Monday, December 19, 2011

Impromptu 5k

Today my wife and I ran a 5k in St. Paul. This winter she's building a base for her first half marathon in Fargo, and a 5k now and then is helping her keep motivated and see the fruits of her labor. Now normally we don't run together, because in the past I've been training for running races too, and we just have different paces. But for this race she wasn't sure she wanted to run it because it was cold, and her running buddy from the last couple of races just wasn't up to it. But Friday I caller her up and said 'hey, let's do this, the weather will be fine and I'll run it with you.' So it was a done deal.

The race is the Dredel Dash put on by the St. Paul Jewish Community Center, since we decided to do the race on Friday, and the race is on Sunday, we did not pre-register :)

Race Morning
The plan had been to get up and go to church and then make our way to the race. Well, I stayed up 3 with our baby and some frustrating stuff I've been working on. The last thing I did though was send my wife and email and said "it's late, but wake me up anyway." But it turned out it didn't really matter, the kids slept in and my wife and sister-in-law didn't get up in time. So we didn't make it to church, and off to St. Paul for a quick run. The race started at 1, we got there at 11 to register. Registration went really well, my wife stayed in the car to feed our youngest, and I went in to register us both. I, probably predictably, went in the wrong door, but they had volunteers in the building guiding people to the right place. It was very cool. So I got us registered and it was 11:30 - that's way too much time to kill with 3 littles who are hungry. So we went to grab a bite to eat.

The Start
After we got some food, we found our way to the start line. A sort of unique feature of this 5k, at least as far as any 5k I've ever done is that it's point to point. There are actually three races going on, a 5k, a 10k, and a 1 mile fun run. The 10k is an out and back on the same course as the 5k, which is probably how they came up with the idea of the point to point. We lingered around the starting line, it was about 40 degrees with a slight breeze, talked to some people who were there, and watched some of the faster 10k runners run through. As is common with smaller races, when they finally started talking about the start I couldn't hear anything they were saying. But seriously, it was probably the normal, "everyone have a great race, remember to run between the people telling you to run between them :)" An unusual feature is that they sang the national anthem. At least I can't remember being at a race that did that, it was pretty cool.

Waiting for the start
The Run
The run was pretty good, there weren't a zillion people which I have found can be a double edged sword. On the one hand the race isn't mobbed, on the other hand they tend to be heavy with fast runners. Luckily this race wasn't like that. We settled into a good pace and just enjoyed the ride, some people in front, some people behind us. One cool thing about this run was that every single road was completely closed off. For a race this size I was surprised, there were some not-totally main streets, but also not side streets. I mean I think there were only like 300 racers, so that was a nice touch. One thing I did notice that struck me as odd was there was only one water stop, and it was for 10k runners. Now in all fairness I didn't notice until I finally got my paws on some water and noticed how thirsty I was, so it couldn't have been that bad.

About half way through - all smiles :)
The Finish
We knew we were pretty much on the pace we wanted to do. My wife was on her way to a new PR, and it was fun to be part of that. About 100 yards till the end we saw our kids and my sister-in-law on the side of the road cheering. Our oldest ran right out and headed toward the finish line, she didn't even pretend like she wanted to run with us. And she was booking, so I took off after her while my wife slowed down to run in with our son. Our best estimation about that is that he didn't know he would have the opportunity to run with mom or dad, but when his sister took off he felt left out :)

My wife and our son running across the finish
We finished, realized there was no finisher award and headed inside for the after race festivities. They had some good food, cookies, bananas, muffins and water. So we sat down, had some food and then headed home. There were supposed to be a lot of other stuff going on, but it was busy, and honestly I smelled like a locker room.

Enjoying some post-race snacks
Final Thoughts
This was a pretty good race. A good small race, and I had a great time running with my wife. She had a great run and was able to see that all of the running she's been doing is started to pay off. I'm very proud of her.

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