Thursday was the annual Women's Distance 5k run/walk - a friendly, not too competitive, women only event. As far as I know, in previous years the event has always been at Dryden Lake but this year it was at Stewart Park.
I had the event on my calendar for a while, but with vacation last week I forgot to pre-register. The forecast for this week was really humid and rainy and when I checked the forecast earlier in the week it looked like storms Thursday night so I didn't think I would go to it. I went to the gym Wednesday night for the first time in over a year and did a bunch of squats and lunges and moves I haven't done in a very long time and my hamstrings and butt were definitely feeling it Thursday.
I got a text from Lesley Thursday afternoon (her and her mom had pre-registered for the event) that her mom wasn't coming, so I could use her bib if I wanted. I checked the forecast again, and there was going to be a break in the rain at the time of the race, so at about 5:15 I decided to do it (it started at 6:30).
I met up with Lesley at Stewart Park and soon after our friend Kate showed up. Kate had a baby six weeks ago so she was basically already winning just by showing up to the event. We chatted for a bit and wandered to the start - none of us even knew where the course went (this is a super low key, small event). Lesley gave me Mark's running watch to use, but wasn't sure how to work it, so at the last second when the race horn blew she gave me her watch, which was already started...so I ran the course with a watch on each wrist.
Lesley took off and we lost sight of her within a minute. Kate and I had not discussed if we were going to run it together or any plans but we ended up staying together the entire time. Our watches beeped at the 1 mile mark with a 8:17 pace which I think shocked both of us. That's faster than I usually ever run. Our next two miles were a little bit slower but still under 9 minute miles. It's such a low key event which is really nice - before the race we were talking about how enormous the boilermaker race is and how it's kind of stressful and not as fun.
We ran to the edge of the farmer's market and turned around a cone to head back to Stewart Park. We had to cross a few bridges in the park that are super bouncy when you run on them -- it was hard to run across them. I was super impressed with Kate the entire time - this was her first time running a consecutive 3 miles since having her baby. We pushed it a little harder for the last tenth of a mile and crossed the finish line in complete unison -- it was kind of funny how in sync we were with running together even though we've only run together a few times.
We finished with a time of 27:20 which we were both happy with. I've done more running this year than I ever have so I was curious how doing a 5k would feel after completing 2 half marathons earlier this year. I find it really hard to push myself at all when running alone. I definitely felt like I was working during this one, but I could have gone harder so I should keep that in mind for upcoming tris. Having a watch is super helpful and I think I'm going to have to get an entry level garmin soon.
We hung out for a while afterwards chatting about running and races and life, and eating watermelon. All in all, a very enjoyable evening.