Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Springtime Downtown

While it's always awesome to live downtown, spring is reminding me why it's really great. We walked to work this winter, but walking somewhere in the winter in Michigan is about survival. You put your head down and trudge into the wind just wanting it to be over. Now that the sun is shining, the days are longer and the trees are budding, it's a beautiful time to live downtown. This evening as I walked home from daycare with my son in the stroller I marveled at how incredible it feels to pick him up and just walk home. I don't have to get in the car and have a long drive. He's smiling and talking in the stroller, and we're both loving being outside in the fresh spring air.

Spring also means race season. In this year, my self-proclaimed year to own the 5k, race season begins in earnest.  On Sunday I ran the Race for the Cure to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. It's one of mid-Michigan's largest 5ks, and it's always an inspiring event. As a bonus it starts and ends at the state capitol building which means I can walk there. My husband (my biggest cheerleader) and son accompanied me to the race. It was Will's first race of what will be many during his lifetime.

Already a perfect race spectator
It was a perfect spring day: temperatures in the 50s, sunny, gorgeous. The crowd was large and energetic. I ran across the starting line at a near sprint, working hard to beat my goal of a sub-21 minute 5k. I was running a 7:10 pace at the first mile. I was also coughing and feeling lightheaded. If I'm to break a 21 minute 5k several things need to happen: training and my being healthy.
Rounding the corner to the finish

Despite the last two miles being rather painful, I finished in 25:05. Not terrible but very far from my goal. I've got to log some serious speed work in the next few months to get there. I'm now realizing that it's quite a lofty goal, but I'm not backing down from it.

Finishing strong (and showing off cute new pants!)

The Race for the Cure is one of the most energetic 5ks I've ever done. There are spectators everywhere. There are bands, cheerleaders, tons of people. It's inspiring to see all of the women who have survived breast cancer and all of the families who are there to support. It's always a fantastic event.

My son was a rockstar race spectator, although he was fussy by the end. I'm hoping he'll be a trooper in a few weeks when I run the 5k/10k double of the Grand Rapids River Bank Run. I switched to the double last week when I realized I am not in 25k shape. I made it through the Ann Arbor Half last month, but I need to baby myself a bit to not be injured before the New York Marathon in the fall.

With my fussy pants spectator after the race

Spring downtown is even better than I imagined. Patios are being opened at downtown restaurants. Temperatures are anticipated to be in the (or near the) 70s by the end of the week, so it's looking like porch weather for the weekend. It's also perfect for the St. Gerard 5k on Saturday. At the risk of jinxing it, I've even taken my winter jackets to the dry cleaner. Spring, my friends, has sprung. 

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