Hark! A blog post that isn’t totally and entirely related to children or pregnancy. These things DO still exist, kind of. Back on May 20, Hubs and I registered to run the Dart Frog Dash 5K at the Toledo Zoo. It’s a race that we did last year, thoroughly enjoyed (despite the weather), and decided it would be a perfect 5K to kick off “Project Get Eli Into Racing Form Again 2.0”. In essence, it was my baseline 5K test to thoroughly gauge how in or out of shape I currently am. If this were a pendulum, it would strongly be leaning more towards the out of shape realm (but approaching the midline, hopefully).
After I had James back in ’14, I ran the Melon Festival 5K as my first race back (at 6 weeks post-partum) and clocked a 23:56 after running for a solid 1 day. I also ran with him up to my due date, so I really only had 7ish weeks away from exercising.
This time, I hopped off the exercise horse early (at 37ish weeks pregnant), but was able to start running again a bit earlier (4.5 weeks post- partum…hallelujah to no repair!). So, I was off running about the same time, but didn’t run this race until I was approaching 8 weeks post-partum. So, we are comparing apples to…bananas? here.
The Dart Frog Dash covers the roads surrounding the Toledo Zoo and ventures through some old and very pretty neighborhoods. My only gripe with the course is that the roads are in pretty god awful shape in some places. Like, very uneven footing and chuckholes, so you definitely have to watch where you’re going so you don’t roll an ankle or fall into a pit of despair.
The last 1/4 of a mile ends in the Zoo, but has a bunch of hare pin turns that don’t allow you to get a proper kick. I already knew all of this from running last year and being hella out of shape, I really wasn’t too worried about that part. My goal, simply, was to A) Finish, B) Run a 24-25 minute race (although on a good day I knew I was capable of faster), C) Not pee my pants (hardy har, post partum runner humor).
The race took off nearly right on time and I cautiously started. I didn’t want to start too fast (hello, out of shape) and get caught up in the excitement of the day. Plus, I did no warm-up and my hamstrings were protesting just a tid. Mile 1 felt like it was mostly downhill and registered at a 7:48. Feeling good, I tried to pick up my pace a bit and hold steady. Mile 2 clocked in at a 7:29. Money. There were a few runners in front of me that looked to be of the female variety and of my age group, but I felt no pressure to even try to race them. Instead, I just focused on me. Mile 3 was a 7:28. As I wound around the final turn into the finish chute, I saw that I was going to finish under 24. I crossed the line in 23:13 (7:29/mile avg) and 2nd in my Age Group. So yes, I achieved all my A, B, and C goals.
Hubs and James crossed the finish line in 24:56 (which I think is impressive given that is 35 pounds of pure toddler to push up the hills going into the wind). James told me all during the race that “he and Daddy were trying to find Mommy”.
Definite sense of satisfaction for my first 5K race (and race in general) back since having Lucas. It was fun to be back out running without having my belly make me do the backwards lean and waddle posture and have my back kill me at the end. It was fun to be able share a fun even with my husband and son. It was a pleasant surprise to get any age group award. But now the work begins, I’ve got some big goals and I’m more than willing to put in the hard work to achieve them.