Yes, that’s not a typo. I most certainly did a race after not participating in any since June. The Holly Run continues to be a race I automatically mark on my calendar to participate in, and 2016’s edition was certainly not going to be hindered by me toting around my growing baby belly! This year’s version did not disappoint in the least. The 5K was filled with 500+ participants ready to celebrate that “Life is Good, No Matter What”.
I wrangled both my parental units into running this race with me. Probably a good idea because my car tire decided to deflate before we even had left for the race. Minor tire drama aside, we managed to arrive to the race about an hour before, pick up packets, and do a small warm-up type thing. For me, this consisted of shedding my sweats, running probably for 2 minutes and deciding that was enough. No race goals makes for a much more relaxing day. My only goal was to A) Finish and B) Not get out of breath. Cool beans.
The race started right on time after a Moment of Loudness. A moment of loudness that corresponded to a rising in excitement, a burst of sunlight, and a perfect race morning. I started off conservatively with my pace, knowing full well that there was a decent sized hill within the first mile. I chugged up that bad boy, feeling like the Little Engine that Could (except with a pot belly) and arrived to the 1 mile split in 8:10. Thought to myself, “That felt rather easy, me thinks I can keep this up”. I continued on, again not feeling any inkling of the urge to race. I was smiling, waving, and strutting my awkward balanced running gait like it was going out of style. Mile 2 clocked in at 7:52.
And then…I for some reason felt the urge to be competitive after Mile 2, it’s like seeing age group competition in front of me was somehow the donut to hang in front of my face. I have not run low 8 minute miles since…um…September, and here I was, throwing down a 7:28 final mile. And a 6:45 pace last 0.1 And, no breathlessness. I felt weirdly strong.
And finished in 24:04. Which is almost 3 minutes slower than my time on this course last year. But last year I wasn’t almost 5 months pregnant. My overall pace wound up being 7:47. Can we say pregnancy PR? Are those a thing? Somehow this finish, knowing that I managed it in a race that holds such sentimental meaning to me, meant more than any of the times I threw down earlier this year. Belly for the win!