Thursday, September 10, 2015

Little Balkans Day 5k

Labor Day weekend there is a festival in my hometown called Little Balkans Days. Part of the festivities is a 5k race on Saturday morning. My mom read in the paper that there was a free fun run for kids and wanted to sign Carter up. Since we were going for that she figured why not all run the 5k? I agreed to do it but I wasn't particularly excited. My last couple races were disappointing and I didn't have much drive to get out there and have another sub-par performance. On Tuesday I met Ty at the trails to run and he only wanted to run 2 miles so he turned around at a mile and took the stroller. I felt great so I took off. My Garmin was completely dead when I got to the trails so I used RunKeeper on my phone instead. It didn't show my current pace so I had no idea how fast I was running. I felt good so I just kept picking up the pace and then aimed for my last mile to be my fastest. I felt like I was running a good pace but I was also comfortable so I figured I was running around 8:30 pace or so. I was shocked when I finished and saw the 3 miles I ran on my own were 8:34, 7:57, and 7:31. I was pumped that 7:30 pace had felt so comfortable that last mile and from that point on was very excited to run the 5k.
All of us with our race shirts and medals/ribbon.
Elise was up bright and early, of course, but Carter slept past 7 so we were a bit rushed getting out the door. I like to run a mile warm up but instead only had time for a half mile. My legs felt good during it. That paired with the cool temp made me confident I would have a good race. My plan was to go out in 7:30 for the first mile and pick it up as much as I could in the next 2 miles. I really wanted to get my splits more consistent as my last couple races I had a solid first mile and then faded significantly after that. I tried holding back to 7:30 pace but it just didn't feel comfortable. It felt much too slow so I decided to go ahead and just run what felt right without worrying about pace so I stopped looking at my watch. I went through the first mile in 7:10. I wanted to keep my next mile as close to 7:10 as possible. The race had thinned out quite a bit. I had moved into the top 10 runners and had a decent gap between me and the closest runner to me. I kept closing the gap between me and the person in front of me but was running alone. Mile 2 went by and I had run 7:13 which I was quite pleased with.
My mom stopped to get a picture of me during the 2nd mile.
Going into the last mile I had pulled up next to the guy ahead of me. I was pushing the pace and kept telling myself to hit 7:10 or under. I'd break away from the guy I was running with and then he'd pick it up to rush past me. He wasn't running very consistently but I figured he'd most likely out kick me at the end. As we approached the last turn toward the finish my watch beeped for mile 3. My split was 7:09. I was happy with that because I like to run my last mile fastest. With how far we had to go toward the finish I was pretty sure the course was going to be long. I planned to hit the lap button when I reached 3.1 so I could get an actual 5k time but got caught up in trying to catch the guy in front of me and forgot. The last time we ran this race a couple years ago the course was short at 3.05 miles. They adjusted the course in an attempt to get the right distance this year. It turned out to be long. My Garmin showed 3.18 miles while most everyone I talked to said theirs showed 3.2 with the exception of my dad whose said 3.17. I was pleased that I still finished in under 23 minutes with a time of 22:45, an average of 7:10 pace. I used an online pace calculator, typing in my average pace (7:10) and the race distance (5k). It said my finishing time would be 22:15. So although not an official time due to the course being long I'm counting the race as a 22:15 which I am pumped about. At almost 7 months postpartum with Carter I ran a 22:50, so I'm well under that. My goal has been to get back under 22 minutes by this spring and it's looking like I'll be able to do that much sooner than I had anticipated!
Dad during mile 2.
I finished the race, got some water, grabbed an orange for Carter, and headed back out to meet my mom who had the kids in the double stroller. She had said her plan was to walk until I got back to her and she'd run to the finish so I wanted to get to her as quickly as possible. When I found them about a mile from the finish mom was running. Silly Elise would cry if you walked but was fine if you ran because she was tired. I took over with the stroller and headed toward the finish. Dad was headed back out as well and when I passed him he informed me the kid's fun run was supposed to start in 4 minutes but he wasn't sure it would start on time. I was a bit over half a mile to go so I took off running around 8:30 pace. As I approached the start/finish area everyone was very concerned I was going to miss the finish line as I was headed to the side of it and started yelling at me and waving me to the finish line. It was a bit embarrassing and I assured them I had already finished. I went to check and make sure we hadn't missed the fun run and was told it would start once all 5k participants had finished. I was glad we hadn't missed it but was also bummed I had rushed to the finish for no reason.
Carter and Elise ready for the 5k.
Carter was excited for the Kid's Fun Run. We walked up to the start area and waited. When the group took off he went with them and then all the sudden stopped and started crying. I picked him up and stood consoling him, figuring we were done. My mom said to go ahead and carry him out because he would probably want to run once he was out on the course. She was right, Carter started wiggling and wanting down to run almost immediately and ran/walked the whole rest of the way. As we approached the finish he was the last finisher so everyone was standing by the finish cheering for him. He started running silly with his eyes closed, tongue out, weaving back and forth. Then he went to the side of the course and sat down. One of my friends' daughters came out and tried to coax him to finish with her to no avail. The race organizer walked over and showed him his participant ribbon and he turned away. I took the ribbon and tried to get him to get up. It was time for awards so everyone started to move to the area where awards would be presented. Once everyone was gone Carter happily stood up and ran the rest of the way. He is so silly when it comes to running. He loves to do it and enjoys the races, he just doesn't want anyone to cheer for him!
Carter waiting for the start of the fun run.
Once Carter was done we headed over for awards. They did men first and dad had won his age group. His time was just over 23 minutes. When they got to women I was first overall female and mom was 3rd in her age group. I was shocked she had done so well while run/walking with the stroller! That thing is a beast. Carter was all about the oranges and pieces of bagel at the finish, going up repeatedly to get more food during awards. Then he figured out how the water worked and kept filling his cup to play/drink. The boy was a bit of a wild child! But he sure enjoyed himself. Overall the race was a huge success!
Elise checking out Oma's medal.


  1. Elise is holding MY medal, it's bronze. I figured since she ran with me, she earned part of it. :) I forgot how much fun that race could be, and like that it starts at the Watco trailhead.

    1. Oh, haha! I will fix that. I thought it looked kind of bronze! Not sure why I was thinking it was dad's. The race was a blast!