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Super Sunday 5K Race Recap! (and a friends first 5k!)

Posted Feb 03 2013 12:00am

02/03/13

Today was a wonderful day!  Not only did I complete my first race of 2013, but I got to run with two of my best friends (Melissa and Krista), AND one of them ran in their FIRST 5K ever, and completely ROCKED IT!  

Let’s start from the beginning….

Back in the beginning of January, I found a race sponsored by Super Hero Racing and realized that one of the three races they were hosting was in Worcester. They were hosting it at Worcester State University, where all three of us went to college (and became lifelong friends!).  Of course I then immediately emailed Melissa and Krista titling the subject of the email - RUN, JOG, WALK?   I chose to title this email RUN, JOG, WALK because a) it didn’t matter what any of us did (run, walk, jog, etc.) b) we were doing it together, and  c) These were two of my superhero friends, and I couldn’t imagine doing this race without them.  

I usually send most running emails to Melissa, updating her about different races I’ve seen, races I think we should run in, etc. I didn’t even hesitate once about sending it to Krista, and just did it.  Knowing that she’s been at every sports event Melissa and I have participated in (soccer games in college, races together, etc.) I knew she never ran in a race herself.  I did have the knowledge that she did/does go to the gym, and used to play field hockey in high school.  It was time to introduce her to the racing world, and the excitement of race day!  Also around New Years, I do remember her talking about how she wanted to eventually run in a race (5k….maybe more someday!).  Little did she know it was going to be so soon…. muahahaha… ;)  

One of the MILLION things that I love about my friends is that they are usually up for anything.  Mel said yes, and Krista (who’s usually been a spectator for our soccer games, races, etc) also said yes.  Of course there were some minor details, like Krista unfortunately coming down with being sick, and struggling with a broken rib.  But, being the  SUPERWOMAN that she is, she bounced back quickly, set goals, trained at her local gym, and surprised us all (well… we KNEW she could DO IT!!! ), including herself, at the finish line.  

Living about 30-40 miles away from these two crazy super women, I received texts from Krista updating me about her treadmill runs.  They made me smile, and I was so proud of her.  Treadmill’s like all runners know… are tough!  I was super proud of her for sticking with it, and pushing it.  I was rooting for her!  She was training hard, and it would all be worth it.  

I myself have never ran a race in January before.  Living in Massachusetts, January was for snowboarding, skiing, shoveling, and living in a winter wonderland.  This week, most of the snow was melted, but the weather reports were calling for cold temps and possible snow on Sunday, the day of the race.  OH GREAT.   

Sunday morning I met Krista and Melissa in Worcester at Melissa’s gorgeous apartment.  We chatted, stretched, had some coffee and filled out the entry forms Krista kindly printed out for us, before heading to Worcester State University.  

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The temps were reading 20 degrees, and snowflakes were dusting the campus.  It was cold.  We hoped we were bundled and warm enough.  I passed out hand warmers to my friends(thanks mom!) and hydrated a bit more before entering the good ol’ Student Center at WSU.

Like a proud mother..(what?)… I took a picture of Krista getting her race bib!

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We hung around in the student center for a bit, used the bathrooms, checked out peoples costumes etc.  Because this was a “Super hero racing” event, participants were encouraged to wear superhero costumes.  I tried to find some easy, cheap things/ideas online, and Melissa and I talked about getting capes, but decided against it.  Definitely next time though!  Some other runners were dressed up as Wonder Women, Robin,  others had superhero t-shirts on and many males had capes on too!  We also saw some runners wearing shorts! (craaaazy!)

It was now a little past 10:30, and the race didn’t start til 11:00.  We decided to head back to the car, BLAST the HEAT, and the MUSIC.  We gave Krista some last minute advice, and at about 10:50 jogged as a warm-up to the start line.  

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Melissa and Krista warming up!

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We found Batman’s Robin! 

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Me - Krista - Melissa

We started out all together at 11:00 when the race started, but then went our own ways.  The run started out pretty flat and fast, with two small hills.  The route was familiar because I (all three of us actually) went to Worcester State, AND I had to run some of the route for soccer practices.  During the 5K,  my legs felt good, but my feet were frozen!  I couldn’t start to feel them until mile 1.5 or 2ish.  I tried to focus on my breathing. The air was so cold that it pierced your lungs!

At about mile 2, there was a man with a dog running.  They both had capes on, which was super cute.  But then, the dog stopped to…well…do what dogs do when they stop running.  Unfortunately, I had to run by it, and got a big WHIFF.  I basically ran through the WHIFF.  WOAH.  It was funny and absolutely disgusting at the same time….I mean, it was hard to get mad….the dog had a cape on! ;)

The race was extremely well put together.  The race was to support the Worcester State University’s track team.  I think they were all rooting us on, if not running.  Worcester State had many students and team members (I couldn’t tell what team, but they all had team jackets on) lined up on the course, cheering runners on, and offering water.  They were also at every corner we had to turn.  Speaking of corners, because it was lightly snowing and accumulating, the race directors had put up cones on the corners where they thought it was slippery.  I thought this was extremely nice.   

