Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Race Recap: Race for the Cure 5K

This past weekend, I spent a lot of time offline - enjoying the summer weather with my family. My hubby and kids spoiled me for Mother's Day, and I couldn't help but relish every moment.
"My cup runneth over" Psalm 23:5

I ran this race as a member of the
 Peoria Air National Guard team.
Saturday was particularly perfect. I started off the day at one of my favorite races ever, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K.  This event has special meaning since it was my very first race (2001).  It's also our community's biggest fundraiser for breast cancer, the disease that took my grandmother when I was just a toddler.  Always the Saturday on Mother's Day weekend, it's heart-warming to see the crowds that gather for this occasion - grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, and each year more men participate too.  By far, the largest hoopla you'll ever see surrounding a 5k run/walk.

I arrived about 45 minutes before the start, for the mere purpose that I wanted a good getaway parking spot.  The race started a 8:00am and I had to teach Spinning at 9:00am. Talk about an incentive to run fast!  My plan was to finish the 5K in under 30 minutes, run through the finish line straight to my car, and then jet off to the gym.

I purposely didn't plan to "meet up" with anyone pre-race. It was a nice change of pace to just show up and run. I relaxed on a curb pre-race, soaking in the beautiful morning sun while listening to the pre-race ceremonies from the stage. I love watching the huge group of survivors and big crane up in the sky that takes their group photo each year.
The Survivors.  Photo from the Susan G. Komen FB page

After a quick jog around the parking lot to warmup, I bumped into some friends near the starting line and waiting there for the official start. I haven't run the Race for the Cure in a couple years, so I was surprised to see all the men lining up in front. The race has evolved through the years. The first year I ran, there were no male runners - only a "mile of men". Then it had a waved start - women first and then the men 10 minutes later. We ran the same course, but it guaranteed a woman winner. I always used it as an incentive... my goal being to reach the 2 mile marker before the lead male came zooming past me. Now it's all merged together as one - probably for the best - but personally, I liked the wave start best.

I haven't run a 5K in a long time, and certainly had not trained for the speed that these shorter races require. My only goal was to finish in time to make my 9am Spinning class!  It was a silent flag start, and just like that, we were off. I knew the course well, but hadn't given it much thought when I registered. I completely forgot how hill-challenging the course is.  In the first mile, we did a gradual climb up University Avenue. There's a clock at the top of the hill to mark the end of the first mile, and I sadly noted that I was a full minute off the last time I ran this one. Sigh...

The latter miles circle through pretty neighborhoods, adding in several more hills. I always like to see residents sitting out in their yards, cheering runners on. What I wouldn't give to live on a race course!
My friend Cassie was out cheering along the course and caught me as I ran by...

I hauled it in for the final mile and finished with an official chip time of 28:44.7
That averages out to a 9:15 pace. For now, I'm okay with that!

I hurried off to the gym and continued the Pink Celebration with my For The Cure ride in Spinning class. It's an inspiring but tough ride. I left the gym with a big smile on my face, happy to have squeezed in both a race and a Spin class - all before 10am.  

My hubby and kids had been busy too. They spent the morning cleaning the house from top to bottom and doing laundry. I walked in the door and my kiddos yelled out, "Happy Mother's Day!"  We spent the rest of the day shopping for and planting flowers. It was truly the best day ever.


  1. Sounds like a great 5K for an awesome cause! Great job on your run. it looks like you had a marvelous Mother's Day!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jess! It really was a picture perfect day. Are you running the Marathon this weekend? Don't forget the Promise Run will be here before we know it on 10-18-14!

  4. What a great weekend for you!

    I love how you state that your goal was to be done with the race and make it to the 9am spin class. When I ran the WDW marathon in January, my goal was to finish it, make it back to the hotel to shower, and be ready for my shuffle ride to the airport. Mission accomplished!


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