No, that typo in the title is not mine; it was on the shirt. And no, the 5K was not on St. Patrick’s Day, but that is still the name of the race.
Last year’s time: 35:45
This year’s time: 33:28
Yes, I was pregnant last year, and I was pissed I had run so slow, but I had just run my half marathon. I was nauseous, but I will still skinny and in running shape. And I went faster this year.
33 minutes is a pretty average 5K pace for me, a normal pre-pregnancy time. This particular route is pretty flat and fast, but nonetheless, I am taking it. I think I can consider this race running like I did before my son.
And after killing myself for over 5 months now, I will take that as a win.
This year was not cold, and I was not plagued with morning sickness. But I also greeted the finish line with no ambitions. I had not run a timed 5K since the Jingle Bell 5K in December, and I was simply curious to see if my pace had changed since then. I shaved off nearly 3 minutes in so many months.
I run differently since having my son. I am less rigid and driven. Yes, I always want to run the full distance, and I still cling to the same pace goals. Yet I now accept when it doesn’t happen. If I have a rough day, if I have to walk, it is ok.
So I just ran the 5K. I did go a little too fast my first mile, but nothing like my usual. I knew the route from the previous year, which was helpful. I was not surprised by the pointless T-shaped switchbacks in the last mile. I just wore my green, wogged, and forced myself not to think about pace or passing people or anything.
It mostly worked, and in the end, the time was definitely a success. It makes me wonder what I will run like after my rib and sciatic nerve are fully recovered and when I lose my last 15 pounds to be prepregnancy size. It would be quite a shock if I could come out better than I went in and maybe finally worth all this work.
The races are lined up. I pretty much have at least one per month selected (or already registered) through the end of the year. And I am pulling no punches. There is another half marathon on the docket (all downhill, thankfully); I am returning to Cripple Creek (my most challenging race to date). No more recovery; this is normal running now. Running now takes a backseat to two kids, a partner, two jobs… but it’s still a high priority!
Sanity always is.