Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Run 8k 2013

It finally feels like fall around here.  This past week has been excitingly fun and very full.  It really seems the holiday season has begun.  I get nostalgic around this time of year.  We get to spend lots of time with friends and family, travel, and decorate.  So this week we kicked off all the seasonal fun with one of our favorite traditions: The Pumpkin Run 8k!
I was so excited when Jenna gave us this pumpkin costume.  Little known fact: I was a pumpkin for many, many Halloweens.  And my nickname is Pumpkin.  I shared this with Jenna last year, and she gave us Sierra's old costume.  It is perfect and I couldn't wait to dress Eleanor up in it for this year's race.

Alex and I woke up early on Saturday morning, unsure if we were even really going to participate.  I haven't run 5 miles since before I was pregnant with Eleanor, and neither of us have been running at all lately.  We decided we would at least get up and go to the event to cheer on the other runners.  So we headed out into the brisk fall morning.  I was after the hot coffee and yummy pastries I knew would be there and convinced I was not running in the cold weather.

As we arrived I began reminiscing about last year's race.  As Alex ran, I stood, nine months pregnant, cheering him on across the finish line.  I remembered being there and feeling so disappointed I couldn't participate.  So this year it didn't take long after arriving in the race atmosphere to change our minds and register to run.  I encouraged Alex to give it all he had and really race for a PR, while Eleanor and I would trudge through the 5 miles together with the stroller.

By the time we lined up at the start, the sky brightened into a beautiful, early-morning blue, and the sun shone through the clouds.  I was excited for the perfect running weather and Eleanor and I started out at an easy pace as we watched Alex race off ahead.

I quickly fell into pace with an older man who kept me company for the first mile and a half. We chatted about jobs and seminary and children.  After a terribly steep hill I let him run ahead of us while I stopped for water and a walk break.  I quickly picked the pace back up to a run and continued to move forward.  I was feeling pretty awesome and excited to finish the race with Eleanor.  

At the half-way mark Eleanor began to fuss.  I knew she was tired and would probably sleep through some of the 8k.  However, I forgot the pacifier, and her whines turned to cries and then into wails.  I felt terrible as I pushed my speed to try to get back faster.  It felt pointless though, we still had at least 25 minutes till the end.  

As we turned toward the back loop I spotted Alex and yelled out to him.  He was about a mile ahead of us and could at least get Eleanor back quicker.  So I passed the stroller off to him and made my turn while wishing him luck.  I felt bad and hoped I hadn't ruined his momentum.  Meanwhile I felt practically free without the stroller and really tried to push the second half of the race.

One mile ticked by and then another and I was heading down the home stretch.  Ahead of me I just barely made out Alex in his bright green shirt carrying a pumpkin in one arm and pushing a stroller with the other.  Immediately I was crushed.  I sprinted ahead to catch up as fast as I could.  I wondered how long he had been carrying Eleanor and wanted to give him a break.  He felt so bad for her crying in the stroller he decided to just walk and carry her instead!

I reached them and took over the baby-carrying (Alex had held her for over a mile!).  Together the three of us walked the last 1/2 mile to the finish line and crossed it together just shy of 56 minutes.  
Lesson learned: Carry a pacifier with you when attempting to run for more than just a few miles!
It wasn't exactly the race we planned...but actually we didn't plan to race at all so I can't complain!

Back inside we munched on muffins, bananas and coffee.  We checked our finishing times and discovered I placed 3rd (out of 3!) and Alex placed 2nd (out of 4!) in our age divisions.  Oh the joys of running in small events. 
While I'd selfishly love for this event to stay small so we can continue to place, I have to say how amazing this 8k really is.  The before and after snacks are great! Biscuitville biscuits and LaPatisserie muffins and coffee.  The door prizes are also excellent.  We won a gift card to Smoothie King and a t-shirt.  The race shirts are long-sleeved and this year they were tie-dyed! The course is beautiful, albeit a little hilly and the volunteers are excellent.  This is a wonderful event and we love running it every year!  I hope you will plan to join us next year!

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