My almost-PR  Valentine’s 5k!

So I had planned to run the Shamrock Shuffle 5K for my first race of the year in March. But this week I realized I will be out of town that weekend at the same time I realized it was supposed to be nice this weekend and the UW Running Club Valentine’s 5K was today! I volunteered at this race when I was in Team in Training in 2008 and I ran it in 2011. Its a good little race, no frills and cheap! They had online registration so I got registered for only $6.70 on Wednesday!

When I ran on the treadmill Friday morning, I went harder than usual and only at the end thought maybe I shouldn’t have done that since I had a race today. That didn’t end up being a problem.

The weather forecast was 40 at race time! What do you wear for a race on a 40-degree winter day? I settled for a long sleeve shirt and took along my jacket, but decided to take off the jacket for the race. That left me a little cold in the first part of the race, but I warmed up nicely.

Over my long sleeve, I pulled out my running mama trainwrecks shirt, which I haven’t worn in years since it only really works over another shirt. I got connected to my first and best mama friends through the Runner’s World Forums early in my pregnancy with Allie. I ran with two other mamas as a relay team for the California International Marathon relay in 2010 and we made these shirts!

So we got there and of course couldn’t find parking right away because its always hard to park on the UW campus. But we managed to get parked in plenty of time for me to pick up my stuff and then for us to walk to the start.

Since it was nice, Dada and the kids came! They loved getting outside and I loved having the there!

When we started I decided this probably wouldn’t be a PR race because it started on a narrow bike path and it was crowded at first as any race is. But I ran as fast as I could and was surprised to see my first mile beeped on my garmin just before the first mile marker on the course at 9:53! Then mile 2 was 9:45! OK, maybe I can make a PR…

I wanted to slow down but I also was thinking I did have a chance of breaking that PR. Mile 3 was a bit slower in part because we had to stop and walk around an icy patch on the course, 10:08. My garmin hit 3 miles about a 10th before the third mile marker. And in fact, my garmin measured the 5K mark right at the 3-mile marker and THAT would have been a PR at 30:50. But the course still had another 10th of a mile and I ended up clocking 31:47 as my official time. But that’s OK!

I was feeling pretty tired and my stomach hurt, but when I hit the third mile marker I sped it up, at least I felt like I was speeding it up, to the finish. I could hear a runner just behind me as I rounded the corner to see the finish. I ran hard to beat her, but in the end she crossed the finish just barely in front of me.

But 31:47 is a mere 25 seconds from my official (really old) PR of 31:23. Maybe I could have made it today if I hadn’t had to slow down on an icy patch or not weave through the crowd at the beginning. But I’m not disappointed. I’ve been steadily moving toward that PR with 32:04 last August and 31:59 on Thanksgiving. This is another post-kids best and I KNOW I will beat that PR this year. I set that PR in 2008!

My. kids. SO CUTE! They were both cheering for me so much and Peyton kept saying over and over “you won the finish line!” I sure did, buddy! I won that finish line!

I looked up my results from when I ran this race in 2011. I finished in 37:17 and was in the last 20 finishers. This year I finished pretty much right smack in the middle.

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