WARNING: the pictures in here are so freaking big they may cause trauma. Couldn't figure out how to make them smaller. I think I need a tutor.
I ran a double race with NCAthlete (Chris) just before Thanksgiving—the Pumpkin Pie 5K and 10K in Denver. She wrote about it here.
Fun fact: the only other time I did a double was with another Loopster – AlliKate. It was on the same course, but the experience was quite different. This time it was cold (not hot). The 5K was first (not second). There was almost no time between races (we had an hour or so last time). And of course, this time there was pie. Lots of pie – which I expected to be mediocre, but was actually very tasty.
Anyway … Chris and I stayed in my warm car as long as possible, then jogged about half a mile to the start. Just enough time for a quick selfie before the gun went off.
She decided to run the 5K with me. That meant she’d be taking it easy and I would do my best to keep up. I hadn’t been in a race since February and I’ve spent a good chunk of 2017 injured, so I had no goals other than running happy and finishing the whole thing in the 10-minute-mile range.
We took off in a crowd, but stayed pretty chill until things cleared out. It was a narrow course with a lot of turns and kids and costumed runners—definitely not the place to get stressed out about pace. We moved along fairly quickly, (by my standards, not hers), chatting most of the time (which means I could have gone faster, but what the heck, it felt like a push to me. Note race face. It looks like I smelled some rancid pie).
Sometime in the second mile, I noticed we were doing most of the passing. Of course, as soon as I said it out loud, a couple of groups came storming by us. But we kept picking people off and before long, cruised over the finish line in 28-something, somewhere around a 9:12 pace. A nice surprise for me and a decent warmup for Chris.
The next race was scheduled to start in less than 15 minutes and we had to wear a different bib for that event. Those bibs were in our cars—which as I said, were half a mile away. So we made a mad dash for the pie table, grabbed a slab for Chris and hustled to the parking lot. I didn’t even try to run with pie, but was amazed at Chris’ display of speed and dexterity.
Once at the car, we changed out shirts and bibs, then set off again, racing back to the start where the 10K runners had already begun to take off. We slipped into the back of the crowd and wished each other well. Determined not to bonk in the second race, I slowed down a bit and tried to keep things a notch above comfortable.
I ran pretty evenly, spending most of my time as the passer, not the pass-ee. Saw Chris a couple of times in the out-and-back sections of the course – and saw my nephew too – who is a serious pumpkin pie lover, but only ran the 10K, because, in his words, “I am not insane.” (Who you calling crazy, kid? Love you too).
I felt good from beginning to end – and finished in 59-something – 9:35ish pace – which was another nice surprise. By then the sun had warmed things up, so it was fun to hang out for a while, eating pie and catching up with my nephew.
I was just about to leave when I heard my name announced – I’d won my age group for the 10K. The prize was a $20 gift card to the local running store.
Friends. Family. A healthy body. Pie. Free running stuff. So much to be thankful for!