To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Track Town 5K, With a Twist

Here's a first.... The first race report I have written on my phone while a baby sleeps on my lap!

In 2010 I ran the 5k from Eugene Marathon weekend for the first time. I was immediately sucked into that race weekend, only missing 2013 due to my wedding reception. There is something about running in Eugene that just makes you run better .... probably all of those crazy fast people you're surrounded by! The next 3 times I raced that weekend it was for the half marathon. Last year I planed to do the half and set a new goal for myself, but life had other plans. I ended up with doctor's orders to not do 13.1, but I could do 3.1 if I ran easy and took walk breaks. All of this was to keep my body in a safe and happy state since I was recovering from egg retrieval and preparing for my embryos to be implanted. It was a very worthy reason to run a 5k versus a half marathon! 

This year I had a pretty good reason again! I finally felt able to resume running after having my precious little baby, but that was only a week before the race. I want to start early being a good example to Katura and showing her how fun it is to be active, and prove that if you want to do something, you can. So I decided that less than 3 months after giving birth I was going to "race" again! I asked my mom to join me as I entered the Track Town 5K as one of those stroller people pushing a baby. I was prepared to be a stroller person!?!

Friday we ladies went up to Eugene for the expo, and frankly it was rather blah for all the hype of it being the 10th year. I maybe had too high of expo expectations. Getting our packets was a breeze though and we even won some free boxes of pancake mix! Most of our day was spent shopping, and I did find Katura her first race day outfit pants and a onesie that says "Team Mommy", which is very fitting since she was with her mommy and I was with mine!

Race day started extra early for me since now I have to be prepared with a diaper bag and milk for my girl, as well as my regular race gear. Around 6am we were on the road and heading to my usual parking spot a few blocks from the start line.

It was pretty chilly at first, so Operation Baby Bundle was in effect! No way would she be cold during this race! After her breakfast we made our way to the start area for last minute potty trips, start line photos and bonding with the other stroller people. We are certainly the minority, but didn't mind all mingling with each other at the very back of the pack. 

Once we hit the start line, however, we began running and set ourselves apart from the slow walkers and hand holders. That is a big race pet peeve of mine. Hold hands on a walk in the park, but don't get all cozy and attached during a race when inevitably you end up being a sort of wall that people have to weave around. So my pet peeve helped us get moving and in a safe pocket of fast walkers. 

The plan was basically to quickly walk and then run once we hit the track. Plans change. My legs feel better running, so any time they got cranky we would do a light run. Going down hills with a stroller is a totally new thing for me, and I learned it is easier to run that as well since the stroller is already wanting to go faster. Oh man, my arms! My legs felt it a little bit, but my arms are what got the real workout on that course. I had to do a lot of diverting around potholes and nasty parts of the street. Plus I had a death grip on it because that was my sleeping baby in it after all!

Coming up to the Hayward Field entrance we were cheered on by spectators rooting for those of us pushing our babies. That was fun and obviously very new to me! We hit the track and I told my mom we were running it in to the end. What I neglected to tell her was I always practice a finishing kick and use it in every race. Those people we were back and forth with during the race now became targets for me to pick off one by one. And I did. And then the real sprint happened and I confess I did ditch my mom in the last 10 or so yards. I always have to give my all at the end!

I was completely stunned when we were given medals! (They've never done this before!) And not a rubber cartoon-like medal like at a Disney race, but real, super nice medals! As we exited the race area we were given reusable water bottles with the race logo on them, already filed with water. Plus we got reusable tote bags, also with the logo, filled with snacks. Nice work, Eugene!! For the first time in all of my Eugene races I actually took advantage of the free pancakes. It was kind of fun to sit and have breakfast outside in the grass with my mom and daughter! Heck the whole weekend was fun!

On the way to the car we had to get some post race photos by Steve Prefontaine, as per usual. It felt great! I am so glad I signed up on a whim and that my mom joined me. So now I am looking forward to more training runs and building back up to my happy 13.1 distance, picking out some half marathons, and many more shorter races with my little girl and her stroller!

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