line close to being in sight I was determined to make it to the finish line without walking. This last mile was challenging, but I continued to tell myself that I could do it and to keep my eye on the people I was trying to stay with. I had only about 500 ft left when my side started to cramp up. I decided to fight the pain and ran faster for a small period of time before slowing down and then once I got close to the finish line I ran as fast as I could.
I finished the 5K with a time of 31:16. This is by far my fastest 5K, but the thing I was so proud about was the fact that I didn't walk at all. I'm trying to eliminate walking breaks and I know it is possible because my body doesn't need them, but my mind thinks that I do. When I first started running 3 and 1/2 years ago my goal was to run a 5K in under 30 minutes. With training I think that 2015 is going to be my year to complete this goal. My second fastest time is 34:18, so I reduced my time by 3 minutes by not walking. I'm going to keep working and keep training. I'm looking for a 5K to run in June right now. I haven't found any I'm willing to support yet, but hopefully I will.