Sunday, June 30, 2013

Running the Plank

Our race for June is complete!

Yesterday, Duane and I ran in the 2nd Annual "Run the Plank" 5K with 4 awesome friends. We all had a fantastic time!

Duane and I ran this race last year and really enjoyed it. The powers-that-be really stepped it up this year with tech shirts (instead of cotton t-shirts), finishers' medals and a free pasta dinner the night before. Just like last year, the race was 'run' really smoothly.

One of the things that I'm learning is how to enjoy running and slow down. I'm no sprinter and I'm not likely to win any age division awards, but I have a tendency to keep my head down and just get the run over with. This year during races, I'm really concentrating on enjoying the experience: looking up and around, smiling, encouraging people around me and not pressuring myself to beat my PR (personal record). 

Left to right: Laura, Julianne, Stephanie, Veronica, Duane, David

My sprint to the finish! You can see Stephanie and Laura
right behind me and Duane enjoying his post-race apple,
watching me finish.
One way to slow down and enjoy the race is to run with friends. I felt so blessed to run with Julianne, Laura and my best friend, Stephanie (who is also running the Detroit Marathon with HWP this year). Our goals included:
  1. Run together
  2. No walking/stopping
  3. Finish in 36 minutes or less
While running together, we encouraged one another and had a great time! I kept doing checks to make sure everyone was feeling good and called out our distance and pace every quarter mile. These girls are rockstars! No one needed to walk or stop throughout the entire run and we finished in 35:03 - 35:14! We ran the race together until the last tenth of a mile when we all kicked up our heels and sprinted to the finish on our own.

I am so proud of these girls! This race was Julianne's first 5K and her enthusiasm was contagious. Run the Plank was Laura's first race without walking/stopping. This was Stephanie's first 'official' 5K. She ran with Duane and me in a color run in May, but we discovered that that particular race was mismarked and only covered 2.75 miles. (No big deal as it's just a fun run anyway!)

So what about Duane and his friend, David? They're WAY to fast for us! They ran on their own and then relaxed for more than 10 minutes to watch us finish! Duane beat his PR and finished in 24:13! Yep, I'm one PROUD wife! David won his age division and finished in 21:49 - just crazy!

Stephanie and me showing off our finishers' medals
You can see in the photos that Duane, Stephanie and I are all wearing our Hope Water Project jerseys. We do this because the HWP team is HUGE and we don't know everyone. By wearing our jerseys to races, we hope to be 'recognized' by other HWP team members and meet them. We were stopped by a few team members yesterday and were asked to have our picture taken. I kinda felt like a celebrity!

Our training schedule called for 8 miles yesterday, but the race was only 3.1. Luckily, we live about 2.7 miles from the race. Solution? Run TO the race, run the 5K, run home FROM the race. Problem solved. So Duane, Stephanie and I headed out around 6:30 am. Unfortunately, that meant no free pizza post-race for us!

So we met our monthly race goal for June.

What's next?

Our first-ever Half Marathon is on July 21st in Chicago. I'm a little nervous for this milestone, but super excited to earn my "13.1" sticker for the back of my car!

Next Saturday, we run our longest distance so far: 10 miles. While that seems pretty daunting, I'm excited to complete it. I know that afterwards, 13.1 won't seem so far out of reach.

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Thank you so much for your encouragement! Your support and prayers will help me to reach my goal of 26.2 miles!