On Sunday, Sept. 23rd my sister and I ran our very first race together – the Run for Blood 5K. It all started when my sister, who enjoys running in her free time as well (just not long distance), texted me asking to sign up for a race together. Ummm YES PLEASE. I always get excited when someone wants to run with me (or just run in general), so I immediately searched for and sent her a list of 5K races we could run. We ended up choosing the Run for Blood 5K, which was not only for a great cause but the route was a short walk from her apartment. I immediately registered both of us. This was also going to be my first official 5K race, meaning an instant PR.
I crashed at my sister’s the night before the race, and we spent the evening watching some major Kardashian drama and eating chocolate…basically the perfect night.
My current favorite nightly snack: mashed avocado + grainy organic mustard + mashed hardboiled egg on Ezekiel sprouted bread
My sister picked up our race packets earlier that day, and I was a big fan of what was inside:
(A nice tech tee and a metal water container)
The best part was my bib number!!! My lucky number is 2, and having the bib #222 was a good sign. Or so I thought…
I guesstimated what I would wear the following morning based on the weather report, and laid out my options for easy access the next day.
The alarm blared at 7AM the following morning. I slept very well and only complained a tiny bit upon getting out of bed. I prepped my traditional pre-run breakfast for both of us: coffee and half of an Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted cinnamon raisin bagel topped with almond butter and banana slices.
My sis apparently needs to have a full breakfast before any sort of exercise, so she also made herself a hardboiled egg.
I quickly ate my half of the bagel, foam rolled, and got dressed:
(I wore: Lululemon Wunder Unders, Lululemon Run Swiftly tech tee, Brooks PureCadence shoes, a shiny headband made by yours truly, Garmin Forerunner 305 & heart rate monitor, and a random sports bra)
Can you tell how excited I am to be wearing not only my awesome bib number, but the bright pink Lulu shirt that I bought 1.5 months ago and have been dying to wear ever since. I was slightly worried about overheating, but given the short distance I had minimal problems. Yes, I pulled a runner’s no-no and wore something new on race day (again), but Lulu didn’t let me down.
I popped a TUMS pill (running heartburn cure-all!)…
…and then we headed out to the start and arrived to a large group of people just standing around in confusion.
Even though we were not planning on running together, my sister and I were still happy to be running a race “together.” It’s all about the sisterly experience!
Eventually we lined up and were ready to go. The weather was perfect – chilly but it warmed up quickly.
(Notice that the banner says “Finish” instead of “Start”? So weird…it bugged me a bit)
There was no countdown or announcement made indicating the race was about to start. To everyone’s surprise, the horn just went off and awoke my sister and I from lala land.
The race started out in slight confusion. I didn’t start running immediately after crossing the start line, and I forgot to turn on my Garmin because my sister panicked when Pandora wouldn’t work on her cell phone and I panicked too. The first few steps felt heavy and messy, and I worried that there would be a repeat of last week’s race. Luckily (lucky #2!), my body got in the groove, my heart rate fell under 170, and I sped up comfortably.
The second mile began right around the time we turned to run alongside Lake Michigan. It was a straight path but I enjoyed the gorgeous views of the city up ahead. There was an awkward turn-around point at mile 1.5, but I was immediately excited to see my sister running. She wasn’t too far behind and we happily spotted each other with big smiles on our faces. I maintained my speedy pace as thoughts of clocking in under 27 minutes floated to mind. My body was starting to feel the faster pace, but I kept going.
My heart rate starting climbing soon after my Garmin chirped at mile 2 completion. I was tired as hell, but knowing that I only had 1 mile left in the race helped push me onwards. Every tiny hill made my legs ache and my heart rate complain in acknowledgement. I sped up around mile 3.70 and then sprinted the moment I saw the 3 mile marker. Dizzy and delirious, I crossed the finish line at 26:59, according to my Garmin, but I knew I didn’t break 26 minutes because I started my Garmin a few seconds late.
So here’s the catch – my timing chip was defective!
When I checked my time online, it wasn’t there!!! I felt like I was back in college obsessively checking/refreshing the website to post my final grade on an exam. So you can imagine my disappointment when I got no
Final Time: 27:10 min (approximate – based on my Garmin time + 10 generous seconds added for a delayed start)
I am so bummed about this because the race was my first official 5K and I felt great about my final time. I would have been 7th in my age division! So much for lucky number 2.
– Small race: this is honestly a personal preference and should not be put into either the pro or con category, but I actually enjoyed the smaller size this time. I think I’m a lover of the hustle and bustle of large races (Shamrock Shuffle, Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, etc.) because you are always running “with” someone, but a small race was a breath of fresh air.
– Refreshments + snacks at the finish: I was happy to see water bottles, bananas, and granola bars set up for the finishers. Always appreciated!
– Race tech tees: I might have to say that the shirt may just be one of my favorites. It’s lightweight and has a nice design.
– Mile markers: I was happy to see mile markers as they validated my Garmin’s accuracy.
– Defective timing chip: I know this can happen at any race and it’s definitely not the race’s fault. I’m just being whiny…
– No initial start announcement/countdown: I was disappointed with the start in general. There was no announcement, countdown, or music while we waited and the horn just kind of went off – most people were taken by surprise by it and my sis and I were in the middle of our conversation. The banner above the start line also said “Finish” instead of “Start” which made no sense because we finished on the opposite side of the banner.
– Route: this is mostly applicable to me because this was the third race that I ran in this location, but I was tired of the route! Can’t we just once go in the other direction along Lake Shore Drive? However, the route is great and scenic for a first-timer.
– Not enough coverage: I wish the race highlighted the cause (blood drives) more. Maybe set up some info stations?
After last weekend’s crappy race, this run sparked my love for running yet again despite the timing chip fiasco. Ok, so my love never really went away – the race was just a reminder of why running is amazing. My sister totally agreed – she said she could’ve kept running! Her final time was 30:43 (9:55 min/mile average) – a fantastic finish for someone who doesn’t run as religiously as I do.
Here she is finishing strong:
Such great running form! I’m a proud sista.
I might sound a bit crazy to some, but I swear my new bright pink Lulu top mentally helped me run. New clothes always give me a boost of confidence when worn for the first time!
(Wise words written across the bottom inside of the shirt)
Sweaty and happy, we walked back to her apartment and proceeded to make delicious recovery food with a side of Kardashian drama:
I didn’t nearly spend as much time as I would have liked with my sister, but there are races every weekend ifyouknowwhatImean.
Do you prefer smaller or larger races?
What is your favorite distance to race?
Have you ever had a defective timing chip?