Race Report: Westminster Women’s Classic 5k

Day 40: Friday May 11
I got up and went to Masters for 6am. I was surprised to find that we were supposed to do a timed 1000 yards to establish a “T pace.” The coach (nicely) reminded me that if I had been coming to Masters, I would not have been surprised. I am consistently the slowest in my lane, and I had been consistently not swimming for the past 2 weeks or more, so I decided to go last. Coach had us go at 5 second intervals. I kept on getting too close to the girl ahead of me, and then I would have to stop swimming for a stroke or two to avoid giving her a foot massage. That was how it went for the first 700 yards. Then, for the last 300, the my lanemates took off and I couldn’t keep up. 

Day 41: Saturday May 12
I did a short 20 minute run with a few pick-ups just to stretch out my legs the day before my race.

Day 42: Sunday May 15
Today was my first MOTHERS DAY! And my first RACE in nearly a year! I picked the Westminster Womens Classic 5k. Part of me was like “This is no big deal, it’s just a 5k and I’m not in shape at all.” And part of me was like, “There are some really cool prizes, maybe I could win one.” But most of me was afraid to hope that I was even remotely close to being in pre-pregnancy shape, which is why I didn’t do some of the things I should have done the night before, like be in bed by 10, get my outfit ready, or get my pump set up. It’s also why I did certain things I shouldn’t have done the night before, like drinking 2 gin and tonics and part of a glass of wine. This not only made me drunk, but it also interfered with my sleep. I alternated between having bad dreams, like I left Sweet Pea somewhere and forgot about her, and then when I remembered her again, I couldn’t find my phone to call anyone and see if she was still ok, and tossing and turning, wishing I was asleep so I could be rested for the race.

Between 6:15 and 6:50am, I scrambled to pump, eat breakfast, get my water bottle ready, and choose an outfit. I stepped outside and decided a tank top and shorts would be appropriate, and as an afterthought, I grabbed a long sleeve in case it got cool and a pair of pants for apres race.  It turned out to be in the upper 30’s and raining just before the start. The outfit that made perfect sense to me at home was obviously a very poor choice as I stood in line for registration.

Thankfully, Dan remembered I had a fleece hat I left in the diaper bag. Score! Let me back up a minute and say that love is waking up before 7am, rousing a sleeping baby from her crib and putting her in a fleece bear suit, driving said baby and your wife to a race site in the rain, and hanging out for a total of about 2 hours just so your wife can run for 3.1 miles. I have a tough act to follow, come Fathers Day…
 
I got a shot of espresso at a Panera near the race start, did a solid warm-up, and lined up at the front since that’s what they said to do if you were going to run eight minute miles or faster. I got to the first mile marker and my watch read 7:05. Either I was in spectacular shape or I was going to blow up. I wanted to believe the former but I knew the latter was much more likely.

As I continued to run, I wondered when I would ever see the front of the race heading toward me after the turnaround, since it was an out and back course. Right around the time I saw the cones marking the turnaround, I saw the first woman pass me. Then the second woman. I was the third woman! Which, I realized, was why it took so dang long for anyone to pass me in the opposite direction. My third place status began to deteriorate within the next half mile or so, at which point I went from vaguely pukey to 100% nauseated in a hurry.

I barely even tried to keep the next few women from passing me. I was just trying ignore the feeling that I was going to hurl and keep moving forward. I kept thinking, “Yes I can” and I reminded myself of my long, difficult labor, thinking this was just a wimpy 5k, but I don’t know if it helped.  I was hurting really badly. My legs were ok, but I couldn’t get enough air. I walked a few steps and cursed myself for going out too fast, then got my act together and ran to the finish.

My time was 24:25, which is a 7:52 pace. That earned me sixth place overall and second in the 30-39 age group. I was quite pleased with myself, considering I just had a baby. I was also pleased with my prizes, which included a free mini bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes (white chocolate on white cake. Mmmmm) and a coupon for half off my next race.  If I’d been about 30 seconds faster I would have won a $25 gift certificate to Tri Bella Multisport, which is what the first five finishers got. My best prize, however, was celebrating my first Mothers Day at a race with my husband and my baby, who could care less how fast I run.

After the race, we had my in-laws over for brunch, and then I left Dan with Sweet Pea and a few bottles of milk and went to the St. Julien Spa to redeem a gift card I had been saving for a rainy day.  I had a one hour hot stone massage, which was nothing short of heavenly. Then I hung around in a huge, soft, white terrycloth robe and sipped on lemon water before heading over to the hot tub, where I sat and read almost every page of the New York Sunday Times Styles section. Then I swam a lap in the pool.  Next, I sat on a chaise lounge and read the remainder of the Styles section.  I was not done yet, though. Next, I enjoyed the steam room for a while. Then I checked out the dry sauna. Then I returned to the steam room for a while before taking a shower and getting ready to head home. It was the best Mothers Day I could have hoped for.

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