Monday, September 1, 2014

I'm back! First Post-Baby 5k Recap

Hey guys! I'm really back! A week ago I ran in my first 5k back after baby and it felt awesome to get back out there!  (Exclamation Point!! Sorry - can you tell i'm excited??)

I had been meaning to do a race for a while now ( I have been walking a lot and even running a bit) but I just haven't felt like I was ready for a race. However lately a bunch of awesome things fell into place:
  • Kevin got a great new job! It was really hard to give up working together because we really do love it, but this was an amazing opportunity for him so he decided to take it. This was super awesome because it helped lead to....
  • I went part time! We kept debating doing this for a while and we finally decided that it was the best thing for our little family if I could be home more with the baby and we could avoid daycare (grandma watches her 2 days a week). I will also be starting a new job next week and I'm really looking forward to a less stressful environment. Obviously this will make it a lot easier to sneak in some running time on my days at home too!
  • I quit breastfeeding! I made it 9 months with her but I was sooooo ready to give it up even if I did feel guilty about it. I may do a post on my thoughts about it one day, but for now the big thing is I can now take all of my allergy and asthma meds again and I feel healthier than I have in ages. This was huge for me. 
  • Audrey can run! She is officially old enough to ride in the jogging stroller and she actually seems to like it. Yay for being able to run without coordinating babysitting, although I still have to worry about mosquitos and the 100 degree heat.
So all of these things sort of happened at once and then on top of it Kevin's sister (Katie) has started trying to do a couch to 5k program and asked us if we wanted to do a glow run with her again. We agreed and that's how I ended up doing this race. 

The race she chose was the Oklahoma City GloRun 5k. Here's a snippet about the cause it supports:
Proceeds from the race will benefit The Referral Center (TRC). TRC is a local government funded non-profit medically supervised detox facility located here in OKC. We provide full medical care and counseling to those going through drug or alcohol rehabilitation.
The race was pretty pricey for a 5k with no medal ($40 when I signed up) but I was still excited to try it out and the park it was hosted in is the park I do a lot of my training runs in anyways so I knew it would be a good one to start back up.

Packet pickup started at 6pm that night near the start/finish line of the course and there were a few fun activities. Once you picked up your bib there was a DJ playing fun dance music, glow paint stations, places to buy glowing tutus and tiaras, and a shaved ice truck. There may have been more going on but we got there fairly close to the start of the race and it was a little crowded so we didn't do much wandering around.

After we picked up our packets we pinned on our bibs and got our glow sticks all lit up and ready to go. I decided not to dress up a lot this race (I'm still feeling a little self-conscious post baby) but I'm pretty sure I will start back up again soon. Katie did dress up and got lots of compliments and it made me really miss running in a tutu! I did have really awesome led laces and some glow face paint. By the way: glow face paint doesn't glow during runs. Lame.

We snapped a bunch of pics and then it was time for the 1 mile race to begin. The race was a little weird because the start and finish line were the same location for both races. The problem with that was that they had the 1 milers run and then made the 5k runners line up and then the 1 milers were coming back into the mob. The DJ saved it when he told the 5k runners to make a tunnel and cheer on the 1 milers but it seemed pretty disorganized. In addition there were no volunteers stationed at the parking lot that connected to the race route so there were people accidentally driving down the race route for the 1 milers. That got straightened out fairly quickly though!

After the last of the 1 milers made it back it was time to start the 5k. The course itself wound around the park through trees and plenty of dark areas and had small rolling hills. It was cool with everyone wearing LED and glow in the dark gear. Before the race, Kevin and I agreed we would walk most of it since he hasn't run at all in over a year and I've only done a few 1 mile bursts. That plan went out the window when Katie wanted to stick to her training plan (she's doing couch to 5k and it had set intervals she was supposed to run that night) and we didn't want to get split up, so we decided to try sticking with her as long as we could.

The course itself was pretty simple, with  two "glow tunnels" along the way (big black tunnels with black lights and bright paint designs) and not much else to make it a glow run. We could hear the DJ for the majority of the race and it was a fun way to cheer us on. There were also volunteers every quarter of a mile or so with flashlights pointing in the right direction (the path was very well marked).

I felt great the first mile or so but then started to have a little trouble keeping up with Katie (she was supposed to run 5 min straight at one point) so we had to slow down and take shorter intervals. We did manage to keep an average pace of about 14:40 overall including stops to take pictures and fix my shoelaces (they were the light up kind and they kept falling off!) several times. We had seriously planned to walk it so I was glad that we managed to jog as much as we did.

fake running shots are a must

Running next to Kevin again was great. We don't get a lot of time for us as a couple anymore because of the baby so it felt great to be next to him doing something that made me feel like I can only describe as "home". I had no idea how much I missed running in general, but especially having time for the two of us. When we run together we tease each other and talk about the course or silly little things that pop in our heads. Getting too cheesy here sorry, but spending time with him without cell phones, computers, work talk, or baby talk really is the best feeling. I'm one lucky girl!

After about 2.5 miles I guess Katie finished her training plan and started to slow down (it has set intervals for a certain amount of time) so we caught up with her and kept together to almost the finish line. She wanted to sprint to the end about a quarter mile away and we waited a little longer. Once we finished we got our finisher ribbons and cheered on other runners behind us.

Overall I had a great time, but there were some things I didn't like, so I'll break it down for you:

  • The good:
    • The DJ was a nice touch and he was playing some great music and saved a lot of awkward situations
    • The event in general was run by really nice people. Everyone we talked to seemed really sweet and supportive and there was a lot of cheering going on along the sidelines. 
    • The course was well really well marked.
  • The bad:
    • The parking situation was not clear at all. The race blocked off one of the major parking lots for the park so a lot of people (myself included) were trapped until the last people finished the race and as I said before, some were even driving down the course. 
  • The ugly:
    • There were no water stops along the course. The race was advertised as a family race and there were lots of small kids (under 10) trying to run and these poor kiddos were complaining they were thirsty. Considering we were running in the dark in 100 degree heat, I think it's even more important to provide water for everyone.
Well that wraps up this race recap! I had a blast getting back out there, but I don't think it was the most organized race. I think I'd do it again if they could make a few improvements and/or lower the price. See you soon guys!

** Sorry night races = crappy pics. I promise to take better pics next time!


  1. Awesome post! So happy to see you posting and running again! Now I gotta get off my ass. You inspire me!

  2. Congrats, girl!! Love the recap and the pictures! Yuck - no water on the course? That ain't right...

  3. Congrats on the 5k and go you! I wanted to thank you for your blog and your inspiration in being an asthmatic runner. I have an ankle injury for which I had my 2nd surgery 2 months ago (the first was 5 years ago) and I'm not allowed to run anymore since it's too high impact and I'd really rather not do this again. You helped me get my butt running when I wanted to use asthma as an excuse and I will keep going as a bike rider. Thank you for that and good luck on your future runs!

  4. It is great to see you back, and congratulations on your newest 5K! It is a shame they didn't have any water, especially since it was billed as a family friendly run. Hydration is such an important factor for exercise.

  5. Well done, but man does that sound disorganized! And $40 for no medal! Eff that :p