Saturday, July 4, 2015

Race Report: Volkslaufe 5K

I wasn't going to race until the first weekend in August. Today I was just going to chill at home with the little man while my husband went up to Frankenmuth, MI for the Volkslaufe 20K. Always held on the Fourth of July, Volkslaufe is a favorite race of ours because we get to see lots of friends and they give out great beer steins as age group awards. I missed it last year because I was pregnant and the year prior to that due to injury and I was all set to miss it this year as well. But then yesterday Leo talked me into going. Honestly, it didn't take that much arm twisting. I wouldn't have wanted to take the little squirt if it was going to be one of those notoriously hot Volkslaufe days, especially since with awards not being handed out until noon it makes for a longer than average race morning. But the forecast called for  beautiful weather, with temps no higher than 80 degrees. So in the spirit of getting out of the baby bubble I happily agreed to go. And I figured, what the hell, why not hop into the 5K? Since the 20K goes off at 8:10 and the 5K isn't until 10:00, both of us racing wasn't an issue.

The biggest challenge of the day for me was less about running the race and more about going to a race with a baby in tow for the first time. And I have to say that everything went just about as perfectly as could be hoped for. No screaming demon baby! No diaper blow outs! Nothing important forgotten at home (I was ridiculously over packed--we may have needed 3 outfit changes!). The only time he got a little cranky was when we were waiting to watch the start of Leo's race and he was ready for a bottle (Oh, and apparently he didn't want to go back into the stroller during my race after his dad had gotten him out. He also wasn't enthused about a return to the stroller while we were waiting for awards, but once he realized he was going in there so I could feed him his apples and cereal he was all "I can work with this."). So anyway, long, rambling, rather unnecessarily detailed story short, things went well.  

As for the race, that went about as well as could be expected. No, that's selling myself a little short. It went quite well, but in a bittersweet kind of way. I ran 20:38, with mile splits at about 6:26 (oh that's gonna come back and bite my ass), 6:25 (somehow still hanging on) and 6:40 (and there it goes, but thanks to a downhill finish I didn't fall off pace nearly as much as I could have). No clue what my last .1 was and someone was saying that the course was long, not that it matters. On one hand I'm all "Sub-7:00 pace 5K for my first race in 19 months, 6 months post baby, on some really minimal training? Hot DAMN, Go me!" But on the other hand it's a pretty harsh reminder of how far I have left to go to get back to, or at least close to, the kind of fitness and speed I've enjoyed in the past. But it is a start. And it felt so good mentally to be racing again. And knowing my little cheerleader was waiting for me at the finish made it all the sweeter. The stein I got for my 2nd place age group finish is nice too, but he is the best award imaginable.  


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