the spew: Girls on the Run is a health-oriented program that inspires young girls from third grade until eighth grade on how to be healthy and confident where running is integrated. After the program, the girls graduate by running their first 5k with their running buddies that help motivate them along the way. Junior high students can enroll in the track program which allows for more mature processing on real issues like eating disorders, internet safety, bullying, tobacco and alcohol use. The girls learn to be aware and wise very early in life. Striving to be healthy and confident in life is important to the image I want to portray for myself and my clients which interested me to run this race in Lancaster, a place I can never tire of even post race!
course overview: a mostly flat and fast terrain down college avenue and up race street being the longest hauls, a little trek down the Pike, down to walnut and west end avenue and a zig zag through franklin and marshall college where we finished around the track. low to moderate intensity hills. in a nutshell, the perfect course for a novice 5k race.
highlights: first 5k race! ran all the way through only stopping for a few steps but the amazing energy of the crowd made me pick up the pace. the weather couldn’t have been more picturesque for a 5k or any outdoor activity. the spirit and overall enthusiasm of the running buddies, coaches and the crowd. a live musician along the last mile of the course (they must have knew I was going to run iPodless! heh.) 5k was organized well and had a nice itinerary planned that I saw online. beautiful college campus to run around in. A LOT of community-wide and some big time sponsors. a cool racing shirt and another bib for the collection.
lowlights: google fail. but that’s what happens when races are farther away. getting lost five minutes outside of the college and getting taken down a dead end and into a new neighborhood which is always fun but never when I’m supposed to be somewhere! being late to the race missing registration so I had to run without a bib and I didn’t get my chip time which is OK for my first 5k. I just wanted to relish in the pride of the run. iPodless (Technology has not been on my side lately.) – but wasn’t so bad as I fixated my gaze on the scenary of running a new course which was just as exciting!
Although I didn’t medal, it was a great race that I’d love to participate in again whether it’s to run and/or to conduct chair massages for the sore racers post race. I packed in a decent breakfast before the start of the race: a bagel with egg and kale on one side and peanut butter on the other side with a kale smoothie and a fruit flavored water plus my water bottle. Energy level was good. Afterwards, I went downtown to indulge in a delicious salmon salad at the cafe on Prince Street while reading the most recent issue of Fine Living Lancaster minus an iced chai that I usually like to order from there because I was saving myself for a blackberry sorbert from Carmen and David’s ice cream parlor a few doors up which hit the spot after a morning run.
What I’ve learned from the race:
1. You’ll never know until you try – I may have run 3.1 many times on both my home course and the ‘mill but I’ve always asked What if or was worried that 3.1 on race day would go differently. It did not. Just race and go at your happy pace! It’s still a competition but there’s no winners or losers. Just the victory in a finish.
2.googling course map is good, googling the directions is better – It’s not that I didn’t do both – but Google isn’t necessarily God either. Mistakes happen. That’s why it’s best to get accustomed to the area. Memorize street names and landmarks that pop up as you’re getting directions so when a street name you’re looking for doesn’t pop up, you can try looking for nearby landmarks. Become familiar with the area. Who knows? You might have to give directions some day if you come there more than enough!
3. eat a decent breakfast before, treat yourself later – eating a decent breakfast is key but don’t overdo it. save that for after the race. If you’re in a new area, this invites you to explore some of the local restaurants as I did!
When asked if I would run another 5k, I said “definitely!” – but maybe with my new iPod next time. The spirit is great but combined with my beat, I would have been in my element.
“The finish line is just the beginning.” (Caught that hanging on a banner in the athletic field. What a great quote!)