Bottomline Race for a Cause 5k RecapΒ 

I don’t run a lot of 5k’s but now I am left thinking maybe I should! 

This race is 4 years in the running and each year it gets better and better. My work puts it on which makes me more nervous because everyone I work with knows I run, so I put an absurd amount of pressure on myself. Saturday was no different. It’s also odd showing up at work on a Saturday, couldn’t get over that one either. 

Anyway, I got there about 8:20 and it was starting around 9:00. Start lines always freak me out! I have to get better about staying within myself and not letting other people intimidate me based on their warmups, etc. I found my running buddy Kailey and we did a quick mile warm up before the start. There were also people leading stretches and warm ups which was a cool addition this year! 

The start is in the street outside my work and before I knew it we were walking over. All night I thought about how I don’t know how to race 5k’s and I woke up feeling sick. I think I was making myself sick with stress. I told myself when I woke up that it was just a race, it doesn’t matter where I place or how I do because Chicago is my goal race. Chicago is everything I have been training for. Except then as we were on the start line and I lined up in the front another running friend Kim gave me better advice, she said just run. It doesn’t matter if it’s a PR just run. I like that, just run, just run, I started repeating it to myself. 

The horn sounded and we were off. I went out fast and then tried to reign it in a bit because the first part of the course is slightly uphill. I only glanced down at my watch a few times to see the pace but didn’t check any of my mile splits. I raced like I used to back in high school, by feel and by effort, just running. It was awesome, I felt strong and comfortable despite the 100% humidity! 

After mile one I felt I was going a little fast and wasn’t sure I could maintain it so I let the hill slow me down a bit for mile two. At mile two I knew there was a girl behind me comfortable following me. I also knew if I kept this pace up she would definitely pass me. I asked myself how bad I wanted it, how much more did I want to push or could I push? Then I just tried to catch the guys in front of me. There were about four. I passed two right away and the other two were farther in the distance. I focused on my breathing and holding on. 

Once I reached the corner I would go. I kept telling myself that. Hold strong now but don’t go full out yet. I reached the corner and I tried to kick it in. I had no idea if the girl was still on my tail. I heard people cheering for what sounded like “lauren” and I ran faster. I looked at the clock and saw 19:xx and ran harder through the finish. I crossed the line first female and third overall! 

I looked back and didn’t see a girl right away, she must have been 20 seconds or so behind me. Turns out the second place male’s name was “Loren”, but hey the cheering made me run faster so I should thank him! Official time was 19:07, even though I had the course a bit short, it would have been a PR regardless. I ran 20:30 on this course last year! 

The second I stopped running I felt like I had gone swimming, I was soaked! Happy but soaked. I stayed at the finish and cheered on my friends and colleagues. It was a PR for a lot of my friends! I won an amazon echo for coming in first! I also gave away some free months of Coaching for some of the top age group placers. 

Overall it was a great race and a great day. I left wondering if I should run more 5k’s and switch to shorter distances post Boston Marathon and I think that is definitely what I will do. I love the marathon but I also want to work on my speed again, now that I had a taste for what I fell in love with in high school track again πŸ™‚ 

Run for YouΒ 

We are runners. We run different distances and different ways. We all have different reasons to run. We want a personal best, we want to destress, we want to lose weight, we want the social aspect of running. The list goes on but what keeps you running? What are you running for? What sets your soul on fire? 

In this day and age running is very different because of social media and technology. Everything is about pace and distance and splits. Everything you could want to analyze from your run is at your fingertips. That is why It is more important these days that you remind yourself why YOU run. Not why somebody else runs, why do you? What gets you out of bed each morning? What motivates you to lace up your sneakers? Remind yourself what your goals are and stay within yourself. These days It is easier than ever to fall into the comparison trap, To analyze someone else’s life or running success by their Instagram feed. 

However, I am not against social media, but remind yourself that we all have different things that motivate us, different goals and different ways of getting there.  It also isn’t just social media, it’s all the data too. I work in an area where data is really important so I love that people are obsessed with it in regards to running but are we going too far? When was the last time you ran just to run? As in you laced up your shoes, picked your favorite route and maybe your favorite buddy and just went. Just ran. Nothing dictated your pace except how you felt. You can’t watch the seconds tick by or your pace change, you just run to feel alive. You run to feel the breeze and fresh air or you run to get to your favorite park. We all need to do that more often. Just run. A missed split shouldn’t ruin a whole run, you ran and that’s awesome! Although, I am guilty of this as well. 

Social media can also be a very encouraging place. I find that everyone is so supportive and kind. They want to see you succeed. Everyone inspires each other. Yes you can easily fall into a comparison trap but I believe it’s up to you to get out of that one. You have to stay true to your goals and your path and not all of a sudden want someone else’s. It’s tough but no one ever said life was easy. Goals are hard, life is hard. It took me two years to get to Boston. Two years of hard work. Two years of ups and downs, failures and successes, but I wouldn’t trade my journey for anyone else’s. it’s mine and I learned a hell of a lot along the way. 

So here’s to staying true to you, running with the wind, and reminding yourself why you fell in love with running from the beginning! With all three I don’t think anything can stop you!