I volunteered at packet pickup for the Cotton Row Run on Sunday from 3-6 p.m. If you are looking to volunteer but are worried it may be too hard, let me promise you that this is a great spot to volunteer at. I usually serve at one of the various pickup tables, so my job is to get the person's name and then find their bib number and get them a T-shirt. Today, I was assigned to the "T-Shirt Swap" table. All I had to do was take the shirt that the person didn't want and call back to a "runner" who would get the correct shirt size and hand it to me! No standing up required (I was given this easier job on purpose by a kind friend)! I brought along my daughter, and we were treated to free volunteer shirts, free snacks while we served, and THEN a free dinner from Nothing But Noodles! At 35.5 weeks pregnant, I needed a job that was physically very easy, but this job also proved to be very full of fun free surprises! An added bonus was getting to catch up with many friends who were also serving or picking up their packets and to encourage new runners. This position is just a super easy and fun way to give back!
Race Day Monday, May 26
This was not a typical Cotton Row Run race morning for me. Usually our racing team takes our annual team picture this morning, but today I did not go to that. I did not have a uniform that fit, so the kids and I slept in and headed over later. I was fully prepared to pay $5 to park in the very conveniently located parking garage, but when I arrived to pay I saw that is was free to park there! If you look behind me in the picture below, you can see the garage was practically empty. Many people parked far away and walked, not knowing of this garage being open and free! I needed to save my energy for the 5K run. Rick finished the 10K and had just finished cooling down when he took these pictures.
Running a 5K at 35.5 weeks
My running has slowed and almost stopped since about 34 weeks. I did have a great run (for me) on Friday, May 23. I did 3 miles of running (10:57, 8:54, and 8:46) with 1 mile in between consisting of a .5 mile walk and then a .5 mile jog, so the miles of running were separated and not consecutive. I rested on Saturday, and then on Sunday I only walked since running did not feel good. With running being so spotty lately, I did not know what to expect in the 5K today. I told Rick I could be anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour. Well, I was able to run 10ish minute miles for a chip time of 30:46. It was warm (70s--race started at 9 a.m.), and I played it safe. My legs burn and feel heavy when I run, and the entire effort feels so hard.
After the 5K, the kids had their 1 mile run to do. I decided to run/jog it, hoping I could be there for my daughter when she slowed down to walk. Well, my son finished in 7:45 (approx.--it is not officially timed), and Rick and our daughter were 9:15...and I was 11:30. I could not keep up with them so I just finished alone.
Thoughts on Cotton Row 2014
It was fun to be able to experience the 5K race today in a very different manner than I usually do. I enjoyed just being out there and loved the big crowds of runners. I also loved being able to celebrate Memorial Day with other runners. There is always a nice presentation before each race to honor the men and women who have fought for our freedoms. Honestly though, I was a little bummed to miss the team picture and the fun of the 10K (my usual race, and Rick usually runs the 5K). I also really missed the challenge of running my usual pace. Running is so much harder now. I feel so encumbered as I strap on my big sports bra, running belt, and spybelt with cell phone under a huge shirt for each run. It's not really fun at all anymore. I don't say any of this to complain---I am happy that I am still able to exercise!! I am saying this in case someone else has been here or will be here. I think it's okay to feel all of these things.