Babyface and I ran a 5K this on Saturday! We ran Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, which is one of two “standards” on our race list every year. Our first few years, we walked it, but this year, we ran those hills, baby!
Races in Bloomington are always…interesting. A lot of folks think that Indiana is flat, but that is really only true for North of Indianapolis. Southern Indiana is incredibly hilly and Bloomington is no exception. Even with the hills it was a great race for both me and Babyface. Someone PRed. And that someone wasn’t me.
Let’s rewind. The gun (it was actually a horn) didn’t go off until 10:20am, so we had plenty of time to sleep in and get fueled-up pre-race. We both ate a brown rice cake with peanut butter, banana and chia seeds. I made myself two, but could only down one. I don’t think I’ll ever stop getting nervous before races. Don’t worry, the second one didn’t go to waste, Babyface chomped on it post-race.
We were running this race as part of a team for work, in support of one of our fellow co-workers who is currently undergoing cancer treatment (love you, Pam!) so we all gathered to get our team pictures taken about an hour before the start time. If you couldn’t tell by my fleece headband and long sleeves, it was COLD. Right around 50° and drizzling. Great for running. Not so great for standing around.
Two Vibrams in a sea of sneakers. We did see another girl (probably 8 or 9 years old) wearing a pair of hot pink Vibrams and it made me happy. My toes were not warm at all. I have toe socks, but I just couldn’t bring myself to wear them with my Sprints. Babyface is wearing socks with his KSOs and they don’t look ridiculous. I might have to get a second pair of Vibrams that are sock/winter friendly.
The walkers were headed out after the running race had started, so at about 10:10, we split off and headed to our pacing groups. The pacing signs were the best signs I’ve ever seen. No “10:00 minute mile” or “30 minute” packs. No, no. Just fast, medium and slow. Everyone was confused because they terms are so relative. Probably not the best pacing plan ever. Just to be safe, I lined up waaaayy behind the Slow sign. So far back I wasn’t even on the parking lot anymore. I’m sure some people were offended by the giant “SLOW” sign, but I just thought it was hilarious.
I actually had music for this race, so once I got to my lonesome in the back, I cranked up the tunes and started to focus. I didn’t really mention it, but I thought I might try to beat my PR. It didn’t end up happening. My PR is on a flat city course and this one, as we’ve already talked about, is not flat at all, but it was a good thing to make me focus.
Soon, we were off and up hills we went. I really need to get better at warming up before races, especially when it is cooler outside. I felt stiff and cold. But considering the first mile and half was pretty much entirely uphill, I warmed up pretty quickly. I did walk/run intervals up the hills. I felt pretty good and was picking people off at a pretty good clip. My calves were screaming my the second mile marker because I am not at all trained to run hills barefoot. Around this time, the course turned to almost entirely downhill and I thought maybe, just maybe, I could PR, but it wasn’t meant to be. When I realized it wasn’t a PR-worthy race, I knocked down my pace and did the last 1/2 mile at a leisurely jog. Of course, I sprinted at the end. Because that’s what ya do.
Final time (from my watch, it wasn’t a chip start): 38:44
Division (F 25-29): 76/ 95
I’ll take it! I always say that racing in this town is a little skewed because there are SO many young, fast people (college town) running. But hey, even so, not so shabby.
After I crossed the finish line, I immediately went looking for Babyface because he was pretty much destined to PR this race. He’s been training for a fast 5K and this is his first 5K race in almost a year. I was so excited to hear how he did. And yeah, he definitely PRed.
That’s a “2” and a “3” for 23:42. He shaved off almost three minutes from his 5K PR time and almost four minutes from his 5K on a similar hilly course. His previous PR was on the super flat city course, so uh, Babyface is a speedy rockstar.
He even crossed the finish line in front of the entire IU men’s basketball team. That’s some serious bragging rights.
Other than us both having awesome personal races, I think something that is so nice about this race is how much it does for cancer research in our community. Our team alone had 13 members and we raised almost $450 to help the cause in the name of Pam! Above and beyond our entry fees and the awareness of having 3,000 running around town. I’ve been doing this race for a few years, and it may be my imagination, but it seems every year there are a few less “In Memory of…” and a few more “In Celebration of…” bibs. And I like to think part of that is because of the money raised by this race. Running and philanthropy makes my heart swoon.
Post race, I desperately wanted a cheeseburger and a beer. We rarely go out to eat, but after a race is one of the times we almost always do. But not today. Instead, we came home and Babyface made us chickpea flour pancakes. And no, they don’t taste like hummus. They taste like gluten-free, vegan deliciousness (and a little like Finnish pancakes).
My calves are still on fire after those hills. You’d think after how long I’ve been running in my Vibrams that my calves would have adjusted, but I guess nothing can prepare my poor legs for Southern Indiana hills.