As many of you know I am a total morning running.
I like to get up and out the door before my body realizes what I am about to put it through. That is the god’s honest truth. There are times when my snooze alarm gets the best of me and I end up on a lunchtime or after work run – but they never feel as good to me as getting it done before (or during) a good sunrise.
BUT that being said – when I recently had the opportunity for a complimentary entry to the Johnson Brunetti Twilight 5K to benefit Camp Courant on a recent Friday evening I could not pass it up. A good cause and a “quick 5k” to shock my legs (coach’s words not mine) are enough to get my competitive juices flowing.
However – life stress took center stage in the days leading up to the race, so Coach said that I should just “run by feel” and not by pace. No sense in trying to put more stress on my body and possibly injuring myself.
The Warm Up
After work on Friday – I headed home for a quick change, grabbed a snack and headed to the Camp Courant for packet pick up. I googled “Camp Courant” and took me on a very nice scenic drive from my house to the camp. I am slightly ashamed to say that I had never been to the Camp and until the race did not know all the good work that Camp Courant does in the community.
Did you know that Camp Courant is a free summer day camp for Hartford children located in Farmington, CT? I had heard rumblings here and there on social media but until I showed up on Friday evening I had no idea the extent that the camp goes to in order to give underprivileged children a chance to just be kids for a week, which I can imagine is no small feat.
Having picked up my bid and a very cool race t-shirt – I headed back to my car to drop off my swag, do some warm-up minutes, chat with a good friend who I had not seen in ages and head to the start line.
Now before the actual race part of this post begins – let me preface it and say that the temperature on this Friday evening was in the 70s which might not mean much BUT consider the fact that I was running in gloves, a jacket (and maybe a hat) on Monday – so I knew that the heat was probably going to be a factor in this 5k.
After a very cute (and inspiring) Kids Fun Run – I mean don’t we all wish we could just run with no regard for pace and distance – the 5k participants lined up.
I cranked my music and headed out – not being sure what to expect on the course except to have overheard it was “pretty flat”. Now being from Connecticut, I should know that “pretty flat” means “not that flat” or “rolling hills” and that is pretty much what that course was.
I pulled an “Anne” and lined up in the back but quickly made my way up to the front – making sure my pace felt “uncomfortable” but not unbearable. What made it unbearable – running directly into the sun BUT I had on my stylish Goodr sunglasses and a visor so I was able to see in front of me.
There was a water stop but at that point I was in the “why did I sign up for a 5k headspace” and knew that a water stop would be more time on the course so I by passed it (However, thanks to the volunteers for the cheers and hi-fives).
The course looped around and then we headed back to the start – which was completely fine with me. They through in one more small loop (up a hill which I did not appreciate) and then back to the start (which was now the finish) and much appreciated water.
And then it was time for reality – what did my trusty Garmin say?
HAZAAH!!! It was not a PR BUT I have not seen that time (or pace for a 5k) in well over 5 years. It was a testament that my hard work is working and that I might possibly be getting faster.
The Cool Down
I have to say that this race – even for it being on the smaller side – had one of the best post race spreads. Pizza from Savoy Pizzeria & Craft Bar, pretzels from Hartford Baking Company (which I sadly did not get before I left), beer from Thomas Hooker Brewing Co, AND Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ Food Truck.
Suffice to say that I think everyone was able to re-carb and re-energize after their race.
And then – the wait…
I love races and running fast but it seems that I am always one of the first to arrive (I love a good parking spot) and also one of the last to leave. However, I was able to use that time to catch up with some friends that I had not seen in a while.
Finally, the awards ceremony where I was presented with a very gorgeous engraved tulip glass for being 1st in my AG (40-49). Not bad for a bit of “work” after work.
So that’s that – my 2nd 5k of 2019 and a better showing than the last one I ran in March (see my recap here).
Special thanks to Bird Social Media for the complimentary race and introducing me to not only this 5k that I will be putting on my calendar for next year but Camp Courant and its mission.