Rounding the familiar corner that I’ve run past numerous times, I knew exactly the distance between there and the school.  I tried to lengthen my stride, and push it home.  I played the “reel the guy wearing the green shirt in” (where you’re  mentally and physically tired, know the end is near, but try to focus on a runner up ahead wearing something and try to close up the distance.  This keeps your mind off of everything.  …No?  Am I the only one that plays this mind game?…)

I pushed it in hard at the finish.  

Here’s what Nike+ running app that I used said:

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Mel was close behind and I got a great picture of her sprinting in with a group of people!  She did fabulous, and finished strong as always!!  (26:34)


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I congratulated Mel and we watched for Krista.  I gave Melissa my phone to take pictures, and decided to run back to see if I could see her and cheer her on.  

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Another Wonder Woman crossing the finish line! 

 I saw Krista at the home stretch,  about 150 yards to the finish line.  She was smiling and waving at me!  YES! This was a good sign!  I jumped in and started running next to her and was yelling a bunch of things, then I started jumping on her giving her high fives and basically attacking her because I was so happy and proud of her….. and then realized that I shouldn’t do that. hahaha.   This was the home stretch.  SHE WAS DOING IT!!   With a little more than 100 yards left, and the finish line in sight, I got off of the road/sidewalk and sprinted to find Melissa at the finish with my phone so we could get some more pictures, and be there at the end for Krista.  We were cheering for Krista, many others were cheering for her as well,  as she crossed the finish line, and kicked her goal in the FACE.  Mel and I were jumping on Krista and congratulating her!  SHE DID IT!!  She also ran a 35:23, and beat her treadmill personal best time of 37 minutes!

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Of course as soon as she crossed the finish line, Mel and I attacked Krista, jumped on her, and gave her some room to catch her breath. The three of us talked about how COLD it was, and how hard it was to breathe.  Being Krista’s first time running outside, she did FABULOUS in the cold weather.  We walked over to the car, where we met Melissa’s boyfriend Cean!  There we took some pictures and Melissa and I were so excited about Krista we had to tell the two gentlemen at the car next to us that she completed her first 5k!  They were extremely nice and congratulated her as well!  We talked to them for a bit, and decided to head into the Student Center to get some water, sit for a minute and stretch.  Inside the student center they offered runners water, Zico coconut water (plain and chocolate!), apples, granola bars, brownies, nutty bars, etc.  

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As mentioned before, I thought that The Superhero series was put together well and offered a lot for the participants.  There was chip timing, the option to register on race day, water stops along the course, time clocks on the course (halfway and at the finish), a place to rest after the run, food and drinks provided after, and there were also nice long sleeve shirts and drawstring bags.  A race organized and put on by superhero racing - http://www.superheroracing.com - is one that I’d like to run in again, and I’m pretty sure Melissa and Krista would too!  Perhaps even appear in costume! ;)

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We headed back to Melissa’s apartment to gather the rest of our things.  Krista had plans with her family for the rest of the day, so we congratulated her again, gave her a big hugs and said goodbye.  Melissa, Cean and I decided to grab some food before I had to head home.  

We ate at a restaurant in Worcester called The Boynton, and feasted on nacho’s, cheese fries, and had a refreshing beer.  
It was nice to catch up with them, seeing how I don’t get to see them very often.

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Here’s my final results according to Cool Runnings
35th/165.   24:42.  7:57min/mile

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Somehow, Melissa and I managed to come in top three in our age group as well..
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Reflecting back on the race, I feel ( in my own opinion) running is such an individual sport, AND a team sport.  Having friends there at the race and running with you makes the run SO much better.  

At the end of the day, it’s not all about what place you come in, or what your minute mile time is. It’s not about how fast or how slow you go.  It’s about witnessing friends FIRST 5K’s, the excitement, the happiness, setting goals and crushing them.   It’s about NOT QUITTING.  NOT STOPPING.  IT’S ABOUT NOT GIVING UP.  It’s about pushing your mind and your body.  It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, but finding a zone where you are content, and yet can keep pushing forward. Weather it’s your first 5k, your first mile run, or your first marathon, the hardest part is getting out the door.  When it comes to running, setting goals and taking one day at a time will help.  Be happy, for running isn’t easy. You’re going to have fantastic runs, and you’re going to have miserable runs.  That’s the way it is.   If it was easy, everyone would do it.  

My friends completely rocked it, although I expected nothing less from them.  I am so proud of them.  Like I said, I couldn’t imagine doing this race without them.  I’m honored to witness Krista’s first 5K, and am looking forward to running many more races with her.

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Congratulations Krista!   
We love you, and we’re so happy for you!
(& we promise that running in the spring and fall isn’t as bad as January! ;)  )

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