This past Saturday, I made my postpartum racing debut with a 5K! The club that I’m a part of (ORRRC) was doing a Gift Exchange 5k, and I figured it was a nice low-key event to be my first race post baby! Also, it was about 5 minutes from our house, so I was able to feed the baby at 9, and be there for the start of the race at 10! Haha!
I had little expectations going into this race. The fasted mile I’d clocked since having my baby was about 7:50, so I didn’t anticipate being very fast. Also, I had no idea how many people would be at the race, so I didn’t have a placement goal for myself either.
I decided to do the race with my foster (soon to be adopted) son, but I told him I wouldn’t stay with him. Still though, I didn’t expect to go out very fast. Since I brought my son with me, I didn’t do a warm up at all! Literally, we registered, walked to the start line, stretched for two seconds, and started the race.
There weren’t too many people there, so when the “gun” went off, I found myself in the lead back of about 5 people (all men). This gave me (false) hope that I could be the first female just 7.5 weeks postpartum! However, about 5 minutes in, the first girl passed me, and a few minutes after that, I was passed by another female. I looked down at my watch, and I was going 6 minute pace. “Oh my!” I thought to myself, “I better slow down a little or I will die!”
The race was two loops, all on road/sidewalk, with just one hill. It was a pretty easy course, no traffic to get in the way, and not enough people to be crowded. I clocked my first mile at 6:38, and though my legs felt good, my lungs were burning. I’m a bit out of shape! I decided to keep the pace though, and maintained the 6:38 through the second mile. I came through the halfway mark pretty sure I could hold my position even though I was tired. I slowed down a bit in the second half, and my third mile was in the 6:50s. Still happy with that though!
As I was coming down the hill toward the finish, the 2nd place female was only about 100 meters in front of me. I tried as hard as I could to sprint to the finish and pass her, but I just didn’t have it in me! I was bummed, but still very proud of myself for getting 3rd overall female in my first race back! My time was 20:46 which is pretty close to my 5k PR actually (I’m NOT a 5k-er). So I was pleased with that too! Overall, I placed 7th! I was 1st in my age group, and I had an average mile pace of 6:42/mile! Not too shabby for my first race back! I didn’t feel like I pushed too hard, and I wasn’t sore at all the next day, so I’m really pleased with that especially since I went out and did a bike time trial the next day! (recap on that to come tomorrow!)
Oh, and the Gift Exchange part? The registration “fee” was a gift ($5 or less), and then at the end of the race, we had a big gift exchange! It was a fun holiday race and I highly recommend it!