Top Pot Doughnut Dash 5K Race Recap.

This weekend marked a fun new pregnancy milestone – my very first race!  I haven’t written a race recap here in almost a year!  I didn’t run during my first pregnancy, and I was really hoping that I’d be able to give it a try the second time around.  I haven’t really been running all that much up until now – I did one five mile run on vacation with a handful of shorter runs sprinkled in at home, but nothing very impressive.  Instead, I’ve been doing my Barre3 classes consistently a few times each week, which has really helped increase my strength and has kept me in good shape.

So even though I hadn’t been running all that regularly up to this point, I still felt like my activity and fitness level was good enough to take on the challenge of racing.  After the tragedies in Boston a few weeks ago, I felt really motivated and compelled to jump back into the running community – not to be competitive, but just to participate.  I looked at the local race calendar and signed up for the Top Pot Doughnut Dash 5K – and that is where we headed early Sunday morning! 

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The race started at 8:30am, and I had to pick up my packet first, so it was an early morning for the whole family.  It was also cool and drizzling rain, so I was very grateful for my fabulous support crew.  (And yes! We got a new stroller – I’ll be writing about it soon!)

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The last 5K I ran was last year on Mother’s Day, and that was a much smaller race.  This race was big compared to many of the 5K’s I’ve done in the past – almost 2,000 runners!  I guess a lot of people are as motivated by finish line doughnuts as I am.  :) 

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I had originally been planning to run with a friend and her jogging stroller, but her little guy got sick the morning of the race.  I was so sad for them!  This also changed my race quite a bit.  I had planned to talk with Katie and distract myself with conversation, and now I found myself running alone with nothing but the sound of my breath (wasn’t planning to use headphones, so I didn’t take any!). 

I didn’t really have much of a plan, and it was funny at how unprepared I felt compared to prior races.  I had no music, no Garmin, and no idea what to expect.  I decided early on that my only goal was to try to run the whole thing without walking.  I know myself, and I know that if I allowed myself one walking break, it would turn into ten more.  I kissed my cheerleaders goodbye and took off!

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I assumed I’d be running somewhere between a 10:00 and 11:00 minute mile, so I positioned myself pretty far back.

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Casey and Cullen found a great spot right at the first curve, and were able to watch all the runners take off. 

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I saw them as I went back, and smiled and waved.  So speedy I am nothing but a blur.  :)

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This race was at Greenlake, which is one of my favorite running and walking spots, and it’s a loop I’ve done hundreds of times before.  So it was nice to know what to expect, and to have a good sense of the course – particularly since I had no Garmin telling me how much further I had to run.  My strategy was to just pick a comfortable pace and try to hold onto it – I knew it was slow, but I also knew it needed to be if I expected my legs to run three miles without stopping.  I spent pretty much the entire race being passed by other runners – very humbling!

It’s a weird thing to run while pregnant.  My instincts wanted me to try to push it – to give a little more, to pick up the speed a bit, but I also knew that I needed to keep my heart rate down and really pay attention to the cues my body was giving.  I’m not gonna lie – even though it was only three miles, it was tough.  My body hurt, and I had to constantly ask myself if it was normal “running hurt” or if it was pregnancy related (meaning I should stop).  All the aches and pains were in my legs and chest though, so I knew I was fine to keep going.

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I spent most of the run just focused on my breath, and listening to the conversations around me (creeper alert!).  I willed myself to keep running even if that meant slowing down.  Once I passed the second mile marker, I knew I could push it for one more.  I came down the finishing chute and saw Casey and Cullen waiting and waving!

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My official finish time was 31:51 (10:15 average pace) – my second slowest 5K ever, but my first ever pregnant, and one I will definitely remember.  I think (or at least I hope!) that jumping back into running at 16.5 weeks pregnant was just early enough to get going before I get too big or too tired.  Last time I tried to pick it up again around 22 weeks, and it was way too late.  I felt really proud to be a pregnant, running mama!

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The 5K was sponsored by Top Pot Doughnuts – a famous Seattle spot.  But they only had one small doughnut truck in the finishers’ area, and the line was at least 500 people deep by the time I finished.  We decided to jump in the car and head to my personal favorite (vegan!) doughnut spot – Mighty O

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We all enjoyed some post-race treats.  Cullen wolfed down the mini cake doughnuts I got for him, and I had delicious chocolate top and chocolate cream-filled.  Mmmmmmm.

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It was a really fun way to spend the morning, and I spent the rest of the afternoon with a runner’s high.  During what should have been nap time (that turned out not to be – no naps all weekend – grrrrr), I looked online for other upcoming races that work with our schedule.

I absolutely loved running the race, and while I know I’m not in a place to set any big goals or plan too far ahead, I’m hoping to keep running and taking advantage of summer racing season as long as I can.  And I won’t feel quite so bad about being passed so much once I have a bigger, more noticeable belly!  :)

One pregnant race down, and hopefully several more to come!