I hate 5ks. With less than a year of racing under my belt, I’ve done twice as many half marathons as 5ks. However, Susan G Komen isn’t just any 5k. It’s the largest road race in NC. It was my first race in a tutu!
Allow me to ruin the ending by saying that the race was horrible time wise. I was no match for the heat, hills, and humidity so I didn’t put up a fight. However, that made all the difference in the world because other than the time – everything about this race was great!
I didn’t get much sleep Friday night and the 5:30 wake up call was brutal enough to get a snooze out of me. While I snooze like a champ for work, running – esp races – almost never gets a snooze. I ate a granola bar, drank some water, and put on my tutu (you know, the usual). Cary and I planned on meeting at the Art Museum and running 2.5 miles on the trail to the start. Man, that girl was prompt! She texted me at 6am on the button! Luckily I was on time (6:03). We admired each other’s tutus for a bit and started the jog.
It was already in the 70s but OMG HUMIDITY! I didn’t bother to look up the official stats but I’ve never felt air so thick. Cary and I were both sweating buckets less than a mile into the run. As we approached the start we began seeing other racers doing their warm ups and almost everyone loved the tutu’s. We even got a “tres Chic” from a cycler early on the trail who probably had no idea we were dressed up for a race. Normal people run on trails at 6am in tutus, right?
The start was on the campus of Meredith College, which was an explosion of tents. Cary and I had no idea where to go pick up her packet…so we started to wander. Cary spotted more people in tutus and pointed them out. Of course it was my Pikermi Princesses!!!
Yay Tutus! (You can see Cary in the background going to pick up her packet)
Cary and I lined up somewhere towards the middle of the pack. We got tons of compliments on our outfits. Several strangers even asked to take our picture so we’re practically famous. The start was pretty uneventful but luckily the air had thinned out some. It was still humid and we were still soaked from the warm up but at least I didn’t feel like I was running through water anymore. We passed Shannon and Rebecca during the first half mile (both were planning on easy run/walking) so I slapped her little tutu-ed butt and she managed to snap this pic.
Notice Cary’s shirt less than a mile in! Oh, and the lack of people dressed up or in pink
I forgot to rest my Garmin so my paces are approx but the first mile was down hill and Cary and I managed a comfortable 9:33 pace. I felt tired but I thought that pace was manageable. Enter the hills. I’d ran this route before in January. I dont remember the hills being bad but it was 40s when I last saw these beasts. I changed my race plan to just focus on keeping the same effort rather than look at the Garmin for my pace. Cary and I didn’t talk much after the first mile but it was really great having her with me. I probably would have stopped more than once if she hadn’t been there but we pressed on, loving the occasional “Go Tutus!!” motivation we received from racers and spectators. We ran through several sprinklers and misting machines..but it was so humid the water didn’t evaporate so it really didn’t do much good. Mile 2 10:16.
Mile 3 was pretty much a blur. I remember a spectator screaming “Last Hill” and “You’re almost almost there” around mile 2.5 and screaming back “LIAR!!!” as loud as I could. Cary told me to go ahead and I refused. After all, it was a fun run and I was having more fun with her – even if we could talk more than grumble a few complaints. Plus I needed her – I would have walked a long time ago if I was alone. Mile 3 10:09.
The last .1 was up a hill. I honestly felt like passing out, even with all the screaming people (the Women’s Only race was already lined up to start). Managed a semi decent kick at the end – Finish 31:16.
Cary and I chatted with some of my co-workers as we waited for the rest of the Princesses. I didn’t see my friend Julie in the Women’s Only start, which only justified my decision not to run that race too. It was way too hot to try to “make up” some miles.
After the race I texted Tobi to meet up. I wish we had a camera to take some pics (I stole all of these from Shannon). We had a good time walking around, looking for the cell phone I was dumb enough to drop (but someone found it and turned it in!!) and walked back to our cars.
Overall, the race was a blast. I highly recommend dressing up for races. Sure, I would have liked a better time but I wouldn’t have pushed myself to go faster in exchange for the fun I had. Jen Van Allen, an editor at Runner’s World, said it best:
“If you don’t enjoy it–if you’re not willing to forage for joy in even the most painful of moments, then it is a complete and utter waste of time.”