Grand Rapids Bridge Run

Last night I made a big pot of pasta with red sauce. Just simple ‘ol spaghetti.

Why all of that carb-y goodness? Today was a race day! We felt we had to carb load the night before.

This morning, Todd and I got up bright and early to participate in the Grand Rapids Bridge Run. I ran the 5K and Todd did the 10 mile run – perfect timing to fit into his training for the upcoming half marathon. It was definitely a cool fall morning, probably 50 degrees so we were in no rush to stand around outside in our shorts, thankfully we had already picked up our packets so we arrived downtown only about half an hour before the race.

Todd’s race started at 8:03 so I wished him luck and watched him line up and start the race. My race started at 8:15-ish so I went to line up shortly after the 10 milers took off. My goal for the day was to beat my last 5K time of 29:08 from July’s Coast Guard Run, hopefully finished under 29:00. That meant running sub-9:25 miles the whole way. I thought it was a reasonable goal. When lining up, there were no placards for lining up with people who run a similar pace as you so I just picked a spot near the middle of the pack near people who looked like they might run 9:00 or 10:00 minute miles.

We took off down the street and by the end of the first quarter mile, I had a cramp in my right side and a charley horse threatening to flare up in my left calf. I was using RunKeeper and couldn’t wait for the lady to tell me I had completed a mile. She didn’t when I thought she would, right when I was cursing myself for not knowing where my running gloves were because my fingers were freezing. I was off to a bad start. Finally though, the RunKeeper lady started talking. Current time: 8….what!? 8-something? Turns out I was going faster than I thought, my first mile was complete in 8 minutes and 45 seconds, far under the pace I’d been hoping to set. With that I decided to ignore the cramp in my side and run the rest of the race at that same pace. Two miles in, I was still at 8:45/mile and feeling much better. Besides, at 2 miles there’s only a little more than a mile left to go, piece of cake.

Approximately 9 minutes later, I was waving to my in-laws, who had come to watch, as I crossed the finish line.

So, did I beat my goal of 29:00 or less?

Bingo!

I was so excited about my time, it’s my fastest recently and my second fastest ever. My fastest 5K ever was back in 2009 when I ran a race in March with snow falling. I ran it in 26:04 and was shocked that I went that fast. I was freezing and just wanted to be done. It seems cool or cold weather is the way to run, I always run my fastest when it’s chilly out!

After my race, I grabbed some waters and a muffin and met up with Todd’s parents. We chatted for a bit and then went to watch the end of the 10 mile run. Todd’s goal was to finish in 90 minutes or less. His friend, Dave, was running too and was hoping to finish a little faster than Todd, with 8:15 miles. We watched for Dave to finish and then Todd came in just a few minutes behind him. The both did great!

Todd finished faster than he expected, about 6 minutes faster so both of us had really good races. Of course, we had to celebrate so we all went to brunch at San Chez. No pictures of this one but my breakfast quesadilla was delicious and full of protein. I ordered spicy black bean quinoa cakes on the side and asked for a little herbed goat cheese to spread on them, my favorite breakfast side there.

Naps and football have filled a healthy chunk of the rest of our day. I’d call it a nicely balanced day.

Do you run faster in the cold?

Do you make goals before a race?