Sunday, April 10, 2016

My first Oregon Race Report

So technically my first race in Oregon was the Love Stinks 5k, which was really fun! However, I ran with my seven year old daughter who had a huge PR, alas it was pretty far off from my best time. Which was totally fine because I've only recently started running again after the move.

The annual Pear Blossom Festival was coming up and along with that the Rogue Valley YMCA hosts the Pear Blossom Run. They were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the run and since I'm in my 40th year, it seemed appropriate for me to do this race for the first time.

With a 7 am start I arrived around 6:30 am since I already had my bib and everything I needed. I did a warm up jog from the parking lot to the start line and then did some stretching. As I walked over to the start line I was amazed that people for the most part actually followed the pace signs. As soon as they came out people started moving back to the area designated for their pace. I felt like this was amazing because that so rarely happens in California. Once the gun went off I really only had to navigate past one group of women walking, everyone else was running at a similar pace to myself.

This was really a shake out run for me. I've only been running around 2 miles at the house and lately I've been running on the treadmill at the gym while the kids are at swim practice. The dreadmill is so much harder than real life running and the gym is stuffy, so basically most of my treadmill runs have been very sucky. I had no idea if I could even cover the entire distance without walking.

I didn't look at my watch much. I wasn't going for a specific pace, I just wanted to run based on feel and hope I could find a pace I could carry out for the entire run and not have to walk. The first mile felt pretty good and when I did glance at my watch I had run a 10:07, I was pleased with that, and hoped I could maintain that for the next 2.10 miles. I didn't look at my watch again until 2.31 miles because I didn't remember feeling the vibration my watch sends after each mile. I was getting fatigued and was wondering how far away I was from the 2 mile point. I was pleased to look at my watch and see that I had already passed it! That little nugget of information kept me going. There was a definite happy dance moment going on when I saw the 3 mile sign and rounded the corner to the finish line. I managed to kick it into high gear and pass the woman in front of me for a 32.10 finish and 17/88 in my age group.

So that's a far cry from my best 5k time, but I was so pleased with that time I can't even tell you. I have not run on a regular basis in probably 9 months. Due to health issues and the sale of our home and move, running had just not been on the radar. It was depressing to not having the abilities I used to have and it was causing all sorts of self doubt about my worth as a runner. Now that life has mellowed out being able to take back this part of my life has brought me great happiness. This little 5k reminded me that I can do it, I can still do it and I will do it. It even gave me the thought that just maybe I can do that half marathon next year.
Post race reward 

This was a great fun race. I can't wait to do it next year, the course is super flat so it's a great race to work on a PR.

I'm thinking I may try a trail run in a couple of weeks. The Southern Oregon running community is such a great one that is so supportive, and the races are so inexpensive it's hard to pass up the opportunity to sign up!

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