By Rebekah Feigh
Ever since I ran my first 5k in late December 2011, I’ve wanted to be fast enough to break 30 minutes. Now to a lot of you, that might not sound like a big deal. But I have never been a very fast runner, and for several years I was unable to run at all without following up with a trip to the ER due to some heart issues in high school.
So when Adam asked me if I wanted to do this glow run 5k during our anniversary trip to St. George, Utah, I was excited to see if I had gotten fit enough to finally accomplish my goal. Adam agreed to run with Charleigh in the stroller so that I could focus on running my fastest 5k yet. We made this decision about two or three days before the run. Cuz that’s totally enough time to get ready for a 5k.
On Friday, we drove to the location where we thought the race was going to be, a golf course in Hurricane, UT. Turns out the website we’d been looking at had the address from past years listed instead of this year’s location. After a little digging online, we found the right address and headed to Grandpa’s Pond Park. We were very early, so this hiccup had no effect on us getting to the race on time.
At the race site, we got changed, took our Five Round Fury, and signed up for the run. The race crew seemed a bit confused by us signing up race day, but they were able to figure it out. We got our glow sticks and light up rings and were told to check in post-race to see if there were shirts available.
We ran down the sidewalk between the playground and a pavilion, up a moderately steep hill to a sharp left turn, down the hill on the other side to a sharper left turn, curved around the parking lot, and across the grass to the sidewalk surrounding the pond. On the far side of the pond, there was this narrow little bridge that was only just wide enough for the stroller to fit and definitely not wide enough for passing. Then it was past the aid station, around some winding curves, up to the Big Hill. This thing was STEEP! But I was determined to make it up the hill without walking. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to keep my pace up to at least a jog getting up this insane hill. Then we headed down towards the first downhill.
It was a three lap course, but thankfully we only had to do the Big Hill twice (running the smaller but still steep hill at the beginning of the first lap instead of the Big Hill) before heading back into the finish line. Adam and Charleigh finished first for the 5k runners, but they were mixed in with all the one milers, and apparently got no recognition for blowing away the competition.
As I started my last lap, Adam and Charleigh had already finished and joined me to complete the race. Adam asked me if I was having fun, and when I said yes, Charleigh cheered! He said it was the only time the whole race that she cheered! On the back side of the pond, I asked Adam to drop back because he was getting in my head running next to me with Charleigh and I knew I needed to stay focused. My legs still felt pretty good at that point, but my lungs felt tight and I was starting to get a cramp in my abs. I knew I was close to my goal and if I stayed focused, I’d be able to achieve it. And I knew the sooner I crossed that finish line, the sooner I’d be able to stop running and start breathing normal again.
Finally and I made the last turn and headed down to the finish, picking up the pace as I went down the hill. I had to dodge some kids and a mom who seemed oblivious that they were walking down the finishing chute towards finishers(to be fair, it wasn’t much of a “chute”), making me have to run into the grass to get around them. I almost rolled my ankle dodging them, but I was like 15 yards from the finish, so I just kept going and sprinted it in once I got back on the sidewalk. I pulled out my phone to stop my timer and saw 30:00.09!
Adam and Charleigh met me at the finish and Adam informed me that the course was probably a little bit short based on his Garmin. A man we met before the race who is trying to do a 5k in all 50 states (he’s done 30 so far!), also said his watch showed the course being short. But I decided not to let them rain on my parade. I’m counting my 30:00.09 as my first thirty minute 5k because I had to run that stupid hill and time myself! And I finished feeling good! Tired and winded, but good!
After the race, we enjoyed s’mores, doughnut holes, and hot chocolate before heading to Nicholas Chase’s house to spend the weekend. Nick is another pro triathlete who graciously offered to open his beautiful home to us. He and his wife Karen were such great hosts. They took us to their neighborhood Halloween party on Saturday evening and Nick cooked a delicious dinner for us afterward.
We finally headed home around noon on Sunday, and I got to drive through some light snow for a few hours. We stopped at the most bizarre gas station I’ve ever seen about an hour outside of Grand Junction in Utah and paid over four and half dollars a gallon for gas. And that concludes our first vacation that wasn’t focused on triathlon training or racing since our honeymoon!!