Saturday, August 25, 2012

Race Report: Magnolia Run for Epilepsy 5K

For the first time in more than 5 months, I woke up before dark to head to a race. I was a little bit nervous, but my only goal for this race was to enjoy myself! So if all I accomplished was to cross a start and a finish line, then it would all be good!

I chose this race because it benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia. Most of you know that my son has epilepsy. He started having seizures in 2008, which actually led me to start running in the first place. He was seizure free for 2 years before coming off medication in 2010. He was 13 months seizure-free off medication when he had a tonic-clonic seizure on 11-11-11. He returned to medication and has been on it since, and hasn't had another seizure. I haven't taken advantage of the information or services of the Epilepsy Foundation (except the national website's message boards) because I honestly thought years ago that it was a little blip on the radar and he would grow out of it. But apparently that is not to be... and I think we will need to make use of their resources. Also, I have a number of friends who live with seizures, or who have children or grandchildren with seizures. This cause is near and dear to my heart!

I left the house at 6 AM to head to the race. It has been so long since I've done this, and I was very nervous. But the drive down was easy and I had no trouble finding a place to park. I picked up my race number and felt the excitement kick back in. Here is my race bib and D-tag! :)

I stopped a lady in the parking lot and asked her to take my traditional before-race picture! I was representing ROTE (Running of the Ears) in my visor and singlet.
As the sun was starting to come up, I took a picture of the finish line! :) Then I put my camera back in the car and did my walking warm-up. Because my training schedule called for a 45 minute run, I decided to do 10 minutes of running in the parking lot before the race started.
It was time to line up for the start and I wanted to find a good place in the crowd - I didn't want to start out with the faster people and drive them crazy when I start taking breaks, but I also didn't want to have to use up energy in weaving in and out of people. Luckily, I lined up in exactly the right place! This was a very well-run race, and the course was a nice one. After the first half-mile or so, the crowd thinned out and I could do my intervals easily. I stuck to 4/1 except for a couple of times ...OK, it was when I saw the photographers on the course! LOL

I think running for 10 minutes before the race was a great idea for me. One of the problems I usually have with 5Ks is that by the time I start to feel like I'm in a groove, the race is over. I didn't feel that way at all this time! It was fantastic! The weather was beautiful, and I felt so good while I was running! Simply awesome!

Here is a self-portrait after the race! :)
That towel around my neck was one of the greatest post-race giveaways I've ever received! Right after crossing the finish I was handed a bottle of water, and then I walked a bit further and was handed this wet towel out of a bucket of ice. I said thank you and put it up to my face. The guy who gave it to me said, "No! Put it around your neck!" WOW, that felt so good. It wasn't an unbearably hot and humid morning today, but that cold on my neck lowered my core temperature by at least 10 degrees. I did my walking cool-down and my stretching with it there, and then I wiped down my body before getting in the car to drive home! So awesome!!

The shirt is a good quality tech shirt and the logo is in my fantastic favorite blue colors! :) The only problem is that it's huge! But it will be good to layer over a long sleeve shirt in the winter time!
All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better first race back from my injury! I will definitely add this one to my list for next year! On a side note, this was also my first race as a 40 year old. I realized that when I went to find my results in the age groups list and couldn't find me. I was looking in the wrong age group. @@

Long run tomorrow... I think I may do a 3/2 interval because my quads are really sore from yesterday's bike ride. I will see how I feel when I wake up in the morning! And speaking of morning... off to get some good sleep for this body!