Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Linda's Park 2 Park 5K race report

Why You Shouldn't Let a Little Rain Stop You

Submitted by Linda Iroff @LindaofNote

The Park 2 Park 5K is a race I almost didn't run. The weather had been looking iffy for a few days, so the first things I did when I got up early that Sunday morning was check the radar. What I saw was not encouraging. The leading edge of the rain had not yet reached my house, but some pretty widespread yellows and reds were making a bee-line for the race location. I had done some training in light rain before, but never anything like this. And at 5:30 in the morning, there was a strong temptation to just crawl back under the covers.

If it had been just me to consider, I would have done so. But I'd made a commitment: I was running for my fellow #Run3rd Team Captains who would be shortly heading out for the San Francisco Marathon, and for all dads on Fathers Day. I thought of Sean Astin, determined to run a full marathon in hilly San Francisco despite his problematic IT band. I thought of Christina Boulard, who quit smoking over a year ago and started running. I thought of MaryEllen Long, for whom even a few steps is a trial, but she is doing her best. I thought of all the other runners and walkers I've met through #Run3rd, who keep going despite health issues, injuries and a multitude of other obstacles. This is just a little rain.

So I grabbed my jacket and the running hat I'd gotten at my previous race (didn't want my #Run3rd hat to get wet!) and jumped in the car. It had just started raining. As I drove, the rain got harder… and harder… and harder… It was pouring. I started getting nervous about the rain again. Why am I doing this? I'll get completely soaked and be thoroughly miserable. I pulled off the side of the road and tweeted at Sean: It's raining pretty hard here. Can I do this? #run3rd in rain?

I continued driving. If worse comes to worse, I thought, I'll get my tee shirt and go home. My phone twittered at me, but I couldn't stop to do more than a quick glance at the screen to see Sean had replied. Though it was 3:22 am for him, he'd replied. That was enough to give me heart and new determination!

To my surprise, the rain had eased considerably by the time I reached the race location, and it had stopped completely by race time. It was still overcast and damp, but the temperatures were mild, in the upper 60s. It was a small race, made smaller no doubt by the rain, with only a few dozen in the half marathon, and fewer in the 5K. The half marathoners started first, and a few minutes later, the 5Kers. It was a fairly easy walk/run through the park. The woods were lovely and lush from all the rain we've had this spring.

My running app told me my time was 46:19, just one second slower than my PB, and that included a brief side track when a turn was not well marked and the fact that I forgot to stop it right at the finish! Of course my app also told me this distance was only 2.88 miles, but it was clear from the map that it didn't do a good job tracking me through the woods! It wasn't until I got home and looked at the back of my medal that I saw I'd won first in my age division!! Of course I was the only one in my age division, but it's good enough for me! And it wasn't until two days later that the official results were posted that I found my time was 45:18, a personal best and a full minute off my previous best time!!

I ended up not having to run in the rain, but next time, I won't be afraid of it. I know I have my fellow #run3rders at my back, and they are in my heart. I owe this to them, and to Sean Astin in particular.

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