As a Mother’s Day present from my Mom, she offered to watch DD while I ran a 5K race in Cape May, NJ – a 2.5 hour drive for her. (DH had a horrible work schedule for the past month or so and has been stuck working weekends). I really wanted to see how fast I could run a 5K with my current training. I haven’t tried to race a 5K in almost two years. For that last race I finished in 21:43, which was good enough for 2nd in my age group and a cupcake from the local bakery (still my favorite prize ever)! My goal was to beat that time, and possibly be under 21 minutes.
I chose the Great Cape May Footrace mainly because it is a certified course, but also because it is a combined 5K/10K, and the 10K gives out prize money, which makes the 5K less competitive, and just for fun I wanted a shot at placing overall in a race. Looking at the past results, my goal time would have been first last year, but there was bad weather last year, and you never know who is going to show up for a race, so i didn't want to get my hopes too high.
Race morning, I got up nice and early, packed DD up and drove the 1.5 hours down to Cape May. We got there at 6:40 for the 8am start. Upon arrival, I had a PoP emergency. My Mom wouldn't arrive for another 20 minute, so wasn’t sure what to do with DD. Quick decision - I strapped her into her front carrier and took her into the PoP with me. Luckily, it was very clean and hadn’t been used yet (that I could tell). DD LOVED being in the "little blue room" and wanted to touch EVERYTHING! HA! I took care of my business and managed to keep DD from getting her hands on too much – Success! Weird, but a success, racing always makes for “fun” experiences!
We crossed the street, picked up my number and met my Mom at 7am. My Mom and I walk, a lot, it’s just what we do. So, we strapped DD into her stroller and took a walk down the promenade. After a two-mile walk, we were back to the start, and I ran a few strides in an adjacent parking lot. Everyone in both the 5K and 10K gathered, and I was standing next to one of my favorite run-bloggers (outside of the loop of course), Fueled by Lolz/Hollie (she is much faster than me and was running the 10K - see fast people go for the prize money! 😀). We chatted for a few seconds – she is super friendly. They played the National Anthem, reviewed both courses, and we were off with a shouted “GO.” So very different, and just as fun, from the high-production starts of Run Disney.
We ran about 100 yards before a quick right turn off the street along the beach and into the neighborhood house-lined street. This road consisted of the first of the two hills on the course (about 10 feet elevation gain). I took off a little fast but settled in to a “hard but I think I can maintain” pace. I could see four women in front of me, including my new friend – GO HOLLIE! I tried to hang with her and mile one ticked off in 6:27. I passed one of the women as we made our way back to the road along the beach. We stayed on this road for 1.5 miles. A woman passed me here, at about mile 1.2 in the race. We passed the start/finish at about the halfway point in the race. I waved at my Mom and DD as we passed, a nice little distraction, but the super suck of a 5K was really setting in now. I took a quick look at my watch expecting to be close to mile 2, and it read 1.65 – ugh. However, the woman that passed me wasn’t pulling away, so I just focused on keeping her close. Mile 2 came in at 6:43, and I noticed that the woman was fading and I was closing the gap. I passed her just before the 5K turnaround around mile 2.15. The turnaround was the first point that you could see who was running each race. Thrilled, I saw all three of the women ahead of me continue straight!
I made the turn and headed for home, so happy to not be running 10K! I saw the woman I just passed was also in the 5K, and I was struggling hard now. Right after the turn was the second approximately 10-foot hill to get onto the elevated promenade. I was worried I was going to catch my foot on the steep incline and fall on my face. Thankfully, this did not happen. I pushed as hard as I could the last mile, with only two thoughts, try to run under 7 minutes for all three miles, and try not to get caught. I wasn’t about to glance back to see where woman #2 was, but since I was fading, I felt the pressure behind me.
The finish line is in sight for about half a mile. It is such a tease, as it doesn’t seem to get closer with each step. The “6 mile” sign for the 10K felt so painful since I thought it was the “3 mile” sign, but then realized I still had 0.2 miles left not 0.1. Soul-crushing in a 5K - HA! Mile 3 6:54.
I could see the race official yelling “1st woman” when I was about 50 yards from the finish, and they stretched the banner across the line. I wasn’t sure what to do. Do I raise my hands, and hit it with my stomach/chest? Are they going to lift it over my head, and my raised hands would catch on it? Crap, I never had to think about this before. With the last three steps I decided to raise my hands up. The banner wrapped around my stomach in a wonderful hug – one of the best feelings EVER! I won a race!!!! I can’t believe I won a race!! The second woman faded more than I did and finished about 25 seconds behind me. After catching my breath, and suppressing the vomit, we congratulated each other. My time was 21:08, not under 21, but significantly better than my last 5K, so yay! I picked DD up and gave her the biggest sweaty hug. 😍 She’s the best training partner and helped me get so much stronger than I thought possible!
It was a beautiful morning, so we took a long walk all around town looking at the beautiful houses, strolled on the beach, and went back for the award ceremony. I picked up a cool-looking clear medal, and an engraved beer glass that I have since used for all my drinking- both beer and water! 😊 My new friend Hollie, although not thrilled with her pace, was 2nd in the 10K – Congrats to her in the much harder race!! I was much happier running only half the distance! 😀
I was hoping for a picture of the finish line, but sadly, I haven't been able to find one, even though there were a bunch of people taking pictures.