Thursday, January 15, 2015

Runway Run 5k

My mom heard about a race called the runway run which was held at our local Air and Space Museum.  She e-mailed all of us about it and we all thought it sounded like fun.  She signed us up and I was looking forward to the race.  The course map showed that we would weave out and back using different runways on the airport next to the museum.  It was a flat course and I was hoping to run faster than my time of 24:55 at 29 weeks pregnant with Carter.  I knew the race course had been a little short when I ran that fast during the 3rd trimester last time, but I figured I could run this race a little under 8 minute pace which would provide a faster time.  Carter woke up at 5:30 am Saturday morning and Ty brought him to our bed hoping he'd go back to sleep, but he didn't.  At 6:30 my mom came in and got him so they could go play and I was so thankful!  Right now I struggle to get out of bed in the mornings.  I wake up feeling really tired and my body is simply exhausted.  Add in being woken up an hour and a half earlier than usual and I was struggling!

When we got up to get ready for the race I saw it was 24 degrees and with the wind chill felt like 16 degrees.  I was debating how much clothing to wear and ended up deciding on a pair of tights, an under armour top, a technical long-sleeved shirt over the under armour, mittens, and a headband.  I grabbed my face mask just in case I wanted it, but decided against it since the race would run us into the wind for half the race and with the wind at our back for half of it.  I knew I'd feel comfortable into the wind with the face mask, but would get over heated with the wind at our backs.  I'm so glad I decided on less clothing because what I wore turned out to be perfect!
Walking up to the race start.

Once we arrived at the race I realized the true strength of the wind.  The flags were flying straight out from the poles with an intensity that appeared it may pull them right off!  The wind had a bite to it and was definitely quite cold!  Carter, the boy who despises things on his hands, even requested his mittens to walk from the car to the museum entrance!  I started to question whether 8 minute pace was a reasonable goal for me.  The wind was intense, it was cold, and I'd had a terrible run Friday night.  It was a run that left me finishing with an average of over 10:30 pace and I was sore and achy, even waking up with a calf cramp in the middle of the night.  The first mile of a run is the hardest for me and I feel super slow and out of whack.  For that reason I like to run a mile warm-up before races, but we didn't arrive early enough for me to do a warm-up which added to me thinking the race would most likely be slower than I anticipated.
Ty wore his pilot hat, scarf, and goggles from his Halloween costume a few years ago.

The course started into the wind and we ran out for about 3/4 of a mile before turning and heading the opposite direction on a parallel runway.  I was shocked when we took off and the wind wasn't really bothering me.  I knew it was slowing me down, but I felt great and was passing people the entire first section of the race.  By the time we hit the turn to run with the wind at our backs I had moved up into 2nd overall female.  It felt great to have the wind behind us and my pace had sped up from 8-8:15 to 7:20-7:30!  Even speeding up to nearly a minute per mile faster, I got passed by a few runners.  My dad and I were running side by side which was cool because we typically aren't around the same pace.  I went through the first mile in 7:48 feeling really comfortable even with the wind!  Around that time I passed the female ahead of me.  As I looked over to the next runway we would turn down I saw that Jeremy was leading the race.  I thought it would be so cool if he was top overall male and I was top overall female, we've only done that twice before, but I also wanted to stay comfortable and not overdo it.

Turning onto the next runway we were back into the wind and I started passing people again.  When we had the wind at our backs I'd get passed by a few people and then when it was at our faces I would pass them back plus a few more.  It was nice to know the wind wasn't affecting me as much as other people.  I think that was mostly because I wasn't running as hard as I could.  During that section we hit the 2 mile mark and my split was 7:50.  I was pleased I was holding onto a sub-8 minute pace.  It was nice to know that our next turn would put us running with the wind at our backs.  We turned onto the last runway with about 3/4 of a mile to go and I got passed back by the other female I had passed earlier.  I decided to stick with her and try to pick up the pace going into the wind for the finish since that seemed to be where I was strongest.
Thomas pushing Carter.  There were planes parked out on the runways just for the race!

When we hit the 4k mark I was excited to know we just had a little over half a mile to go.  It was about that time when I pulled ahead of the other female and started picking up the pace.  Then we turned back onto the runway we started on and I was hit by the wind back in my face.  We had a little over a tenth of a mile to the finish with the wind at our face the whole time which was rough.  I hit mile 3 in 7:15!  I didn't realize I had picked the pace up that much and was impressed.  I pushed through to the finish and saw the finishing clock was ticking away to 24 minutes.  I pushed to finish in under 24 minutes and crossed the finish line in 23:54, 11 seconds ahead of the 2nd female finisher.  My average pace was 7:37!  That put me 1st out of 137 women and 8th out of 255 total finishers!  I saw dad finish close behind me and then Jeremy and I watched for Ty to finish while dad headed inside to get warm.  As Jeremy and I were walking farther down the runway to cheer I relayed to him that I had run a 3rd trimester PR.  The 2nd overall female was walking along in front of us and must've overheard, turning around and staring at my belly.  It was obvious she hadn't noticed I was pregnant during the race.  I figured with my bib over my belly it must've hidden it a bit and I must not look too pregnant.  Thomas and mom had decided to walk with Carter in the stroller so I took off on a cool down to walk back with them after Ty finished.  I was surprised when less than a half mile into my cool down I saw Thomas sprinting down the runway pushing Carter in the stroller.  As I got closer I realized why when I heard Carter screaming and crying.  I ran back with Thomas and when he turned toward the finish I continued to run with Carter directly to the museum.  We walked around inside the museum looking at all the airplanes and then met up with everyone else.
Carter loved playing in this pretend plane, pushing all the buttons.

We enjoyed looking at the airplanes while we waited for the awards ceremony.  Since Jeremy was the top male finisher and I was the top female finisher we both received memberships to the museum.  When I walked up to receive my award the woman passing them out looked at me and her mouth dropped open.  She exclaimed that I would obviously enjoy the family membership to the museum.  When I saw her reaction, I knew that I must look much more pregnant than I had been thinking earlier!  Then the photographer came over to show me a picture he'd gotten of me from the side and that was all put into perspective.  My belly looked huge!  I am so excited about the membership because Carter loved the museum.  Now we have another place we can visit that is indoors when it's cold or hot enough that we'd rather not be outside.  I'm really excited to go back when we have more time to check everything out.  Our membership is an $80 value covering entrance for 2 adults and 6 children!  We also get a discount for programs they offer to children during the summer and winter.  I told my mom if I'd known I was racing for a membership to the museum I would've put a lot more effort into making sure I stayed ahead of the female behind me!  Jeremy finished in 21 flat which shows how much the wind slowed us down.  He usually finishes around 19 minutes.  Dad was 11th overall, 9th male, and 2nd in his age group with a time of 24:25.  Ty finished in 30:56, good for 5th in his age group, 54th male, and 74th overall.  I told my mom I need to make sure I'm always in good shape for the race so I can get a free membership to the museum every year.  Since this year was the first year they had the race it was probably less competitive than it will be in the future.
We stayed playing in it for quite a while!
Jeremy, me, Carter, dad, and Ty all checking it out.

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