2016 was…well it was an interesting year. Right now I’m just telling myself I’m right where I’m suppose to be and trying really hard to believe it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have big hopes for 2017! And what better way to start 2017 off than with a little 5K action…with my best friend!
On a whim this week I registered for the Commitment Day 5K hosted by Lifetime Fitness. Since my triathlon season ended a few months ago I’ve been looking for some motivation in the fitness world. I hoped this would be a great way to kickstart 2017 and make a COMMITMENT to fitness! Cheesy, I know ;)
Having done multiple Lifetime Fitness races in Minnesota (home of Lifetime Fitness) I was curious to see how things would compare in Arizona. From the moment I registered things were very different. While I got a confirmation email that I registered from ChronoTrack, it didn’t contain any information regarding packet pick-up, course maps, etc. I actually had to reach out and ask about packet pick-up times. Now I noticed later that it was posted on a the Lifetime Fitness Gilbert Facebook event page, but it was still weird to not have that information in an email. Given the size of the Minnesota races I was concerned about parking, but quickly realized this was going to be a much smaller race. With that in mind I decided to just have fun with this “run” and consider it a good workout for the day :) Sometime the small, local races are the best! I noticed on the Facebook event page as well that they mentioned allowing dogs. A quick email to the race director on race morning confirmed this and suddenly my 5K became a 5-K9! A huge thank you to the race director for answering that email on race morning so promptly!
It’s been awhile since Sasha and I raced a 5K together. 5 years to be exact running in 23 to 24 minute range. She’s a bit older now, 10 1/2, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from her. But just like 5 years ago, she loves to RACE!
The race was slated to start at 10:00am, so we got there about 9:00am to go through packet pick-up and walk around a bit. Of course one of the few times it rains in the desert was this morning, but that didn’t stop us. Packet pick-up was a breeze. They actually had it located inside the fitness center, as well as a small expo and kids area in the gym. The restrooms were open to participants (no porta-loos for the win!). While walking around in the rain waiting for the race to start Sasha made friends with everyone (of course) giving them her life story in howls. People were shocked to hear she was 10 1/2! She even made friends with one of the police officers who would later serve as a road block on the course.
Just before 10:00am they had everyone line up on the backside of the building at the start line for the National Anthem and prompt start time. I started about in the middle of the pack not wanting to be rude with a dog, but should definitely have headed to the front. There wasn’t any annoucement that I heard about faster runners to the front, walkers to the back, etc. We encountered quite a bit of weaving at the beginning, which was made more difficult with a dog, but Sasha was a pro, running right in front of me, cutting a path and before I knew it, we had clear road/sidewalk. The course took us out the back of the building and through the neighborhood and park before turning back towards the two main roads Lifetime sits on. The majority of the course was on sidewalks, however in the early mile there was an opportunity to run the bike lane on the road. While they didn’t close any streets for the race, the two police offices switched up in a game of catch-up holding up major intersections while runners ran by. It actually worked fairly well for a small race and at no point did I feel unsafe. There were even a few spectators on the course!
Sasha and I have been running much more regularly in the recent weeks, especially on the mountain trails, so I had no doubt she could make 3.1 miles, but wasn’t sure on pace. We ended up running a negative split race (typical Sasha, such a back half runner) and just under 8:20 pace! Not too shabby for a 10 1/2 year old dog! And in true Sasha race form she didn’t stop once to go to the bathroom. I’m telling you, she is a different dog when she races. All focus and loves to race the other runners. Coming into the finish line we had been gaining on a gentleman and as we got closer Sasha most definitely raced him into the finish line, constantly glancing over at him.
Final Time: 24:98
We snuck in just under 25 minutes, however the course might have been a touch short…but don’t tell Sasha ;)
The best part of the whole day? When they gave Sasha a medal too. My heart just melted and exploded with ALL THE FEELINGS :)
So despite my initial reservations about this race, because it’s not Minnesota, it ended up being a very well run local race, very geared towards families, but I saw some speedy runners out there too. And the best part?
I got to start 2017 off with my best friend doing something we both love :)