I know it’s been a while…heck it’s been almost all year since I’ve blogged. But sometimes life just gets busy and I sometimes struggle to balance all of my passions. And blogging is one of my passions that fell on my priority list. My friend Amy recently told me that she missed reading my blog and that I should just focus on blogging for myself when I want. That really is great advice because that takes all the pressure of working to build an audience and trying to fit into a blogging schedule to keep said audience. I honestly lost a little of my original blogging purpose when I was trying to do that. So I’m taking it back to the basics — doing what I love and that’s blogging about my races and the running adventures with my favorite four-legged running partner Elijah and just about my life in general. If you all read it…AWESOME! I hope you love it. If you don’t read it…no worries because I’m documenting my life more so for myself so I have the memories to look back on. 🙂
With all that being said…I’m pretty sure that recapping this weekend’s race and a new PR is the perfect comeback, don’tcha think??
I’ve been chasing that 5k PR since 9/11/13 when I crossed the Run For Our Troops 5k finish line at 28:19. Since then, I got faster. Then I got slower. It’s so weird to see how your pace fluctuates over time as you train for different distance races. I’ve had a crazy race year and have barely slowed down after the marathon so as we near the end of the year, my amount of running has dwindled a bit. I’ve been looking for races that allow dogs so that I can get back to running regularly with Elijah now that summer is over. Warm a Heart PattyPacks is one of those races. I had hoped to run the 10k with him but dogs are only allowed on the 5k course so I signed us up for that instead. Back in October, Elijah and I ran the first annual Fallen Firemen 5k in Lexington and they used the USATF certified PattyPacks 5k race route. We finished in 29:47 and placed first in my age group but for PattyPacks I was merely hoping to just be faster than we were in October. Last month I was 9 seconds off from a PR at the Turkey Trot 5k in Sumer with Elijah in tow (he decided to take a potty pit stop and we lost like 30 seconds…thanks Elijah) and that route was flat as a pancake so I didn’t think I’d hit a PR for PattyPacks with all their hills.
The Warm a Heart race is a race that supports PattyPacks and 100% of the race proceeds are used in continuing the mission of assisting families who are struggling as a result of pediatric intensive care. Their goal is to provide emotional support and a network to these families in hopes to reduce the emotional strain on the family during the child’s hospitalization and at discharge. These families receive “the PattyPack” which is a draw-string back pack or tote that contains necessities for the family’s care to be used during this extended time they spend in the hospital/ICU. You can learn more about this great organization at http://www.pattypacks.org.
This is the 4th year for the Warm a Heart race. I actually volunteered for this race two years ago and had a blast but this was my first year actually participating and with dog in tow. I was still riding the high of coming 9 seconds close to my 5k PR last month and while I didn’t think I’d PR, I will admit that I was secretly hoping that I could…so Elijah and I toed close to the start line instead of at the middle or back of the pack. I held him close to be able to manage him as we sprinted out with the front crowd. It’s a little tough with a dog in tow and I normally sit closer towards the back so he doesn’t get stepped on or anything but Elijah did really well at letting me pull him this way and that to ensure both of our’s safety.
As we thinned out in the first mile, I looked at how many people were ahead and tried to determine where I stood. I passed a few people and settled into a good rhythm. The coldness of the morning 39 degrees began to numb my toes a bit but I kept pounding hard and tried to ignore it. It didn’t take long to warm up and I was soon taking my gloves off. Elijah kept a good steady pace just a few steps ahead of me. My friend Teresa and her girl pups (I call them Elijah’s girlfriends! 😉 ) were on our heels so I think that helped keep him moving steady.
If you ask me any time if a race is hilly or not, I tend to always answer “not really.” If you were to ask me if this race was hilly…I’d probably still say “not really.” Then I’d remember quickly once I hit the hills. I think it’s mostly because running in Columbia means that you’ll almost always hit a hill and I’m so used to running them that I don’t really notice them afterwards. But I sure do notice them when I’m running them! Ha!
About half way through, Elijah started to slowly pull to the left at which I quickly commanded “leave it!” Cause I sure wasn’t going to stop on this race. My first mile was 8:41 so I really wanted that PR then! But we did slow down a bit thanks to those hills but I didn’t stop. I watched this lady runner with a long braided ponytail. I recognize her and think I’ve seen her at a race or two before. I wasn’t sure at the time if she was in my age group but I was so happy when she stopped to walk that last major hill and I pushed past her. But it wasn’t long before we flattened out and she ran past me. I had hoped to keep her in my sights so that I may pass her as we got closer to the finish line…but thanks to Elijah (and story of my life), he started slowing down that last half mile. So I struggled to keep his attention and his pace. I looked at my watch and when I saw that we were oh-so-close to that PR, I kept pep talking to him a bit and tried to pull him closer to me. We rounded that corner to the finish and when I saw that the clock was hitting 28:00, I sped up and felt like I was literally dragging Elijah to cross that line! I swear he plots to make me drag him across every finish line so I’d look like the world’s most horrible owner.
I’m lucky that most race goers and spectators at every race he’s run with me think that it’s a funny sight to see. I swear he loves to run…I promise!!
I’m super happy to say that we PR’d by ONE SECOND! Yes, my new 5k PR is 28:18! Crazy, right?!? I can only imagine what I can do on a flat route. 🙂 I also placed 3rd in my age group. And remember that runner with the long braid?? Yep, she was in my age group and she placed 2nd. Shaun Benoit, Team RWB’s Athletic director place 2nd overall in the 10k. In the 10k age group awards, Laura Newman (RWB) placed 2nd in the 30-34 and Ryan Havens (RUI and my friend Matt’s brother) took 2nd in the 40-44.
Elijah’s job post race is to take care of Breckin’s medals…
After the awards were finished, I decided to ask one of the race organizers if they had an extra age group medal that they could spare so that both Breckin and I could have one. They happily gave me an extra so now I can display one for me and send one to Breckin! ♥
See you on the road!
Race Results: http://www.strictlyrunning.com/RESULTS/15PATTYPACKS.TXT