This morning was the 2nd Annual Weimarunner 5K. I love this race because they offer 2 options- 1 for runners without dogs and 1 for runners with dogs and I run them both back to back. 1 to challenge myself and 1 to run for fun with my niece, Tawnie, and my weim, Bisou.
I went into the 1st run with an idea of where I should be, an idea of where I would like to be, and with a feeling that I didn’t want to be pressured or disappointed in the end. I woke up with an uneasy stomach. Perfect. Thankfully, I had given myself plenty of time this morning to get my tummy settled and work out the nerves pre-race. I actually ate a small breakfast (which I normally don’t do before a 5K) and ran a short warm-up after I checked in at registration. It’s a really small race, so I lined up close to the front at the start line. It was near 70 with winds gusting up to 13 mph. And I could tell it was about to get hot quick. The race started and I had the giddyups from the beginning. I shot out with the other front runners and was surprised when I glanced at my Garmin to see I was near a 6:40 pace. Oops. Time to slow down. The first mile I ran how I felt and ended up with a 7:17 split. My body was feeling good, but my head was telling me to slow down, to pace myself so I could finish strong. It was truly a beautiful day on the trail around Raccoon River Park. Starting on the 2nd mile, we were in the shade with a view of the lake to our right. I was right, it was heating up fast and I was thankful for a mile under trees and with the wind at my back. My pace kept fluctuating between 7:00 and 7:30. I kept telling myself I could do better and to keep pushing. I was still feeling good heading into mile 3. We hit the asphalt and came back under the glaring sun. At this point, the heat hit me. I started to strategize how I could grab my inhaler from my car before starting the next race with Tawnie. It is one of the few races ever that I thought about needing my inhaler, usually, my asthma is well maintained by preventative measures. Around 2 1/2 miles, the wind hit me. Hard. I just kept telling myself I could do it. I could keep the pace. I could finish strong. And I did. I finished in 23 minutes. Which, is right where I thought I should be and right around where I wanted to finish. I saw my mom and dad at the finish with my niece and Bisou. My mom had my water bottle ready for me and I walked off with Tawnie as she described every dog at the race and as I worked to catch my breathe. I had 7 minutes between races. Thankfully, those 7 minutes were all I needed. I quickly recovered, drank water, got Bisou water, took some pictures, and lined up at the start again for an easy run with Tawnie and Bisou.
I ended up finishing in the top 10 overall. I was the 3rd female finisher and I won my age division. Small races are great for making you feel good about yourself :).
The start of the 2nd race was congested as the runners and their dogs tried to find their pace and settle in their place on the course. Again, the beauty of the course struck me and I felt so happy to be running with my two favorite girls! I’m so lucky to share these experiences with them! I knew the first water stop was coming up close to the 1 mile mark and mentioned to Tawnie that we could stop for a short rest. The water was awful and tasted like chlorine. I nearly coughed up the tiny sip I took and realized Bisou was the smart one refusing the water. As we started out again, I threw up a little in my mouth but thankfully held it back. Around 1 1/2 miles, Tawnie started to breathe heavy with her exaggerated wheeze/wimper for extra emphasis. At first, I pushed her on, telling her the next water stop was in another half mile and we would take a walk break then. Then, I remembered how I was feeling around the last mile of the previous race and ask her if she was having trouble breathing, recognizing her asthma was probably acting up in the heat too. We changed plans and slowed to a walk. After she had caught her breathe, we jogged to the next water stop. As we started out on the next and final mile, she actually told me to stop talking! She was no longer going to talk and I shouldn’t either. After running in silence for a few minutes, I started to say something and she immediately cut me off with “I am NOT talking!” Whoa! Ok! The BF told me had mentioned to her during the GOTR 5K that she should stop talking and save her energy. I guess she listened to him! I really wasn’t quite sure how I felt about that… but we kept on running in silence. As we reached the asphalt, the sun hit both of us. I pointed out to Tawnie that we could now see the finish line. I told her how amazing and awesome she is and that she could finish strong- we were almost there! I started to pick up the pace and push her. I could hear her breathing heavy again and starting to resist my strategy. I just kept encouraging her and soon enough, we started to pass the runners we had trailed for the entire race thus far. I pointed out my mom standing just ahead to cheer us on. I pointed out the finish line straight ahead and asked if she was ready to kick it into high gear and sprint it in. This was met with a very growly “I am NOT doing that today!” Ok. I told her we didn’t have to, but she followed my lead and we continued to pass other runners. I pointed out my dad straight ahead and reminded her to smile for the pictures! Bisou and I veered off the course and sent her through the finish line shoot since I technically didn’t register to run both races. She walked off toward the shade and Bisou pulled me toward her. She did great! I was so proud of her and that finish! 🙂 She crossly told me that she had already nearly puked. So, I shared with her that I nearly puked as well at mile 1 running with her and Bisou and that just happens sometimes. Apparently, she did not appreciate my insight as she stalked off without me. She bounced back after about 10 minutes and she ended up finishing first in her age group too!
Now, here’s something new that I encountered during the 2nd race this morning… as we started off on the 2nd mile, we passed a woman running with a stroller. No big deal, right? As we passed her, I peeked into the stroller and was quite surprised to see whiskers coming out from it! This woman was running a 5K for dogs, pushing her dog in a stroller? Seriously? We just witnessed a new low folks.