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Sunday, May 19, 2013

California Classic: Dawn's 5K Edition

The bright beautiful morning sunshine coupled with a slightly chilly breeze couldn't have reflected my pre-race feelings any more perfectly: joyful and happy to be racing my fifth 5k yet jittery with nerves.


My sweet hubby had the better judgment to not to brave the crowds with our rambunctuous 3- and 1-year-old boys so early in the morning, making this the first race I've gone to all by my lonesome. Trying to find Mel and her hubby in the crowd before they took off for the half was like trying to find Bigfoot. In a haystack. A really big runner-filled haystack. There were so many people here! Lots of excitement. Lots of hustle and bustle. Lots of reassuring myself that I can meet my goal of running a 7:45 pace {24 minutes for 3.1 miles}.

Four minutes till go time! Feeling good but was kind of bummed that one of my ear buds decided to die on me at this point. What's up with that?!

3, 2, 1...GO!

I started off pretty strong, amazed at the several children that were ahead of me. Yes, in "haven't hit puberty yet" children! Isn't that awesome? Due to my preoccupation with getting schooled by...well, schookids...I forgot to start my Runmeter app until almost a quarter mile into the race!

The shady downtown streets were eerily barren except for a police officer or water station here and there, making me feel as if I had the streets all to myself. If it wasn't for my music blasting out of one good earbud, I'm sure the silence would have creeped me out and slowed me down.

There was a girl who had to have been no older than 9 who kept pace with me for a good mile or mile and a half. At one point she was just ahead of me, but then I said "So long, sucker! Eat my dust!" and I took off ahead of her. Okay, I didn't really think that but I did overtake her. But I thought it was cool that she literally ran right next to me for awhile. Like, thisclose, right next to me. 

For a majority of the race there was a big gap ahead of me and a big gap behind me, making it feel like it was just another day out for a run versus actually racing. I only got passed up by two other ladies who looked to be in their 30s and that was it. With Chukchansi Park in sight, I kicked my butt into gear, excited to be setting a new PR.

Down the ramp to the baseball field was almost like flying. Onto the grass of the baseball field was pretty much the opposite of flying! Thank goodness the whole race wasn't on grass because there is no way I would be setting any records doing that. 

As I got to the Finish line, I didn't even see the clock because I noticed there were three people on the ground messing with the wiring and not moving out of the way. I had to slow down to avoid body checking any of them. Afterwards I high fived one woman named Tara who had passed me. We chatted for awhile and I find out she's a neonatal nurse just like me and actually worked at Children's Hospital a year before I started! Small world. 

They handed out Half Marathon Finisher medals to a certain number of 5k finishers, which feels really dishonest to be wearing it, but here it is.

My Runmeter recorded 2.88 miles in 21:44 with an average pace of 7:32! Still awaiting official results.

I drove home and pulled up to my boys and hubby on the lawn with signs and my oldest wearing my technical shirt that was given to all runners at the Expo. It was just the sweetest thing ever! My signs said "Momma is #1" and "My Mom Runs Faster Than Your Mom!" It was almost as good as if they had been there at the finish line. I just adore my husband and boys!

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