April 26, 2014

I Ran The Highlands!

Hello from Dallas! I arrived last night (Friday) around 10 and went to sleep as soon as I unpacked and my head hit the pillow. I was exhausted!

At least it was a nice day!
This morning, Saturday, I knew that the Run The Highlands 5K was going to start at 8:45am- a pretty early start (that's 6:45am Seattle time!) for not a lot of sleep the night before. But, I also knew that I needed to run at least 3 miles this week, so if I wasn't going to do it at 8:45, I knew had to do it at some point in the day. With my second bridal shower later that afternoon, it might as well be when I'm half asleep!

This was a hard sight to leave!
The other benefit of running this race was that it was only about a mile away from my house. So, I figured I would make it a little tempo run - 1 mile warm-up, 3.1 miles tempo, and 1 mile cool down. Even though I haven't really been running a lot, I figured it was too perfect an opportunity to pass up.

Run The Highlands, hosted by the Lake Highlands Junior Women's League, is a certified 5K Race, 1 Mile Family Walk, and Carnival to benefit the Lake Highlands community. I grew up and went to school in Lake Highlands, and couldn't believe I had never heard of this event, so I was really excited to learn that I would be in town to participate, and make this race my first official race of 2014!

I started running away from my house at 8:25- enough time to get me to the race, and registered, in time for the 8:45am start.

I had to literally slow to a walk when I ran into a narrow sidewalk behind two ladies that were on their way to the event. Ah, well. I was averaging about 9 minutes/mile before I had to start walking.

I got there with just enough time to register and get in line before I heard the countdown begin!

A good crowd! The final number was 335 registered participants- the smallest race I've ever participated in!
Tired, but ready to run!
So many puppies!!
The race started promptly at 8:45am, and I realized I was at the back with the strollers too late - so it took a little bit to get going. Had I been in the front where I probably should have been, I would have gotten a better start. However, considering I had just run a mile, I was faring pretty well.

There were two aid stations - one at the 1.6ish mile mark, and another at the 2.6ish mile mark. Kind of random, but I didn't need any water since I had my handheld with me. I think from now on, I'm never running a race without it!

Picture is from December - but I use this during almost every run!
They also had a decent amount of spectators. Since the race went through neighborhoods, a lot of families were on their front lawns cheering us on (one family had a little water station!), and at almost every curve, there were even people with signs! I'm sure they were really there to protect the cones marking the curve, but still! I felt really supported throughout the race.

Despite that emoticon, I felt really, really tired throughout. There were a surprising amount of steep hills that I wasn't anticipating. I also hadn't been running a lot, and when I was, it certainly wasn't at race paces. But, I did feel the itch to start racing again. I'm excited - I have a 5K on my calendar for when I get back to Seattle, which is the beginning of a whole lot of races for the summer and fall in Seattle. I hope I get to go to as many as I can! I can feel the racing bug has bit :)

By the time the race was over, the sun was shining!

After crossing the finish line, I walked around for about 30 seconds, found a water bottle, and guzzled it down. I felt really nauseous after the race - I had really pushed it and gave it my all at the home stretch. My Nike+ shows my speed at the end as 7 min/miles. Wow! So speedy. Glad I still have that in me.

I noticed the people at the finish line giving out medals, and I can never resist some sparkle.. so I swallowed my embarrassment and went ahead and asked if the medals were for everyone. The lady looked at me and said, "Well, technically they're for the kids - but if you want one, we have plenty extra!" and honestly in a situation like that, what can you do but take it??

The cutest medal I have ever received- and the cutest I have ever looked.
After a minute or two of rest, I ran home.

Altogether, 1+3.17+0.83= 5 Miles for the morning! I felt really, really accomplished and so glad I got up to run. Run The Highlands is a fun run, with a challenging course, and not too tightly packed that you never feel like you actually got a chance to race. I really enjoyed it!

I ended up getting 2nd place in my division! I thought that was super, SUPER cool. This 5K is technically my slowest, if you look on my sidebar under "Races", you can see that it's one second slower than my very first 5K. But you know what? That's fine. I didn't train at all and I had no expectations. I ran because I wanted to, and that is enough!

Have you ever registered for a race on a whim?

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