"Welcome back to 5k's" is what I said to myself on race morning. A new year with 5k's and Half's as my focus.
Last year, this was also my first 5K for the year. Yet, this year - I felt triumphant even before the starting gun.
My husband would be running the 5k, also. I drew Ladybug's on our race bibs. I added 13 dots on the Ladybug, she was 13 when she died in 2011
My husband is not a runner, he loves to mountain bike. So, "running" is just not his thing & that's fine by me.
I had made it through my 10k (the previous week) with no GI issues. This week was another test. 5k's, I run faster - so there is more potential for GI upset.
That morning I had a apple juice/smoothie in my NutriBullet and a Bonk Breaker Peanut Butter & Jelly bar. Bonk Breakers are gluten-free, so I am trying them out.
Weather was a beautiful 55-60F. No winds or breezes and the sunshine was out. I love living in Vegas with the 360 days of sunshine. Even if it is brutally cold, we sill have that yellow ball in the sky!
It was my first run without leggings or tights since November. I have been cold all winter. But, I knew I could wear shorts. It felt great to be back in shorts.
My time goal was to be in the 25's. If I stay there, then I know I am not loosing fitness. I can hit a plateau, but loosing fitness or speed would not be good for me or my confidence.
After a good warm-up, I did a few sprints just to feel out my lungs as the cold temps can often bring on my asthma. I didn't feel any burning, but as a precaution, I decided to use my inhaler, anyways.
The Chef's for Kids 5k is an annual event. The local culinary school comes out in full force to provide course support and post-race food. My boys wore their own chef jacket's and hat's. A gift given to them by our best friends. My husband is a Chef on the Las Vegas Strip, but he decided to wear work-out gear.
At the start, I looked for Terri Gamer. She won 3rd place overall last year and I hoped she would be there again, as I thought she could move up. I didn't see her. Darn. But, I did see Tracy Aukamp. Hadn't seen her in AGES, so it was great to say a quick "hello" before the start. Also chatted with Gabe Dunkle. He is such a nice guy and a class act.
The race was held at Bunker Park. A perfect place to PR, but it does have it's spots of challenges. My goal was to run it at a 8:30 for 2 miles and then kick at Mile 2 to finish within the 25ishy range. 5k's are the one place I can kick, go figure.
I felt steady and consistent. That was my goal. Stay level and concentrate on my arm swing. For some reason, my arm swing has been too high for several months. Not good form.
As I came into the turn around, I saw Terri Gamer. I screamed at her that she was in FOURTH place and she needed to kick to get into 3rd. What I didn't know, she thought she was in 6th place because there were a few female "pacers" on the course and she thought they were runners. Unfortunately, Terri had her headset on, so she didn't hear me. So sad, she was SO close to winning another 3rd place trophy this year.
I came into the Mile 2 and the kick started. Not an all out sprint, but a gradual build. I was well on target for anywhere in the 25's and I was not going to blow up on a 5k. I knew a PR was out of the question (24:44 in 2011) so, why push myself too hard? I pushed, don't get me wrong - but not to point of risking injury or side stitches.
As the final turn came to us, I didn't take that corner very well. I came into the shoot at 25:32 and I was real happy to see that time. Felt great. Not one bit of GI issues. 5k test - PASSED! So far, this gluten-free diet is doing great for me.
I would like to give a SPECIAL shout-out to Priscilla Ortiz.
She showed amazing sportsmanship AND class on the course today. As I stood at the Finish Line cheering on runners, I noticed she was running back and forth to any runner she could to cheer them onto the finish.
She wasn't standing there, clapping - she was running.
She ran besides parents with baby strollers, men, women and children.
She showed the ultimate display of sportsmanship,
She showed the ultimate display of sportsmanship,
if you ask me.
Thank you, Priscilla for being out there
for so many of the racers.
I saw their smiles as you were encouraging them
to the Finish Line.
You made a difference, my dear.
Wouldn't it be an amazing thing to see the Finish Line lined with fellow runners, cheering on others at all races? I have been there and seen it MANY times, during my races in California. I would love to see that type of energy and sportsmanship displayed in my own city...heck, I would love to see it in ALL cities, across this country. (And now, you know why I love racing so much in California)
My husband finished strong, he has not run in so long - so he did intervals. He has a goal to complete the Disneyland Dumbo Double this year.
Results were posted and as luck would have it - Tracy Aukamp was 3rd in Master's Female and Terri Gamer was 1st in Female Master's (and a great PR!). I came in 2nd.
|L-R: Me (2nd place), Terri Gamer (1st place) and Tracy Aukamp (3rd place)|
With my traditional post-race photo with Ladybug's Ball. This time, I included my son's - don't they look like a Foodie in their Chef outfits?
|Post race with my son's and Ladybug's Ball|
I feel great about my efforts and results of this race. I gave it all I had for that 3.1 miles and that is the promise I made to myself, at the beginning of the year. Do 100% effort or don't race. Looking forward to running the Surf City Half and then Los Angeles Marathon. Two tests passed (GI issues) - two more to go!
2013 is starting off to be a great year!
(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored Brand Ambassador for RobKellerMD.com
*San Francisco Marathon Ambassador 2012-13
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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