I ran my fifth 5k over the weekend. A brief history of my race running.
First: Valentine's Day 5k: I'd been running a lot during the previous 3 weeks, in the cold. Both of my calves were extremely tight (like rock hard), and it was slightly painful just to walk. I wrapped my legs in ace bandages and did my best running the race. I was late getting there, but managed to run the entire time.
Second: Frozen 5k on the State Fair Grounds. I was greatful to have a running buddy for this race. M and I got there early enough to do some stretching and get our muscles warmed up before the cold run. There were patches of ice on the roads, making for some slippery steps. As we ran, giant snowflakes started to fall, sticking to our lashes, and making the road a little more slick. S came to cheer us on, which was a great encouragement. M kept me running, even at the slowest of paces, until we finished.
Third: T and I decided to great spring with the Running Opener. It was a chilly morning, and I'd been struggling greatly with side aches (every time I ran). I was optimistic, maybe if I didn't talk while running and focused I'd be ok. My plan didn't work very well. I started off too fast, I talked between strained breaths, and I faltered. I ended up with a searing side ache and had to walk about a half mile. I did finish the race, but I didn't feel much sense of accomplishment.
Fourth: Armed Forces Day 5k at Fort Snelling Park. S was interested in attempting her first 5k, so she gathered up 3 friends for encouragement. We set off, stroller in tow (S has a 3yo little boy), and we began our journey. We mixed running and walking, easing S into the world of distance running. We walked maybe half of the race, but had good conversation along the way.
Fifth: Gopher to Badger 5k. The skies were dark, giant clouds hung ominously above us. I was a little nervous, as I have continued to struggle with side stitches. On the bus ride from the finish line to the starting point, large rain drops began to fall. We began our race in a light sprinkle, but the rain came harder, in short spurts during my run. The last half mile, it down poured. It hurt my eyes to look up, so I kept my gaze on the path just feet in front of me. I nearly ran into a light post. I finished strong, panting heavily. As I neared the finish line, R2 yelled out "Go Ang." It helped me kick into the highest gear I had left. It was the best race I'd run thus far (not exactly easy, though). I felt strong throughout the race, and kept running. I want to run more, get back out on the road. I finished 41st in females 20-29, and #258 overall (out of 356 people, I'll take it). I hope to run another 5k, improving upon my performance.