It’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog. Don’t worry….I didn’t disappear. I just didn’t do a lot of running. After 3 weeks straight of racing, my body decided to reject running. No really. I don’t know how I could run a 31 mile Ultra Marathon and then 10 days later not be able to do 3 miles, but that’s exactly what happened. I told JD “I am so out of shape” after a painful 3 miler last week. His response: “You are an idiot. You ran three races. You aren’t out of shape. Your legs just haven’t recovered.” And I think he’s right. Because this weekend, Stella finally got her groove back.
It started with the Rainbow Run this past Saturday. As a kick off for Pride week, this inaugural event was a 5K where all proceeds support the IndyPride Resource Center and fund HIV education. Say no more. I wanted to be a part of this.
So a few weeks ago, I put out a request on our Perfect Strangers Facebook page to see who else I could wrangle in. Meghan, Christi and Micki all chimed in immediately. And then last week, we all decided we’d wear fun socks and bright colors to be part of this rainbow event.
Now with all the racing I have done, this was only my second 5K. Typically, if I am training for a marathon, 3.1 miles just isn’t enough distance to justify the hassle of getting to the race, picking up a packet, dealing with crowds, etc. But this one came at a perfect time. It was the perfect distance. For a cause I care deeply about. And with fun friends.
So at 7:15am, Christi picked me up. The weather was actually perfect for a race -in the low 50s but with the sun shining. So I wore a neon tank, black shorts, tall socks and then used another pair for arm warmers. With a little help from a pair of keys, I was able to cut holes for my thumbs!
We grabbed our bibs and tshirts at the registration desk and waited for our friends to arrive. Though the field was only 360 strong, we found lots of people we knew and the energy was infectious. Whoever created the start/finish line playlist needs to come make one for me because all I wanted to do was dance! C and I were stoked about the tees and loved checking out people’s outfits. We were slightly disappointed that more people didn’t dress in their best Pride wear, but it was the race’s first year. I am sure next year will be even better!
Meg and Jake showed up soon after, Christi found a couple of friends, and Micki (who lives just down the street from the start line) arrived in plenty of time for some photo ops.
The race was set to start at 8:30am so we lined up without so much of a race strategy. In fact, I didn’t even bring my watch. Like I said, my body wasn’t really feeling the whole running thing as of late so I was just happy to be out there, doing a fun run with little pressure. And when the gun went off, we took off through the beautiful Herron Morton neighborhood.
JD and I have been considering a move downtown for some time now, so this race was a perfect scouting trip for me. We ran through the exact neighborhoods I would consider so it was fun to size up the houses.
Jake took off in front of us and Christi didn’t last too long either before she ran ahead. So it was the three Ms sticking together. I don’t know what our pace was nor did I care. I felt good and was having fun chatting with these two. The only thing I didn’t love was that there were no mile markers. Though I felt good, I had no idea how far we’d gone or how much we had left. Had we at least brought a GPS watch, I think we could have kicked it up even more at the end knowing we could get to the finish line. But as we rounded that final corner, Micki’s family was cheering loudly for us as were our friends at the finish. We crossed around 29:25 which was just fine by me. And even better, we were handed the coolest medals ever. All with different color ribbon, we actually got a medal for a 5k! (Take note, Sam Costa)
We spent the next ten minutes, mingling with friends and cheering on others as they finished. I really loved this race. It was intimate and fun and with a community of people that I could have spent the entire day with.
When we all parted ways, Christi and I headed back north. We went to breakfast at Bagel Deli in Broadripple and as we ate our sandwiches and gossiped, an idea started to form in my head. I knew I couldn’t say it aloud until I had convinced myself it was a good idea. Christi isn’t someone you can throw an idea out to and then back out. But once I was sure, I said “I know this sounds a little silly. But we are in workout gear. And the Monon is right there. Wanna knock out another 3 miles?”
Of course she didn’t even hesitate. So we took off our medals and bibs. We finished our Diet Cokes and we headed to the deck. A few ladies commented on our matching socks and we told them we just ran the Rainbow Run and were tacking on a few miles. And that’s exactly what we did. Three miles on the Monon felt great. Just being out there, in my safe place, was amazing. I can’t tell you the last time I ran on a Saturday morning on the Monon but it’s been a long time. And it felt gooooooood.
We held about a 9:10-9:15/mile pace and cruised in feeling a little stomach crampy (I mean, we did just eat breakfast between our two 5Ks) but with big smiles on our face.
And yesterday I went back out and knocked out another 6 miles- the longest run I have done consistently since the Ultra. I felt great with mile 5 even coming in at a 8:25/mile pace. Like I said, Stella thinks she’s got her groove back.
Happy Pride Week, Indy! Thanks for putting on such a great race.