One of my closest friends is also a runner and a dietitian like I am. She recently moved to the west side of the state, going from 20 minutes away from me to 2 hours away. I have definitely missed my sushi and wine loving running buddy! So when she was down to run the 5/3rd Bank River Run with me in Grand Rapids, I was all for it!
The last race I ran was my half marathon. I’m sure many others before me have experienced the similar feeling of… well, what do I do now? I wasn’t training for another half marathon just yet, but didn’t really know what I wanted to do for running. I finally settled on the Hal Higdon Intermediate 5k training plan and made it a goal to get a PR in GR. When I first started the training, I wasn’t feeling too confident. My pace had decreased tremendously through the half training – my running friends reassured me that this is common and I just kept running. My pace improved with each run, but I will still nowhere near the pace I would need to get a PR during my training, with the exception of a track workout where I ran sprint intervals with walking and maintained a sub 11 minute mile pace for 2 miles.
Fast forward to the day before the race. We were lucky enough to have friends in the area who let us stay with them. We headed downtown to pick up our race packets and decided to have dinner while we were out. We were going to try Founders Brewing Co but it was super crowded and their credit card machine was down, so we ended up going to Peppinos instead.
I had told my friends I would not be drinking… well, I may or may not have ordered my new favorite “go to” beer, Short’s Soft Parade. My friend and I ended up ordering the garden veggie panini – spinach, smoked gouda, roasted red peppers, black olives, tomato and garlic aioli spread. SO delicious. We always end up having great food… see this post as an example. We laughed and laughed, it was a great night! And we stayed up wayyyy too late. 5 in the morning was going to come very quickly!
The next morning I woke up not feeling 100%… obviously… and my friend and I decided on a game plan. She’s much faster than I am, but it had been a long time since she ran a race. I asked her if she wanted to do run/walk intervals with me and push me to run faster. We headed downtown, found a parking spot and walked to the race start. It was of course a very big, busy race that was well organized. We found the pace we wanted to hang out with and waited for the start. The start of course was extremely slow, with several hang ups for the first part of the run. We ran our intervals – 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking – and were doing really well. The views of the city were awesome, and it was fun running with so many other people. There were a few hills, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. We were maintaining a great pace – I was determined to get my PR!
When we reached the last .10 mile, I pushed myself as hard as I could through to the finish. I knew I ran my heart out when I finished because I was ::thisclose:: to puking my guts out. We grabbed water and granola bars, headed to the post-race party zone to get our finisher gifts, and then headed back to our car to grab our coats. The race sure warmed us up but it got cold again really quickly! We decided to grab a nice warm cup of chai tea latte to warm up our hands and made it back to the race just as the 25k was starting. I was looking for my hubby’s best friend’s wife and didn’t think I’d ever see her among so many people. Just as I was describing what she looked like to my friend, there she was! I yelled out her name and shouted out some encouragement! So cool that I got to see her flying by.
We decided after that to get breakfast. We searched out places to eat and found The Omelette Shoppe, which was just under a mile away according to our GPS. What the GPS failed to reveal is that this was up a giant hill. But it was worth the climb up that hill and the wait for our table to get our yummy food. We once again ordered the same thing – the Leelanau Scramble: Spinach, wild mushrooms, scallions & scrambled eggs topped with tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Served with red skin potatoes and toast. And that toast came with homemade strawberry jam. So delish!
As we left the restaurant, we said “Boy we got here just in time!” as the line had gotten longer. We very soon stopped feeling that way as it started to rain on our long walk back towards the race. That rain ended up turning to hail and was pelting our faces as we started running down that huge hill toward our destination. As we ran, my friend’s phone fell out of her pocket and landed face down on the pavement. It was smashed! :( By the time we got back to the race, the sun had come out and it was beautiful again. We drove back to my friend’s house to shower and figured out our plans for the rest of the day. We ended up going to Trader Joe’s and then to the mall. We were going to go to Holland for the tulip festival, but with the weather so patchy… one minute sunny, the next minute hail… we decided to just stay in GR.
So the question everyone is dying to know the answer to… did I get my PR in GR? Well, it depends on when you looked at the results. The preliminary results say that yes, I did get my PR… I finished in 34:25. But if you look at the results now, my time is 35:17, which is not a PR! WTF! >:( According to my Endomondo app, I ran 3.2 miles in 34:23, a 5k in 33:46! So whatever! I’m going to go with I got a PR in GR…