In the last month I’ve run in 3 5K races. I don’t think I did 3 5Ks in the last 3 years! But with the promise of a half marathon in January (and an overwhelming urge to improve on my OCR times at least a little bit,) I’ve been signing up for road races left and right.
This year, my very first race of the season was the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s PurpleStride NYC 5K on April 20. I ran in honor of my Girl Scout Troop Leader of many years, Sandy, who lost a fierce battle with pancreatic cancer just days before Christmas 2012. I ran with other girls from my troop and friends and family of Sandy. It wasn’t the Girl Scout reunion that we wanted have, but we turned our loss into hope for others by raising over $1000 dollars for PanCAN. The course was great. It wasn’t too hilly but not so flat and straight as to bore me out of my brain like running on the street does. There were plenty of volunteers and water stations on the course and at the finish. We got t-shirts and drawstring bags and they had tons of bananas and bagels and such for the runners. My only problem with this race was that it ended really abruptly. I think the opening ceremony (which was after the runners finished and before the walkers started) went over. I’m guessing the event only had a permit to be in the park until a certain time, because they cut the 5K Walk down to maybe 2 miles and by the time we all got back (we ran and then walked, as well) all the tents were down and it was a ghost town in Riverside park. Given that this event was just days after the Boston Marathon attacks, I’m going to chalk this flaw up to the City being extra paranoid.
All in all, though, it was a great day with great people for a great cause. As she had always done, Sandy inspired us on the day of the race to be our best. People who had never run a 5K before finished strong. More experience runners performed better than they had ever before. That day, I cut about 5 minutes off my personal best, finishing in 32:32. Thank you, Sandy.
The next 5K was St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester Marie and George Doty Memorial Spring Sprint 5K on May 11. It was a lovely day for a run with cloudy skies and occasional drizzle.
We started off at the hospital where sponsors provided bananas, bagels, yogurt, water, cake… anything you could really want. We got nice tech tees and reflective bags filled with coupons from local businesses and lip balm. The course took us on the roads around the hospital campus lined with some of the most gorgeous homes I’ve ever seen. I was pretty tempted just to run right up to a front door, say “I live here now” and get cozy on the couch with remote in hand. I especially felt like doing that once my lungs decided to punish me for discontinuing my Advair and Singulair use for the whole week prior. I had to start walking less than a mile in. I walked on and off the rest of the race making sure to run once I could see the finish line and not stop until I crossed or died- whichever came first. Il finished in 32:55 and am pretty stoked about that.
This past Saturday was the 1st Annual Cupcake Classic at the Gardiner Cupcake Festival. Being the first time it was ever done, there were definitely some problems. First, shirt sizes got messed up. For some reason everyone who asked for smalls were listed as larges. That was probably just a computer glitch so I won’t blame them for that. Next, start times for runners and walkers was unclear. Walkers were supposed to start at 10:15, runners at 10:45- though we heard some of the volunteers saying the opposite at the registration table. They called everyone to the start at 10:30, told the walkers to stay to the back and the runners to move forward, and started the runners at 10:50ish. I don’t know when the walkers got to go. The course had 2 water stations but there was no water at the end. We had to go pay for overpriced beverage at the vendors that were set up for the Festival at noon. The course itself was great for a trail run because it went through the orchards and I even got to get a little muddy. For non-mudders who typically stick to roads and sidewalks, it was more difficult thanks to the seriously hilly terrain. I won’t lie, I had to walk a lot, too. For the most part, it was well marked, but I know for sure that myself and at least 2 others took a wrong turn somewhere in one of the orchards and wound up off course just before the finish. I finished this one in under 35 minutes. I never saw my official time and my MayMyRun app crapped out on me – I’ll update if they post official times. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and try again next year, because no matter what happens at the race, I’m still at a Cupcake Festival!