Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rainbow Run 5K 2016 (Back At It)

Rainbow Run 5K (3.15 miles) *short course
Average Pace 13:01/mile

Aw yeah.  Rainbow Run.  My alma mater of 5K races.  You may recall I'm a founding racer for this event.  Every year since the beginning, I have run this race:

Like I mentioned in last year's recap, it seems like every year I've done this race there's also been a major movement happening in the gay rights arena:

2011 - the first year of the race
2012 - race theme "wedding party" ... the conversation for marriage rights begins going mainstream
2013 - wearing my "vote no" shirt, gay marriage not yet legal in MN (legalized August of that year)
2014 - with marriage finally legal, things were more playful on race day, so I chose a "seems like a lot of work for a free banana" tank, though many other states were still battling out marriage rights
2015 - finally the supreme court stepped up and said enough already, everyone can get married

So you'd think with 2015 we'd have finally been done with gay rights battles ... or at least take a breather for a year.  But no.  2016 came along and we had to start talking about who can pee where. 

Really?  REALLY?!

In absolute disgust, I was kind of tempted to buy this shirt to wear to the race:

Unfortunately, I didn't end up in that.  George Takei was behind the 8 ball, so delivery would take place AFTER pride, and I needed something NOW.  Instead, my sister and I settled for a modified version of 2015 - just switching out last year's InkNBurn shirts for this one:


And so the story begins.  Outfit planned, we prepared ourselves to race.


Having a 2 month old on race day (more or less 2 months) sure makes race morning a different experience.  Instead of just trying to focus on getting myself up and out the door come 6-7 am, nowadays I have to plan out an entire feeding and changing schedule ... for someone else who is quite a bit more work - AND poopy, might I add.  Lucky for me, my husband was willing to play limo service this year, which helped my sister and I out quite a bit and really offset my added time of child management on race morning. 

The above changes meant that at about our normal time on race day, instead of our usual park and bus process, my husband actually drove us directly to within a block or two of the race start.  There, we said our goodbyes and he headed off with my son to our super secret finish area parking.  Meanwhile, my sister and I headed to Boom Island Park.

Being a super efficient mom who is GREAT at leading by example (I am being sarcastic), I had yet to eat my "breakfast".  That meant that as we walked to the check in area, I ate a banana as fast as I could and hoped for the best.  You will notice I forgot to plan any water.  That was a bit of a problem, but being it was too late at that point, I just dealt with it.

Since the majority of the folks showed up at the same time as us, my sister and I took advantage of the fact that everyone was in line for bib pickup and instead headed to the fabulous FLUSHING toilets that are available at this race start.  And yes, you may recall from previous years recaps, there is also a sink with running water and soap to wash your hands, so that's a real treat. 

Our arrival strategy worked out wonderfully, as there was a HUGE line for the bathrooms once we exited, and we pretty much waltzed right up to check in as most were done picking up their bibs as well. 

After a flawless check in, we milled around the park and people watched as we waited for the race to start.  In reality, that wasn't much time at all, since we arrived about 15 minutes prior to gun time, and the race pretty much started right on schedule.

At the gun, my sister and I happily gelled into the mid/back of the packers and started off on the course.


Our goal for the day was to stick to a 2/1 interval - 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking.  Being that I was just over 2 months post baby and my sister hasn't been training much either, we were hoping that this interval would allow us to maintain a reasonable overall pace without handing us our asses. 

As you can see in the chart below, we were PRETTY honest to that 2/1 interval, and managed to maintain a fairly constant pace throughout:


Keeping to the interval was easy from an automation perspective, as my somewhat "new" GPS watch (which I bought over a year ago but haven't used much due to injury and pregnancy) has a programmable setting that allowed me to "set it and forget it".  The watch beeped happily every 2/1 minutes, so our effort to maintain our goal interval was pretty brainless.

The hardest part about sticking on task to the interval was more from a pride perspective ... and not the rainbow kind.  When you know you used to be able to run multiple miles back to back, it's a little hard to admit you HAVE to stick to an interval or you'll burn out come mile 3. 

But in reality, when you consider just over 2 months prior I looked like this:

Well ... the fact that I was back at running at all was pretty darn good.  So I forced myself to suck up the ego and just stick to the plan.  Which in the end was pretty easy to maintain, since we completed the course with very reasonable results:

Now yes, I could technically count the above as a negative split.  But for a couple years in a row now my GPS has measured this course short.  So I'm going to decline claiming that accomplishment since this doesn't appear to be a true 5K ... not that the distance really matters, since we never do this race for speed anyway.  But whatever.  No negative split for me.

Instead, let's just focus on the post race swag - which was pretty sweet.  There were plenty of healthful food options this year, and a new option when it came to a finisher's T: choose your color! 

Shirts were available in 1 of 5 rainbow colors (purple, blue, green, yellow, red - I don't recall seeing orange but I could be wrong).  My sister and I both chose purple:


Oh!  As you can see in the above photo, also included in the take home "swag" was a pair of pretty nice looking socks from OUTLOUD Promotional Products and NGLCC.  Sweet!

After grabbing our swag but declining food, we rushed away to find my husband and my son - because of course, I a hot date planned with a handsome young man and a plate of scotch eggs!



You may notice the above recap is somewhat lacking from an experience and detail perspective. I do apologize for that, but ... well, two things.  First of all, I waited too long to do this recap, so the finer details of the day are a little lost to me.  Second, I've done this race so many times now that the notable experiences of race day are starting to become ... less notable ... to me.  I guess what I'm saying in a nut shell is, if you want more details on what the race is like from a experience/culture perspective, visit some of my older recaps (all the links were provided at the top of this recap).

And that's the story of how race bib #69 joined my collection - hey, that's an appropriate number for pride weekend, LOL!  Anyway, here's to another race soon ... or three, since that's now backlogged I am on race reports. 

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