Saturday, September 22, 2012

On the Run: Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo 5K & 10K - 2012

Last Sunday I did Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo - one of my favorite races of the year.  Actually now that I do both the 5k and 10k I should say it's two of my favorites!  I love it in part because it was the first race I ever ran so I like to see each year how much faster I get.  (In my 5th year running it my finishing time has dropped by 10 minutes - woot woot!)  I also love that it's fast and flat and not too crowded, which gives me a fighting chance at placing in my age group.  And although I sometimes get flack from other vegetarians and vegans for supporting the zoo, I firmly believe they do good work for the animals and treat them with care and respect.  The proceeds from this race benefit the veterinary hospital at the zoo, which I think is a good cause.  So really, what's not to love about this race?

The weather last weekend was absolutely perfect racing weather - sunshine, blue skies, cool temps, and a gentle breeze.  By my standards, Brian and I were a little late getting to the race so I jumped out on the service drive before he pulled into the parking lot and ran to the starting line.  I got there just in time for the singing of the National Anthem and then we were off.  Initially my goal was to use the 5k as a warm-up for the 10k that was to follow.  However, I had a lot of adrenaline going, started out strong, and before I knew it I was at mile 2.  With only another 1.1 miles to go there was really no point in slowing down.  Plus, the faster I ran the more time I would have between races to switch bibs and stand in line for the port-a-potties (I didn't have time to go before the 5k, remember?).  So I just went for it.  And when I crossed the finish line and saw the race clock I was so happy I ran the way I did.  I raised my arms and gave out a loud, "Wahoo!"  I'd never run so fast in all my life.  I'd gone balls to the wall.  (I actually shouted that to Brian when I finished.  Sorry parents.)  And I still had another 6.2 miles to run.  Oh sh*t.


Vanilla Chia Pudding (this recipe, minus the cocoa), banana

Runaway Train / Soul Asylum
Take Me Away / Wild Belle
Michael Praytor, Five Years Later / Ben Folds Five
Mama's Room / Under the Influence of Giants
Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin' / Mayer Hawthorne
Felt / Garbage

After such a glorious 5k I was super pumped about the 10k.  I started out way at the front again and from the get-go I was moving at a pretty good clip.  I wasn't really passing anyone yet but people weren't passing me, either.  After only about a mile, however, my mind started telling my legs they were tired.  I started thinking about how fast I'd just run and how far I had to go.  Even though I badly wanted to place in my age group I started to tell myself it was okay if I didn't.  But both races together are only 9 miles and I easily run 7 and 8 miles a couple days a week.  And this is race day!  Get a hold of yourself, I thought!  haha!  Anyway, I knew it was all in my head so I picked a person who was just a little ahead of me to catch up with, keep pace with for a while, and then eventually move on ahead of him or her to the next person.  I find that's the best way to keep pushing myself to run faster and faster in a race.  Keep running down the next target.  Oh, my strategically planned playlist worked great, too!  I got lots of cheers from volunteers along the course - and even some high fives - so that made it fun and was also highly motivating.  I finished strong again with a one second faster per mile pace than the 5k.  I couldn't believe it!  So just when I thought I couldn't run any faster . . . I did!  Woot woot!



Teardrop Windows / Benjamin Gibbard
Don't Stop (Color on the Walls) / Foster the People
Strange Times / The Black Keys
In the Clouds / Under the Influence of Giants
I Feel Better / Gotye
You Called Me / Mayer Hawthorne
Runaway Baby / Bruno Mars
Mountain Sound / Of Monsters and Men
Dynamite / Taio Cruz
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor / Arctic Monkeys
Blood for Poppies / Garbage
So Good / B.o.B.
Princess of China / Coldplay & Rihanna
Uprising / Muse

I ended up placing 1st in my age group in the 10k and 2nd in my age group in the 5k - with new PR's to boot!  The medals are identical except that the 1st place is gold on the back and the 2nd place is silver. 

And check it out - I made the Leaderboard for both races!  Smile

Next up: The Brooksie Way 1/2 Marathon - Sunday, September 30th


  1. Congratulations!!! And should anyone question your support for the zoo, inform them that our Detroit Zoo was the first in the country to employ a humane educator (who happens to be vegan) to teach and coordinate programs for the public regarding the ethical treatment of animals!

    1. Oh I love it! How did I not know that?? Thanks for the info!! :)