Last Saturday my daughter and I ran the Sweetheart Run 5K. We were glad to be well prepared for this run. We had a couple of friends that also ran this 5K with us.
This run was on the other side of town, so it was in an area that we were not well familiar with. We had to pick up our packets the day before our race. I went with a friend and we made an afternoon of it. We picked up our packets, went out to lunch, and then decided to drive the course since it was nearby. Once we saw the course, we were glad we did.
As any experienced runner knows, a big chunk of running is your mental state of mind. If you’re convinced that you can do it, you are very likely to succeed. Not knowing what to expect or what is around the next bend (literally) can defeat you. Below I am inserting a course map for your visualization. Yip, it was basically a big square. Easy, peasy, right?
Wrong. How this is even possible, or how anyone was able to find a place in the city that is mostly uphill, I’ll never know. We started at the top of the map where the red pinpoint is. Our first turn was a left hand turn, then there were four right hand turns, and a final left hand turn to put us back at the start/finish line. This is not a particularly hilly part of town, but we were surprised to find that after each turn you got to run uphill! None of these were big, nasty hills, but gradual inclines. We were glad to find that at the beginning of mile 3, there was a reprieve. There was a very nice decline in which we were hoping to get a bit of a break and try to make up for lost time.
Race day was here, and it was perfect running weather. The morning started off a bit cloudy and foggy, but it had all cleared by the start of the race. It was 52 degrees and a nice, sunny day. We got to the race plenty early and had time to take a look around at the running expo that was taking place that day. We were glad to know what was ahead of us. We weren’t expecting a PR on this course but planned to do the best we could.
The race started in waves, so I knew not to pay any attention to the clocks I saw along the route. Knowing what to expect during the race kept me going mentally and physically. I had my metronome tick-tocking in my ear at 180 beats per minute to keep me focused. I looked down at my Fitbit a few times during the race and was happy with the time I saw.
I crossed the finished line completely depleted but was happy with my performance. Once I got my official time, I was really excited to find that I had run this race in my second best time ever! Physically I was prepared because I have continued to run and train this winter. Mentally I was prepared by reviewing the course before the race. If it weren’t for these two factors, the outcome would’ve been completely different.
And, my daughter did get a PR! Woot, woot!!
Afterwards, we strolled through the running expo and picked up several freebies and registered for some give aways. I also found a really cool headband that I had to buy. After that was lunch with my daughter and a friend. Another great day to be alive!