Saturday, February 15, 2014

Double 5K Weekend!

Last weekend, I did something I haven't done since college track: I ran two races in one weekend. One with my awesome friend Kalie, who set a goal to run twenty-five 5Ks to celebrate her twenty-fifth year of life, and one with both Kalie and another friend, Chelsea, who brought her sweet baby in his running stroller.

And it was an adventure.

Fort Bliss Post Championship 5K

The weekend kicked off at 5:30 a.m., hunting for a parking space within walking distance of Soto Gym, where registration was being held and where the race would start. At 6:30 a.m. This early start time was a first for me, although not that uncommon in the military, I'm sure. I finally parked in the middle of a huge field with hundreds of other cars, as the parking lots had filled long before I arrived. And then I pushed my way into the gym (it was necessary to literally push), and...proceeded to wait in the wrong line for fifteen minutes. Because I couldn't see the sign that said "Active Duty Only." There was no wait at the family member table, because apparently Kalie and I were the only ones crazy enough to actually do this.
At the starting line, with at least 2000 soldiers, it snowed on us. But it wasn't that cold, and it ended up getting warm later that day.
Starting Line   photo by Fort Bliss MWR
Race Highlights 
Getting to run with Kalie! 
It was free!
Running with so many soldiers made it a really fun atmosphere. 
And running as it snows is always exciting.

Stepping over so much spit as we ran...I know normally some runners spit, but I've never seen anything like this!
A pile-up and wait at the finish line because there were so many people trying to cross at once.

The Nun Run 5K

The next day found us at Loretto Academy, a Catholic school in El Paso, at the much more reasonable starting time of 9 a.m. They were hosting the Nun Run, a fundraiser to benefit missionaries. I had never been to this neighborhood, and it was a beautiful area.

The three of us before the start
The course wound through the streets surrounding the school, going up and down more hills than I had imagined there would be, and passing beautiful historic homes. 

Race Highlights
The beautiful course
Running what I thought was a decent time for being 17 weeks pregnant and starting to feel it--26:28
My shirt has a running nun on it. Awesome!
French toast and good fellowship afterward at The Clock Restaurant!

Missing an announcement at the start for all runners to come to the front--somehow we wound up behind a crowd of walkers.

New favorite race T-shirt

The Aftermath

Saturday I ran faster than I have in a while, to see how fast I could still run a 5K. I didn't go all out, though, and I didn't feel overexerted at all during the race, so I didn't expect to be quite as sore and tired as I was in the following days. I ended up needing to take an extra day off from running this week to recover. I'm sure this is related to the pregnancy, though I don't know the exact physiological explanation for why I'm so much more tired after running fast while pregnant (because my body is using most of its energy to grow a human?). So I probably won't be running anymore (semi)fast 5Ks until after we meet our baby this summer, but I am encouraged by how I was able to run, even despite the fatigue afterward.

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