This morning I participated in the Heart of McKinney 5k. I was honestly a smidge bit nervous. It’s been over a month since my last race, and even though I’ve been running every day, I’ve pretty much just been doing one mile runs. When my alarm went off at 6 am this morning (egads! So early!) I wanted to back out, but my friend Bianca was doing the race, too. In fact, this was her very first race ever. There was no way I wasn’t going to be there.
So I lugged myself out of bed. Bleary-eyed, I took care of Geronimo, ate some toast, and drove up the road to a new hospital in McKinney, which was the site of the race. Everything was well-organized. (They even had people directing traffic.) I was able to quickly get my bib and t-shirt and go to the bathroom. (We got to use the bathrooms inside the hospital and wow – they are nice bathrooms! If there wouldn’t have been other people there, I totally would have snuck y’all a picture.)
Not long after, I found Bianca. She was raring to go! If she was nervous, it didn’t show. We took our time taking pictures, getting comfy, chit-chatting. When it was finally 5 minutes until go-time, they had us line up at the start. They played the anthem, there was a countdown, and we were off!
My game plan was to stick with Bianca. Being that this was her first race, I wanted to keep her company and be her cheerleader. I also made it my mission to talk her ear off. Hopefully she found it distracting and not annoying!
Mile 1: 11:43
The first part of the race had us circle the hospital and then head out to a main road that was blocked off with cones. The course seemed really hilly. Lots of little hills near the hospital, and the main road was one big uphill. Tough for a girl’s first race, but B took it like a champ! We estimated that there were 200ish participants. I think this amount is just right. Not so small that you are all alone, but not so big that it is crowded.
The course was an out and back, so toward the end of the first mile, we could see the leaders heading back. (The overall winner finished in just over 16 minutes! Wowie!) Right about mile 1 there was a water stop, but we both felt okay to skip it and keep going.
Mile 2: 12:37
The hill we were running up finally flattened out, and then we turned around and ran back downhill. I like downhill much better! I know that some people aren’t fans, but I like my hills downward! Bianca was still running and seemed to be feeling really good. My legs felt great. I have enjoyed running everyday for the Runner’s World Summer Running Streak, but I miss getting in more miles.
This mile flew by. In no time, we were back at the water stop (we did partake this time; it was hot!) but we kept on running. Only 1 mile left!
Mile 3: 12:58
We were back near the hospital and had to loop around it. This mile was a little tougher. We faced those little hills again and I know that both Bianca and I were done with the heat. I tried to distract both of us with talk of the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes split (so sad) and other unimportant, gossipy tidbits.
Up one more hill and I heard Bianca shout, “I see it!” (meaning the finish).
Last .1: 12:16
She revved it into high gear and made a strong, triumphant finish. Bianca’s goal was to run the entire race, and she did! No walking, at all, which was impressive with the hills. We saw quite a few people taking walking breaks. I don’t know if she was tempted or was hurting, but it didn’t show. Bianca is a beast! I really admire her determination. She hasn’t let the heat or the hills or her school stuff get in the way of her 5k goal. This was her first, but I doubt it will be her last. Way to go, B!
- 3.1 mile finish time: 38:33
- Average pace: 12:26 per mile
This race was great for me, too. It reignited my passion for racing and my love of getting in more miles. This one mile business just ain’t cutting it. I’ve let myself take it easy because of the heat, and the stress I’m facing, and this, that, and the other thing. It’s just excuses. Running helps me de-stress. And I trained all summer long last year, so the heat isn’t even a valid excuse. I had been planning to take it super easy next month, but I’m starting to re-think that.
Now that this race is officially in the books, it’s time for a nap!*