Last year we ran the Twilight 5K in Canandaigua and it was a lot of fun. This year when I saw that they had the option of a 5K or 10K, and what day it was on, I knew that we had to run it. Not only did we have 6 miles on our training plan, but the race was on our anniversary. Mike and I were married in Canandaigua, which makes this race that much more special.
We set up a team again this year, this time we were called "The Badass Bunch", and a bunch (haha) of our friends, new and old, joined the team.
Unfortunately, I had caught Mike's cold that he got over the weekend and I am still not 100%. All day I didn't know what I wanted to do, and I wasn't even feeling it at one point, and then our friend Sarah said that I could always run with her. I had actually been thinking about doing that, Sarah and I kind of have a tradition where once a year I try to pace her to a PR and I knew that taking it easy would probably be better in the long run.
Before the race last year
Before the last 5K we ran together
Mike and I got to the race start, a new venue this year at Sonnenberg Gardens, with a little less than an hour until the start of the race (the race started at 6:30pm). We went over to packet pickup and we immediately saw Sarah. A little while later our friend, Rob, showed up and then we saw another friend, Rick.
We went to try to find some bathrooms, which they didn't have any port-a-potties and the line for the bathrooms on site was LONG. Since I wasn't "racing" I just decided to deal with it and made my way back to the start line. It was then that I noticed that my watch was dead (I must not have turned it off after using it the night before - the 910xt can be turned on and off) and I knew that I was not meant to try for a PR.
I saw Erin, a newer friend, and her friend, Liz, close to the start. I went over, and after saying "don't hug me" (because of my cold) we just chatted for a bit. Mike and Rob had come over and we saw Rick with our friend Heather (all of these people were on team TBB).
After determining which way we were supposed to line up, I found a place next to Sarah. She told me her previous PR was 1:07, and I knew that we were going to beat that. I had actually gotten my watch to turn on, but it said low battery.
Mike and Rob were right in front of us, and as the horn sounded (so weakly I might add, at first we couldn't even tell that the race had started) we were off!
Sarah and I made our way through the grounds of Sonnenberg Gardens, and I commented about how I didn't even know the course at all. Another woman said, "there's a hill at mile 4". I also mentioned that the course was run on the Post Christmas Blues 5K course (another race I had run with Sarah).
After the PCB 5K, there was about a foot of snow on the ground that day!
My watch had of course died right after we started the race, so I told Sarah we were relying on her watch. She told me that our first mile was 8:51 and I said that we could/should slow down. She said, "we will".
I just focused on telling her that she was doing great (she was!) and if there was a hill that it was a baby hill and she runs harder hills near where she lives. If I got too far ahead of her, because of pace or dodging people, I would slow down and let her catch up. The first few miles were pretty uneventful and I enjoyed the course, even if it had some slight hills.
Around three miles I thought, "huh, I guess there isn't going to be a water stop". It wasn't until almost 4 miles that the first water stop showed up! I told Sarah water was up ahead and she used some choice words to tell me she didn't need any, ha. I didn't take any either since I wasn't feeling that taxed (even though it was humid out).
The course was pretty nice, it ran along mostly side roads and one of the main roads through Canandaigua. There was a little turn around for the 10K, at one of the schools and you ran through the loop, and we saw a guy cut the course! Sarah said she hated that, and I said that it was a good thing he wasn't going to win. Cheating doesn't get you anywhere!
After we made it up the hill at mile four, our slowest mile, I told Sarah there weren't any more hills. Except there was a tiny baby one a little while later. We picked up the pace for the fifth mile, and Sarah accidentally grabbed someone's butt that she didn't know (she thought it was someone she knew, but it turned out to not be her). We, and the people around us, had a good laugh about that. As we were approaching the end of the race, Sarah mentioned she had to catch her breath. I let her and then when we rounded one corner I told her to try to pick it up.
She did great! Since I didn't have a watch, I didn't want to push her too hard but I asked if she had anything more and she said she'd try. Dodging the 5K runners (the 10K and 5K course combined in the later miles of the 10K) was tough but I told her to just keep picking off people. In the last .2 miles I told her to catch the guy in the gray shirt ahead of us, and she did!
As we got to the finish line, I saw Mike and Rob cheering us on. And then I saw the clock. Under 59 minutes! I yelled at Sarah to get in there and she sprinted to the finish! I crossed a few seconds after her at 58:04 (9:22 pace) and I told her that she did it! She ran to an AMAZING new 10K PR.
After the race this year
The look on her face was worth not trying to PR. She was so happy! Like I told her during the race, she is a stronger runner than she was before. I remember when we ran our first race together and yesterday was nothing like that. She was strong, determined and didn't give up. Sometimes running isn't about you, it's about being there for the people who are there for you.
Mike had a great race, and even though he wasn't feeling it either and wasn't sure what he was going to do he got a new PR of 47:00. And, this morning we found out that he came in third in his age group!
After the race we waited to see some other people finish and then we went to the post-race party.
Some of team "The Badass Bunch"
Unfortunately, there wasn't really anything there that I could eat (there was supposed to be pizza but for some reason there wasn't) but we still had a good time hanging out with our friends. After awhile, we headed home.
This was the perfect way, for us, to celebrate our anniversary! We got to be together, do something that we love and be with people who love us. Nothing beats that. Plus, since Mike's birthday is next week, we get to continue celebrating all week long!