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Sunday, April 22, 2012

RACE RECAP: Oshkosh 5K

Having lived in the Wisconsin Fox Cities area for a couple of years I thoroughly enjoy any reason to go back.  This time we ventured north to Oshkosh for the Oshkosh 5K.  My sister and brother-in-law, Brenda and Alex, and friend Kristi, were running the half marathon.  Thankfully, Dan was along for the ride to take photos and to drive home today (thank goodness)!  I have to start by listing out the number of strange things we saw once we entered Wisconsin.

  1. KFC has a buffet
  2. NAPA sells brats in the parking lot
  3. Red, white & blue striped toilet in a field where Recall Walker Petitions can be deposited
  4. A man driving a riding lawn mower down the sidewalk (as in mowing the sidewalk)
  5. Girl wearing pajamas riding a BMX with a dog (as in walking/biking the dog)
  6. Dog wearing a backpack
  7. A man driving a Prius dressed in formal wear while wearing gardening gloves
  8. A woman walking a horse (with a full saddle) down the street
  9. A man driving a camouflaged Surburban with red/black hair & full face paint
  10. A guy riding a low-rider Schwinn with speakers on the front axle outside where we ate dinner
  11. A guy with full tattoo sleeves wearing Vibram's and a Breathe Right strip
  12. A cat jumped out of a car at the restaurant we had breakfast at 
  13. A Buick Rendezvous with a WI license Plate "Bun B" - this might only be funny to my family though
Aside from the strange things ... we were there for a purpose and that started with a stop at the Outlet Mall to look for a few things.  We hit up the Eddie Bauer outlet where I got a new pair of teeny tiny (to me) jeans.  I'm pretty excited about the new pants because I realized that the ones I have are nearly to the falling off point.  I also wanted to go to the Under Armour store to look for a wind breaker type jacket.  I have a rain coat and a sweatshirt but I they are too warm to wear while running so I wanted to find something a little lighter.  I found a jacket in the men's department that I liked (it was red) and it fit (in a size medium - seriously?  awesome) but I kept looking, you know just in case.  I found a jacket in the women's department (size large) in a coral/melon kind of color that I selected.

Fast forward through a fabulous dinner with some family and friends at Gardina's Wine Bar and some restless sleep and it was time to get up for the race.  I'd luckily laid out all my clothes, bib, shoes last night in preparation for the race so all I had to do was get my pile and start putting clothes on.  We met at Brenda and Alex's house for a quick pre-race breakfast (read:  toasted slimwich and water) and then we were off to the race start.  The half and the 5K were leaving from the same start line so it was a little crowded.  My one complaint about the race is that there were no time corrals where people should line up so the start was a little chaotic with runners trying to pass the walkers.  

Coming into the finish area!
Seeing my husband (who wasn't familiar
with the course so he stayed near the finish
was awesome and a welcome site!
My plan was pretty simple.  After going out too fast during the first mile of the Egg Shell Shuffle I was going to walk the first 5 minutes.  That would also let the crowds disperse so I didn't feel like I was fighting for space.  However, as we were moving I decided to cut that 5 minutes to 3.5 minutes and then run.  The rest of my plan was to run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes and repeat those two things until I crossed the finish line.  I sort of knew where the course was going so I sort of knew what to expect.  The weather was beautiful, albeit a little chilly when the wind picked up, but I was happy to be outside on such a great day.  I finished the first mile in 12:08 which I knew was faster than my training runs but I still felt good.  I hit the water station around the half way mark and walked a little there so I could try to get water in my mouth.  It was sort of successful but not entirely.  I finished mile 2 in 12:19 and I was still feeling really good.  Mile 3 had a slower walking session but the pace stayed consistent at 12:17.  When I realized I was closing in on the finish some energy came from somewhere and I remember thinking to myself, my god my legs are moving so fast!  Why/How are they moving so fast but I saw the finish and I didn't care!  I threw up my arms and heard the announcer say my name - apparently they've done this before but I had headphones in and wasn't listening so I thought this was awesome! 

How can you finish a race without jazz hands?
After I finished I saw Dan and my friend Matt (Matt's wife, Shawn, was running the 5K too) and then we found Shawn (who crossed the finish line a minute after I did) and chatted a bit.  Then I grabbed some food, chocolate milk and a beer (which I gave to Dan cause I was too cold/dehydrated).  While trying to decide where we should go to see Brenda, Alex & Kristi finish the half I checked out the results board to find my new PR 38:01!  I'd set a goal of 38:00 so I was a little disappointed but it's still awesome to see the numbers changing so much.

We decided to walk backwards on the course to find the half marathoners.  On the way we found a BP so I got a cup of coffee to not only warm my hands but also to warm my insides.  It was delicious and I splurged on two French Vanilla creamers!!  It wasn't long after we left BP that Alex was racing by us and then a little bit later Kristi was blazing by.  We hustled back to the finish (because we were carrying Kristi's jacket) to meet up with them.  A little while later Brenda crossed the finish line and then we were off to breakfast (WHOO HOO!!)  I was cold and hungry.  All in all I walked/ran about 5 miles today so I was ready for some good, hot food.  Unfortunately, our overnight adventure had to come to an end and then we were back on the road.

Kristi, Alex, Brenda, me

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