Seaside 5K Shenanigans

Gary, his mom & I drove down to Maryland on Friday night for our 5K. My sister offered to come pick up our kitten and take her home for the weekend because I was worried about leaving her for the weekend. Our other cat, Zooey, is a pro at being left alone. A big bowl of crunchies and she’s good to go. However… she’s getting a little hefty and I think she’s overeating or stress eating – we came home to find she’d thrown up a little pile of undigested crunchies. I’m going to increase our playtimes a bit so we’ll get some exercise and bonding time.

Wendi came to pick up Gus and sent us tons of cute pictures all weekend. It was probably after the tenth picture of Gus sleeping on Wendi’s shoulder that we began to face the fact that we might not actually get the cat back.

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We got a good night’s sleep and headed to Ocean City for the 5K. Aunt Kara and I planned to alternate running and walking for 1 minute for the entire time. Gary said he was going to stick with us, but I knew he wanted to zoom ahead. I do believe his only goal for the race was to beat me. He claims that he just wanted to run a good race, but if you think about it, he thinks I always run a great race, so if he beats me, therefore he also runs a great race. See, it’s a compliment!

The weather was a bit chilly at 7:30 AM when we left for Ocean City. There was some kerfuffle about the race start time, as one website said 8:45 AM and another said 9:15 AM. There was also shenanigans about the food at the end of the race – the website clearly said candy, but all they had were strawberry Gushers. Race organizers, that is not candy. Some of the goodies they had last year were not available this year, like bagels and soda, and that was kind of a bummer since I talked it up so much to the new racers. We did get beer though (last year it was two tickets and this year we only got one, not that it matters to me but I’m just saying.) Maybe this year the photographer will actually post race photos – the photo website has nothing from last year’s race and they haven’t answered my emails. These are my gripes. and now on to sunnier shores.

We got to OC, caught up with my running buddy Lauren, and tried to work out the jitters before starting. Gary stuck with us for about two seconds before he pulled ahead. He got a good lead on us and kept it the whole time. This year the race seemed to go much faster than any 5K I’ve ever run before! I think the pacing of the Run 1/ Walk 1 system worked really well for me. Mile 1 went by pretty quickly, Mile 2 I could feel myself start dragging a little. Kara and I tried to chat with each other about running but I was finding myself very out of breath during the walk portions. She was kicking butt though! Totally didn’t seem tired at all. We kept up with each other pretty well, she definitely pushed me to run faster. We took an extra walk break at the halfway point, waved to our friends as they passed us on the way back to the finish line, grabbed some water. I think I wanted to take an extra minute during one walk break but we didn’t. Mile 3: my legs were getting sore. Not training started to take its toll! It was challenging, but I kept thinking that I was there to push myself. We found Lauren and our moms about 1/4 mile from the Finish waiting to watch us cross. At that point I kept running through the walk breaks – we saw Gary finish ahead of us, then Kara & I crossed the finish line at the same time. She didn’t even seem tired, but I was like, “Ok, let’s find somewhere to sit down.”

We had our beer, water, bananas, etc. Took some smiling “I Did It!” pictures and hung out in the tent. Eventually they announced that all the 5K runners had finished and they were posting the times. Gary finished in 48:56. Their printer was running out of ink and some of the lines didn’t print too clearly so it was tough to read my name, but I found Kara’s name and I knew I was next to her- we finished at 49:42, tied for last! (We actually weren’t last, the printer ran out of ink and didn’t print anything else after my name!) HEY, THAT’S A PR! Last year I ran 52:15 at this race, and my previous best was 50:10. Yeah, someone runs a sub-50 5K! High fives were had all around. We took off our shoes and ran into the ocean.

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