October 10, 2018

Weekend Recap and Race Report: Sammy’s Family Fun Run 5K

Yikes, I’m a week behind on this! I still want to post it as a diary for me for future, and because it contains a race report 🙂

This weekend was a bit of a mixed bag. Saturday was a bit slow, but Sunday was one the busiest days I’ve had in months – and that’s saying something 🙂

Friday night, I headed up to Boulder to meet a friend for a drink, and then head to Boulder Dinner Theater. My next door neighbors are season ticket holders and have encouraged me to join them for a show, but it took a great show to draw me in: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! This is one of my favorite modern musicals, which I saw for the first time in 2001. The script and songs are hilarious and catchy, though I’ll admit that at the age of 16 some of the jokes probably went way over my head. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the show had been updated for modern times – some characters were switched to make a few same sex couples, and there were a few new bits about online dating and other quirks of the last decade. Meanwhile, BDT was a wonderful venue for a great night out – I am looking forward to seeing more shows there!

I got to bed at a pretty reasonable hour, and woke up Saturday morning somewhat rested… but ready to hit the ground running. Although I didn’t have plans until the ribbon cutting of a dance studio in my neighborhood at 3pm, I had a ton to do in that time!

Unfortunately, I got hit with some nasty accusatory comments online around 9am, before I had a chance to get much done, and I admittedly ended up crying for half the morning 🙁 One of my life rules is to remember that I can’t control others but I can control my own behavior; however, in this case, I was really frustrated that I was being held to a different standard than the other candidates. I don’t want to go into the details, but this wasn’t the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last, either. So I clearly need to just develop a thicker skin!

I pulled it together in time to prep for my campaign event that afternoon, and on the way there, I stopped by the ribbon cutting for Fearless Motion, a new dance studio down the street. One of my goals for our town is to see us attract more service businesses (rather than retailers that are getting hurt by eComm), so between that and the fact that I took ballet for 18 years and love dance, I was super excited!

Can’t wait for them to add some adult ballet classes!

Almost as soon as the ribbon was cut, though, I had to hurry away – I was hosting “Saturday Sundaes” (a twist on my Sunday Sundaes series) in the park just 15 minutes later. I couldn’t believe that it was the last weekend of September and it was 85 degrees, but I was so glad I was able to do one more week of this!

Ice cream and kiddos… two of my favorite things in the world 🙂

And after the event wrapped up, I gratefully accepted an invite from friends to go for Mexican and margaritas… I needed that margarita after the tough morning! It felt amazing to go out with friends I thoroughly trusted and take a break from being constantly on guard. After dinner, though, I had to settle in for a ton of work to make up for what I hadn’t gotten done that morning. I didn’t end up getting to bed until late, which wasn’t ideal given the schedule I knew lay ahead on Sunday…

I was running in Sammy’s Family Fun Run at 9am, but also hosting a photo booth at the start / finish for my campaign, which needed to be set up by 7:30am. That meant I had to get up at 5:30am in order to get myself ready, put together 100 campaign signs to be delivered later in the day, get all my photo booth materials loaded into the car, and get down to the race area and get my tent set up. Meanwhile, it was a super chilly morning (temps in the 40s!), so getting myself ready included throwing sweatpants and a fleece jacket over the top of my race outfit (shorts and a long-sleeved tech tee). I also made a big pot of caffeinated coffee – my tradition on race mornings. I normally drink it while I’m getting ready, but because I was heading to the race a full 90 minutes before the start, I tried to wait to drink it so it would be hitting maximum effect closer to the race start. Once I got out of my car though, I couldn’t help drinking it all pretty fast to stay warm 🙂

A few lovely neighbors helped me get my pop up tent all set up – including the owners of the dance studio from the day before, who had the booth right next to me! Once we were set up, there was a lot of time to kill, so I got to chat with them all about dance and their plans for the new studio 🙂 They had a cute spinner wheel where kids would land on a dance move / position and then have to perform it, which I loved.

Booth all set up on a misty and cold fall morning. Let’s do this!

I was so busy chatting with neighbors and manning my booth that I suddenly realized it was five minutes to race time and I wasn’t at all prepped! I quickly ditched my sweats, turned on my Garmin to find the satellites, and headed over to the start. Chip, the CU Boulder Buffaloes mascot, was there, and he and two (human) coaches were leading everyone in a warmup. Since I hadn’t taken time to do a running warm-up of my own, this was great! (Though I cut it a little short rather than getting all out of breath on high knees / butt kickers right before the gun.) We then got lined up, and I started pretty close to the front – where Chip came over for high fives and a hug and indicated with hand gestures that he was betting on me to win. No pressure!

