Sunday, September 25, 2011

On the Run: Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo 5K & 10K - 2011

Last Sunday was the 4th anniversary of my first race.  It's sort of hard to believe that I've only been running for four years!  In a way it feels like it's been a part of my life for so much longer.  (You can read my story here.)  

My first race was the Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo 10K.  I ran the it in 53:01.  I've run it every year since, each year shaving a few minutes off my time. 

This year I decided to try something a little different.  I've never run a 5K.  No offense to any 5Kers out there, but they don't seem worth the trouble to deal all the crowds of people for such a short race.  Anyway, I've never done one but this year I signed up for the 5 AND the 10K.  I figured if I was there anyway I might as well.  The start times are 45 minutes apart, so there's plenty of time to do both with a break in between.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect for race day.  Temps were in the 60's and it was sunny and dry.  The course is a fast and flat one through neighborhoods surrounding the zoo.  There were a lot of people out to show support, which always makes a huge difference in my opinion.  It's a seriously fun race to do and (although you may have your own opinion about zoos) the money goes to support the animals so I think it's a good cause.

My plan was to use the 5K as a warm-up - just take it easy, get myself loosened up and moving.  Well...that didn't exactly happen.  We got there late and by the time I got to the start line, the race had officially begun.  At least I heard people saying it had begun but no one was actually moving.  That's when I realized that I was stuck at the back of a huge pack of joggers and walkers and strollers.  Ugh.  The whole first mile was a fight through heavy Christmas-style mall traffic.  I tried every evasive technique in the book.  It wasn't easy - or necessarily safe - but eventually I was able to break free and once I did there was no slowing down.  Plus by that point I realized I only had 2 miles left.  I was practically to the finish line!  I kept up my quick pace and got the end as quick as I could.  Brian was there to see me finish and help me switch bibs before heading out to meet his cousin for breakfast in Royal Oak (that's their yearly tradition).  I killed time between races by walking around, stretching a bit, watching runners finish, and choosing my next playlist.  The time passed pretty quickly.



strawberry soy yogurt with raw oats, banana


I Feel It All / Feist
Don't Wanna Talk / Brendan Benson
Know Your Enemy / Green Day
Girl / Beck
1,000,000 / Nine Inch Nails
Lost in the Supermarket / Ben Folds
The Underdog / Spoon
Angels of the Silences/ Counting Crows
The Sound of Settling / Death Cab for Cutie
Miami / Will Smith
Heavy Metal Drummer / Wilco

For the 10K, I made sure to start out right at the front of the pack.  (It was a much smaller race, though, and without the walkers and strollers, I wasn't in danger of being stuck behind anyone too slow anyway.)  As soon as I started out, I thought to myself, "What the hell was I thinking doing both of these races?"  My hamstring hurt.  My hips hurt.  It was going to be a long 6 miles.

But after the first mile I started to loosen up again.  I picked a girl who seemed to be running about at my pace and decided to stick by her.  By mile 2, however, I was passing her.  I picked another girl to run near.  By mile 3 I was passing her.  Around mile 4 I found myself in the middle of a pack of guys.  I felt pretty good there, figuring that if I could run with them I was doing pretty well.  As I passed the 5-mile marker, I slowly moved out of that group, as well.  

As I neared the end of the race, I kept zeroing in on a person in front of me and making it my mission to pass him.  Once I did, I chose my next target.  It felt amazing to pass one person after another.  As I passed the 6-mile marker, I briefly worried that I may not have the energy to give it my all in the final stretch.  I was afraid I would have to slow down at the end.  But wait - slow down and disappoint all these people who were there cheering for me?  (Okay, so although none of them actually knew me, everyone there was so cool and I was so darn proud of myself that I felt like every person WAS cheering for me!)  So slow down?  I think not!  So I picked it up, dug it out, and finished strong.

Just as I crossed the finish line, a runner ahead of me turned around to tell me that he heard me behind him the whole time and I pushed him to run faster.  Then one of the guys I ran with for a bit finished just after me and we congratulated each other on a good race.  I really felt like a runner!

After the race I went over to the post-race party.  The food was really sad and unhealthy - hot dogs, chips, Twinkies, Ho-Hos, and pop.  The only healthy thing was apples.  Not even any bananas!  I didn't care too much about the food once they posted the results, though.  Although it wasn't a PR for me (that was last year - I ran it two seconds/mile slower this year) I came in 2nd in my age group for the 10K and won a medal!  wahoo! 

Armed with 4 apples and my winner's medal, I happily waved good-bye to the otters and jogged out of the zoo. 

My first winner's medal - 2nd place in my age group!




Good Day / Tally Hall
Pumped Up Kicks / Foster the People
Telephone / Pomplamoose
Song Away / Hockey
Born This Way / Lady Gaga
Float On / Goldspot
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper / Blue Oyster Cult
Misery / Maroon 5
Under Cover of Darkness / The Strokes
Shut Up and Drive / Rihanna
Charlie Mix / Otto Vector
100 Miles and Runnin’ / N.W.A.
Our Time Now / Plain White T’s
A Matter of Time / Foo Fighters
That Someone is You / R.E.M.
Bad Romance / Lady Gaga
Kick Drum Heart / The Avett Brothers

Next race: The Big House Big Heart 10K, October 9th (My birthday!)

1 comment:

  1. you feel like a runner because you are!