Race Report: Elf Run 5K

A year ago, my friend Stephanie and I participated in the Elf Run 5K, which benefitted the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute. It was a 5K that included an adaptive portion for children and adults with disabilities, and part of the route went through Morgan’s Wonderland. We loved the 5K, and decided to participate again this year. It was the second 5K we signed up for in 2019, though we decided to skip the first when we found out that 1) there would be over 20k people there, and 2) packet pickup alone was supposed to make us wait in line for several hours. Oy. Anyway, this event is pretty small (I prefer them that way!), and we were excited to go.

(awkward me waiting to start)

Sadly, Stephanie came down with a migraine the night before and had lingering effects in the morning, so she was unable to come. This, of course, ramped up my anxiety terribly. I don’t like doing 5Ks alone. I don’t mind the actual walk/run itself alone; it’s the waiting around before and after which feel awkward and disconnected, especially when surrounded by big groups of folks. If this 5K had been in a new location, a place I’d never been, I never would have made it out. As it was, I had to force myself to go (and not to beg Jason to go with me). I did offer to let the boys come be my walking partner, but nooooo… (Ha!)

I did make it out. I’m proud of myself for that. I conquered the morning’s anxiety, and I decided that I might try to run a few parts of the 5K. The route was pretty flat, and I thought, why not? Of course, I did a lot of things wrong:

  • I wore the wrong sports bra, not supportive enough for running because I hadn’t anticipated running beforehand
  • I dressed too warmly for the sudden descent of fog and muckiness that enveloped us before the 5K began (see photo below).
  • I didn’t bring water or headphones, sigh.

(awkward me after finishing)

Still. I did it. I ran about 1 1/3 miles of the 5K, in several sections, the longest of which was half a mile. My random, last-minute goal had been to run 1.5 miles and complete the 5K in under 50 mins. Instead, I was just shy of the run goal and came in at 51:45 – probably slower than I could walk the event, to be honest. This is how it was when I first started running in 2011 as well. In fact, my first run/walk 5K time from back then is very similar to this one (53:54). Slow or not, I’m still happy that I got that much running in. I tried to keep it as comfortable as possible as I went along.

Like I said, the event was very small – 135 people total in the non-adaptive 5K. I came in 110th (ha!), 60th of the 80 women, and 15th out of 21 in my division. Abysmal, heh. But that’s okay – I wasn’t there to try to win. My win was making it out in the first place, and then pushing myself toward a goal. In fact, since I gained all this weight back, this is the fastest 5K I’ve participated in. There’s only been three, but each one has gotten a little faster – 54:10 (walk/run), 54:07 (walk), and now this walk/run at 51:45. It’s not a lifetime personal best (which remains 33:43), but it’s a current personal best, and a time to beat. It gives me a little goal to work toward.

Best of all, the event was FUN. There was a running dinosaur on the route, and a Santa dancing the cumbia, and awards for people of all ages (including three women in their 70s and 80s who could have rivaled me at my peak!). A great cause and a great time. Can’t wait for next year!

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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4 Responses to Race Report: Elf Run 5K

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