Women's Distance Festival 2012

>> Thursday, August 9, 2012

I ran in our area's Women's Distance Festival 5K last night. If you're unfamiliar, this awesome series was created back in 1979 in "response to the lack of distance running events in the Olympics Games for women."

You can find more information on the RRCA website.

The original race date was in July, but was canceled due to a tornado. I had planned to try and PR at the race, maybe a 22:29, beating the 5K I ran in 22:48 in July. But that was before I went on vacation and got sick. So, last night's effort was more to get a good speed session in.

I like to use races as speed work. It's a sneaky way to keep your legs fresh and fast if you don't regularly engage in track sessions or other quick repeats on roads.

I brought a cheering section with me. It's something I don't normally have at a race since Stephen's busy running and Ada's usually with her grandparents. So, it was nice to have Stephen with Ada on the sidelines AND our good friend Kevin visiting. He stayed late specifically to watch the race!

The temps were in the upper 80s at the 6 pm start. Not my favorite weather. Thankfully the humidity was low. But no breeze made it difficult to breathe in a section of the course near the river.

My first mile came in at 7:25. I was honestly surprised because I didn't feel like I was racing. Strong and steady. I think I settle around 7:30 when I do surges during my normal training, so I guess it makes sense.

At the 2.1-mile point, I think I remember hearing 15:40. I just kept my focus on the shade. Though it was hot, the shade certainly helped. I also borrowed Stephen's sunglasses and have decided that next year, sunglasses are a must-have for my summer running. They help -- mentally, especially -- so much!

Before I knew it, I was back with the spectators again. And then it happened. For the first time ever, I saw Ada on the sidelines! In her little stroller, she was babbling away. I couldn't help thinking about how wonderful it will be someday to run this race with her.

But I still had a good half mile to go. So, I kept my legs moving, pace steady.

I came in at 23:12 (7:28 pace) 24th overall (there were 208 women -- great turnout!) and 6th in my age category. Though, I think they need to have a breastfeeding division. Sneaking in this race between two feeding sessions was challenging.

If you haven't run in an all-female race before -- I recommend searching for one in your area. I feel the atmosphere is incredibly supportive. Plus, it's kind of fun to see how you stack up against women versus when a huge number of men finish first.

Have you run in a women-only race before? What did you think?

And on Writing Chapter Three I have a review of gDiapers and details on how we diaper while traveling. This morning I also posted some basic tips for how to take better photos of babies/kids.

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