The Downtown Sundown 5K on June 16 was my first race back after essentially 9 months off of running. And here’s the thing – I really had no intentions to run this race. I had been back to running for about 7 weeks and my main focus was just building mileage back up. But when people keep putting the idea in your head, and then all of your friends are doing it, you’ll probably do it too. (Hey kids- don’t use that logic for bad things like drugs and jumping out of moving vehicles, okay?).
But lets back up a minute.
This race is unique in that it starts in the evening, around 8 PM or so. Hence the name. So that leaves a lot of time for doing other things during the day. A certain type of crazy chooses to run a 50K during the day and then rolls in for this race in the evening (my husband, and many others). Other types support the crazy and then join in on the evening 5K celebration (me, and probably some others).
So I started my morning dropping Barry off at the start line of the Eastern Divide 50K. After seeing the runners off, I headed over to my volunteer spot at the Wind Rock aid station/mile 18. Funny story – I’m moving up in the world of race volunteering. This year I was captain of the aid station (but I’m pretty sure the other awesome folks helping at the AS are all more experienced than me).
We set up an awesome aid station complete with water, Tailwind, salty & sweet snacks, watermelon, potatoes, pb&j, etc. And as always, we had the music cranked up.
It wasn’t long before the runners started rolling in. From there the day passed quickly and soon I got to see Barry on his way through. He looked strong and was in good spirits.
I think we closed the aid station around 2 PM or so. From there I met back up with Barry and his parents at the finish line and we hung out for a bit. Then it was time to head home. I may not have arun a 50K, but volunteering can be hard work, too, so I snuck in a nap before we headed over to Blacksburg.
I wore my running clothes, but I still wasn’t committed to running the Downtown Sundown 5K Sometimes an idea gets into your head, though, and a decision is made before you even know it yourself. Once we got there, I knew I wanted to run. I was nervous about racing and I didn’t know what to expect, so Barry agreed to run with me. My running buddy, Kim, was also there and we got to hang out pre-race.
We lined up for the race start, and before I knew it we were off and running. The first mile or so is mostly uphill on a gradual grade and I was surprised that I felt really good. I was running faster than I expected. I was having fun. We cruised through the second mile and before I knew it we were in the final mile. I was really starting to feel it during the final mile, as we wound our way through a neighborhood. But we finally took that last turn and it was a downhill cruise to the finish line. I expected to finish this race in 34 to 35 minutes, but surprised myself by coming in at 32:07. It. Felt. Great!!!!!
I was (and still am) so happy to be back to doing what I love and the Downtown Sundown was the perfect way to kick things off.