I took some (spoiler) victory photos with Chip in the booth after the race 😉

Finally, the race started – and I found myself leading the pack, right behind Chip! But when Chip veered right to exit the race, I unthinkingly started to follow him until volunteers pointed me back to the actual course. Whoops! I had already run the course preview so I generally knew what I was doing, but the beginning was in a parking lot so I thought maybe we were just going around it in a different direction. I felt bad that I had inadvertently started to lead the rest of the runners astray, but fortunately, I caught it in a few steps 🙂

Now I was on the route that I had practiced. I headed left around Williams Field, still leading the pack, and checked my watch. I felt like I was going at a solid race pace – not too aggressive, but not easy either. A quarter mile in, I was running a 6:40 pace, which felt good. I assumed I’d slow down as I kept going, but for now it was fun to be leading the way 🙂

About a half mile in, I was still running a 6:40 pace, but I got passed by a young guy. I was a little bummed to not be in first, but he passed me and then hung out just in front of me – but not increasing his lead. I figured maybe I’d pass him later, but if not, I’d certainly be happy to stay first female.

Running past the playground, I passed a few neighbors either walking their dogs or out for a jog, going the opposite direction. I wondered how long it would take for them to realize there was a whole race of people behind me 🙂 I stayed within sight of the lead runner, though, as well as the biker who was leading the way. So far, so good, and I was happy with my decision to wear shorts and a long-sleeve.

Turning up onto McCaslin Trail, the lead runner lengthened his lead a bit, but I felt great coming down the downhill to go over the stream. We turned right toward the ballfields, and I clocked the first mile – 6:52. This was far faster than I expected to be given how little sleep I’ve gotten lately, so I was pretty happy! But this mile had a net elevation that was almost flat (-4 ft over the course of the mile), whereas I knew that I’d be tired by mile 3 and it would also have a bit of uphill (net +46 ft), so I expected I’d slow down soon.

Crossing the creek, we turned left onto Rock Creek Trail and ran back a bit the same way we came. The race organizers had done a great job timing the start of the 5K and one mile, as I didn’t have any issues with mile runners coming the other direction! And when we turned left to begin the out and back toward the Open Space, I was excited to see a group of MoHi cheerleaders at the next turn, including the daughter of one of my friends. Yay! So fun to have them cheering us on.

Over this next mile, my pace stayed pretty steady – but I should have been getting faster, as the course was a bit downhill. I skipped the water station on the steepest part of the downhill, since I wanted to pick up speed rather than stop / slow down, and after crossing under Rock Creek Parkway, tried to keep the pace steady even as the course flattened out. We headed right for the loop around the Open Space, which was the opposite as the direction I had run it the week before, and it was nice to get a different perspective. Finally, I took the left that was the beginning of the course looping back to the start – just one mile to go! (Mile 2 split: 6:58.)

This last mile, though, was tough. Mile 2 was right about the low point in the race, and from there it was a steady uphill back to the finish. The first half mile was one of those insidious uphills where it looks flat, but you’re actually going up just enough to slow your pace but feel like you should be going faster. Yuck! But I was at mile 2.5 – only one more song and I should be done!

Just after the underpass on Rock Creek Parkway, another guy passed me. Darn it – now I was third overall rather than second! I told myself that perhaps I’d pass him again in a final sprint to the finish, but he gained some pretty significant ground on me and then kept it – so after a turn or two, I couldn’t see him ahead of me. Fortunately, I was now back to where the MoHi cheerleaders were, and I got a quick short downhill to the creek that allowed me to catch my breath!

Unfortunately, getting back down to the creek meant that I now had a final 0.15 mile uphill to the finish. I told myself it was short, and tried to push myself, even as I went around a family finishing up their one mile run. They were amazingly polite, with the dad yelling up to his son to move to the right so they wouldn’t be in my way. So sweet! I yelled great job to them as I passed, and also took the opportunity to check over my shoulder and make sure there wasn’t anyone behind me. Nope, all clear!

Finally, I rounded the corner of Williams Field, and put the pedal to the metal. I crossed the finish line proudly, knowing I was the first female, and was excited to see my friends Chris and Mark just on the other side of the line with their sons, cheering me on 🙂 How fun are hometown races?!

After a quick rest, though, it was back to my sweats to man the photo booth, and then a little while later, head over to the awards. As I expected, I won first female, and officially finished in 22:26 – not bad for running at altitude on not a ton of sleep, with a lot of distractions in the form of my campaign! I was pretty psyched, even though it was a small field.

Race stats:
Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 22:26
Pace: 7:14/mile
Overall place: 3/92
Gender place: 1/49

But no time to gloat – once the event was over, I had to pack up and hightail it home for a quick change before jumping into the car to head up to Boulder. Sunday was one of the Walker Ranch Heritage Days, where I volunteer to dress up in 1800s attire and teach kids about history 🙂 This particular event’s theme was pastimes of the 1800s, so I was assigned to demonstrate and teach cross-stitch and ribbon embroidery.

Isn’t this cool? Once you learn the technique, it goes faster than you think.

But if I thought I was short on time getting to Walker Ranch, after I was done, I had 90 minutes to distribute campaign lawn signs to a few dozen neighbors all over town, build another 50 signs for a neighbor to put up for me (my gosh, the people I have met through this campaign are the best!), shower, pack for the week, and clean up the house a bit before I headed out to the airport. Admittedly I left the house a bit in shambles, but otherwise, I flew around like crazy and managed to get the rest done! It was a busy day, but I was proud of what I accomplished.


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