Monday, May 19, 2014

2014 Spring Into Summer 5K (Middletown, NJ)

I feel like this race went in one of two directions:

1) Like they say in the theater, "Bad rehearsal, good performance."

2) What got Wendy, Michael, and John to NeverLand: Faith, trust, and pixie dust. Okay, maybe not pixie dust, but I did have a little sparkle. Lol. ;-)

Anyway, my training for this race did not exactly go as well as I hoped. I was only getting in two runs a week, mostly later in the day (stupid 5:30 in the morning job), and only broke 12:00 miles ONCE in over two months of training.

Needless to say, this did not help my confidence at all. I thought that since I was in the best shape I was in a long time, I would be, um, faster?

Anyway, as race day came closer, and even as I laid out Flat Tracy the night before, I still didn't feel ready. Flat Tracy was ready to shine, but Real Tracy was still a little unsure.

Top is from Old Navy, skirt is Sparkle Athletic, shorts are Tek Gear from Kohl's, leg sleeves are Zensah, headband is Sparkly Soul, and sneakers are Saucony Cohesion 5's.

Cristina (@WeightLossChica on Twitter), one of my semi-long time Twitter followers had sent me this tweet the night before the race (after I posted Flat Tracy):

Little did I know how much Cristina's words would come into play on race day. More on that in a bit.
I had my alarm set for 6:00 on Saturday, but was somehow awake at 5:30. It as actually peaceful watching the sunrise from my bed. I felt like it would set the tone for the rest of the day.

Rest of the morning was the usual pre-race stuff: eat, check my social networks, cuddle (or at least attempt to) my nephew, get dressed, and go. I was actually surprised how chilly it was that morning, unlike the rest of the week, where it was wet or muggy. I actually wore a sweatshirt on my ride over.

Once I was at the race site, the sun was out and felt warmer. At that point, it was just a lot of staying loose and not letting my nerves get to me. Thankfully, the second didn't happen.

Oh, and of course, I had to get a pic of Flat Tracy in 3-D (she looks much better in real life than on a
I don't look nervous! Really, I was still a wreck.
Unlike the last two years, the time seemed to DRAG until the 5K start! The mile went off first around 8:10, and there seemed to be more runners in that than in the last two years. Eventually, that ended, and it was FINALLY time for the 5K runners to line up. Of course, since I'm not a runner and only play one for my blog and fans (haha), I was further back. Within about three minutes, the gun went off, and the race was under way!
About 50 seconds later, my Polar and Endomondo trackers were on, I had hit the start mat, and my sixth 5K had officially begun!
I knew from past experience that the first quarter to half mile would be crowded, but as the sub 25:00 runners finished, it would thin out. This year was no exception, as there was quite a bit of weaving in and out of runners. I told myself that I would find my groove, and that I would need to run MY race.
And that I did. I hit the first mile at about 10:20, making it my fastest mile ever! At that point, I knew that I not only would finish, but could potentially have a PR in me!
I ran when I felt comfortable, like I usually do, and hit the second mile at about 21:40. I wouldn't run negative splits, since I started out too fast (Damn you, adrenaline!), but still could make a personal. I just kept going, and told myself "You got this girl! Just remember how far you've come!"
Again, thank you, Cristina for the kind words! Oh, and it helped that I was constantly hearing screams from people saying they loved my skirt! See, Sparkle Athletic is magic! ;-)
I had the song "Let It Go" from the movie Frozen on my playlist. It came on about halfway through the third mile, and it really pushed me through, especially the line "It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small, and the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all." I think that every Frozen fan who's a runner will forever have that song on their playlists. It's THAT amazing and inspirational.
As soon as I saw the football field, I knew the end was near. I gave it everything I had, and SPRINTED to that finish line! Clock time was 35:21, but I knew my chip time would be about 40-50 seconds ahead. I stopped my Polar, and that said 34:45. I stopped my Endomondo, and that said 34:38 for 3.15 miles (thanks to the zig-zagging...ugh.). I then knew I either had the PR or at least very close to it. Either way, I wasn't disappointed. I gave it my all, and felt amazing!
I grabbed a bottle of water, some orange juice, and a sample size smoothie (Caribbean Way from Smoothie King, which is very delicious by the way) while I waited for the official results. There was also a BBQ going on, but the thought of burgers and dogs at 9:00 in the morning, especially after running, kind of makes me queasy. So I just took the drinks and walked around a bit, trying to cool down while waiting for the official results.
After about 20 minutes or so, results were in. After all the crowding, I finally found my name and time. Clock time: 35:21.02. Chip time: 34:39 (Pace: 11:23/mile). PR by 17 seconds (beating my previous time of 34:56 back in 2012).
Holy cow.
For someone who didn't feel ready for this race, whose only goal was to finish the damn thing, I sure did awesome! Team Sparkle worked its magic, I didn't let my nerves get to me, and I just did my thing! Now that I look back, maybe having slightly slower training runs was a good thing. It let me save some of that energy for the real thing.
I know that I will never be one of those super fast runners who can complete a 5K in less than 20:00. Like I said, I just play runner for my blog and fans. ;-) However, this girl is doing something she never imagined she would do!
For that alone, I will forever be proud of myself. =)
Until Color Me Rad on June 7, my friends!


  1. I am SUPER proud of you!!! I'm glad I could play a small part in your race! I also LOVE the reference about "Sparkle Athletic"!!! Many times in life we doubt all that we can achieve, because everything before didn't happen at the exact time or in the exact way we planned! Honestly, all the times that has been the case in my life, always led to a better experience and greater growth in the end! Keep running!!! xoxo

    1. Thank you, girl! I cherish this one so much because it was in that moment that I believed it could happen!