It’s funny how something as simple has a ponytail can be so irritating.
After the fifth attempt to put it up – and a squabble with Nick about who was going to drive the roof rack equipped car – I rushed out the door, frazzled, en route to my first-ever 5K, the SMHS Building Strength 5K. (Well, I ran Laura’s Run 5K at least five times as a teenager, so perhaps it wasn’t my first-ever… nonetheless, it was my first as an adult.)
As I arrived at Battle Creek Regional Park with about 10 minutes to spare, my morning anxiety and ponytail stress were replaced with gratitude for being able to run outside on such a beautiful September morning. After a quick chat with Hyedi – the race benefited her husband’s employer, which is fund raising to build a new mental health facility – we were off on a two-loop run around the park.
While the 5K wasn’t chip timed, I wanted to know how fast I could run. Three point one miles isn’t far, so I pushed myself to the edge of uncomfortableness during all of it (my heart rate averaged 167 bpm). Mile one didn’t feel bad, and despite not warming up, my legs felt loose and peppy. My Garmin is set up to take five-mile splits (I was too lazy to change it), so I spaced hitting lap one for a few steps; mile 1.02 = 7:52.
At 7:25, mile two was speedier and a bit more on the edge of my comfort zone, but it was hard it to notice my burning lungs much given all the smiling people running or walking the 5K and the gorgeous park – how have I never ran here before?!
As a I neared the end of the two-loop run, my Garmin read just 2.6 miles. There was no way I was going to run just that, so after crossing the official finish, I kept going. I finished the 3.1 in the middle of the course near some peppy, upbeat walkers, so I chatted with them for a bit before I started my cool down jog back to the finish line.
One of my favorite parts of the run: All the inspirational nuggets of wisdom along the course. Phrases were chalked on the path, and signs and balloons gave runners and walkers gentle reminders to always take care of themselves – and, a good reminder to me that, in the grand scheme of life, an uncooperative ponytail is pretty insignificant.
Another favorite part: running and catching up with Hyedi! It had been awhile since we’d seen each other in person (though there’s always lots of twitter and blog chat), so it was great to connect – all while running for a good cause. It was also great to meet Andrea in person after following each other on twitter for while :) And, fun to see you again, Stefanie!
Race results: 3.12 miles, 23:42, 7:36 pace
Splits: 7:52 / 7:25 / 7:34