Make your own 5k adventure (and PR)

As you may know, The Run into the New Year 5k was supposed to be “Amy’s triumphant return to running.” Earlier this week, I feared it would be “Amy’s not-so-triumphant return to running.” In the end, it became “Amy’s really effed up return to running.”

My wonderful sister Emily K. said she would run this 5k with me, even though I told her she was free to go at her own pace and just find me at the end. She said she wanted to do this with me and that it didn’t matter how long it took, she’d be there with me the whole time. Yeah, I know. *tear*

Em & Me, pre race

We started off near the back of the pack and, well, we stayed there (hello, slow running FTW). My goal was to do intervals, but listen to my foot and lungs to determine how those intervals would be. We ran the first quarter mile in less than 3 min, which was pretty fast for me, especially for the start of a race where I didn’t know how my body would handle it. We did some running, then some walking, then some running… passed the 1 mi marker at just over 14 min, which is a great time for me – normally my run/walk pace is in the 16-17 range. My lungs were burning, my foot was starting to act up but Em kept pushing me on and encouraging me along the way.

My sister, looking too beautiful to be running. WTF

We turned the corner after going around the race track and were headed down the hill toward the start/finish line… and got very confused. The race was a 10k and a 5k and they had the first loop of the course going past the start/finish point around mile 1.2. The fast 10k-ers were coming around at this point and all the course marshalls seemed more focused on directing them than helping us. We asked someone at the water table where we were supposed to go and they blew us off.

No, YOU look crazy when you run.

It sucked because the people who were only running were far enough ahead we couldn’t see them and the walkers were far enough behind we didn’t want to wait for them to find out where to go so we just continued on south just like we did at the start of the race. We started to get worried that we missed a turn or something and I looked over and saw runners about a block away. So we cut across the street to figure out where in the hell we were. Realized we were about a third of a mile from the finish so we looped back with some other runners. Knowing full well that if we finished with this crowd, our time would be a sub-30 (more like a sub-25), we did the same quarter mile loop three times, cutting across the group of runners like a couple of fools. We saw some friends pass us who gave us looks like “how in the HELL did you pass me”… we laughed and said we’d explain later, as we took another walking break.

We got so confused it was laughable. Eventually we started to goof off and take silly pictures. We knew we would be close to the 5k mark, depending on what the last leg of the race was so after the 3rd li’l loop we headed to the finish. As we rounded the corner for the final straightaway, we made sure we were running so everyone would think we had ran the whole time (duh, we’re so smart)… and came down to the finish with a flurry. I heard some friends cheer and I’m sure they couldn’t figure out how we finished in 40 min. After we got the timing chips off our feet my friend Rochelle came and hugged us and congratulated us on an awesome time. I couldn’t stop laughing and shoved my garmin in her face… I said, “look look at the distance!” “2.62 mi? what happened?” And so we had this fun story to share with everyone as we found them post race. It was a Make-your-own 5k… complete with a choose-your-adventure option.

yay! we did it!

Afterwards we had beer and caught up with some friends.

Then we headed over to Paulie’s on Greenfield with a few people for post-race libations… Em and I had the nachos and quesadillas… and a lot of beer.

Photo: Kay

Then, we went home and decided we had to fit in the rest of the 5k we missed earlier… so we ran on a full stomach of beer and nachos a quarter mile from home and back. We had to stop to walk so many times because we thought we were gonna puke… but we did it, even sprinting the last .1 like we were sprinting to the finish line. Then I really almost puked.

Good times, great people. Happy freaking new year.

Splits: 14:10, 16:47*, 14:49 (.62), 14:32 (.48)

*this is where all the race confusion was, as evidenced by the time

Oh and PS: This was a PR for me, even with the disaster of a race!

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