Something weird happens when you sign up to do a trail race in a small city. You actually have a chance of placing top 3 in your age group even if you are, comparatively, pretty slow.
Travis and I have been looking forward to doing the Love 2 Run's 5k for Wounded Warriors for a few weeks. It was out first race together on a trail that Travis loves and it supports an incredible cause. Saturday morning we were up and full of energy! It was cute to see how Travis acted the morning of a race. He's always a morning person but we were both more energetic and happier than usual.The race started at 8 a.m. and my main goal was to finish injury free. I've ran the course a few times with Travis and it's challenging so I was worried I'd slip and hurt myself in the middle of marathon training. I didn't have any real expectations on finish time since I'm running 40-50 miles a week now and not focusing very much on speedwork. I do one speed session a week where I run intervals at a 9 minute pace, but my prior 5k PR was done at an 8:15 pace.
I told Travis I'd be thrilled if I came in under 27 minutes. I decided to try and do an 8:40 pace and that's almost exactly what I ended up doing. Travis has a little bit of a problem pacing himself so he gunned it at the beginning and ran the first mile in under 6 minutes! Travis ended up setting a PR with a finish time of 23:08 and I came in at 27:05.
The race didn't use electronic timers on the bibs so we immediately went over to where the finishers were being organized by time and one of the guys was writing down the top 3 in each category. They came to Travis's number first and he came in 1st place in his age group! This is the first time he's placed and he killed it. About 20 minutes later we were still anxiously standing behind the guys watching them fill the form out and I could see them putting names down in my age group. I knew it would be close so I didn't want to get my hopes up, so I was thrilled when I saw I came in 3rd. This was our first race together, and the first time either of us placed! After we finished creeping we headed over to the area where the awards ceremony was going to take place. For a 5k the race perks were unbelievable. Most 5k's I do you get a shirt when you pick up your packets and a banana at the end. That's it. Our race bags had a shirt, gu, honey stingers, KT tape samples, a koozie, pen, and a pedometer. The post race treats included freaking frozen yogurt, and the usual oranges and bananas. I grabbed two of the yogurts. Probably not the brightest idea since I had to run another 5 miles after the award ceremony (in ridiculous Alabama afternoon heat - got to love marathon training!)
The award ceremony was simple - just called our names up to get the medal. Since Travis came in first he also got a gift certificate for a free pair of swiftwick socks & some more gu (and he gave both to me. awwww.)
After the awards they had some raffle prizes to give away. Everyone who raced had their names entered and one of the prizes was a 1 hour massage. If you weren't at the award ceremony when they called your name they picked another. When the massage came up everyone wanted it and the first few names didn't get called and suddenly .... while he's chanting under his breath "call my name, call my name" ... they call out Travis's name! I told him I must be his good luck charm he had such a great day.
For a girl who just started running two years ago, and whose first 5k was 31 minutes, I'm pretty damn proud of myself. Travis said we have to start working on speed more so we can start winning all the races.
Yeah, like that's going to happen!
Have you even won a sporting event?