Sunday October 16 was the first ever Forest Lawn 5K Run/Walk for friends and family of Forest Lawn employees. I have two uncles that work there and so we were able to register for the free race! This made me very happy because I love running races but can’t afford luxuries like race fees right now. #darnstudentloans
I had been excited about the race but also reluctant because I haven’t run lately. I commute by bike about 60 miles a week. I can’t run before work (and the commute) because then my legs will be too exhausted to cycle efficiently. This is incredibly frustrating to me because I love running and it’s what keeps me sane. Cycling is fun but it doesn’t do what running does for me, mentally. I also don’t feel like cycling provides the same fitness as running, and the only thing I can supplement it with are upper-body workouts (abs and arms), so as to not exhaust my legs. I used this race to help me see if my legs could run a good race without any running prep- only cycling, abwork and weight-lifting.
Woke up around 6am to be ready to leave the house by 6:30. I am embarrassed to say that we live only a few miles away from the beautiful Forest Lawn in Glendale but…drove. We were saving our legs! We got there a bit before 7 and had 45minutes til the race started. I had ate a banana and drank almond milk at home but probably should have ate the ClifBar I had too. It was a cool morning- a welcome surprise from the high temps we’ve been experiencing. My mom and I got our bibs (along with t-shirts and pedometers), after repeatedly asking my brother whether he wanted to sign up for the race; he had planned only to spectate but a few minutes before race start he announced he wanted to run it. The excitement in the air must have got to him! We decided that he and our 6year old cousin Michael would run it with my mom. I figured adrenaline, race excitement and basic kid energy would help them keep up with her.
There were quite a few walkers so the runners moved to the front of the pack. I noticed a handful of people in technical running gear and thought that they’d be the first to finish though the crowd at the front consisted mostly of young teenagers. My dad had already ran 6 miles around town and to the event but was looking to still push himself.
The gun went off and everyone bolted pretty fast. Not too long afterwards, the road was empty as people settled into their pace. I had no idea how I was going to do but wanted to give all I had! I ran for a little with my dad but then he took off (or maybe I slowed down) and he caught up to the girl in first I had been chasing. He ditched me and started pacing her-no loyalty at all! I could see that I was in seventh or so and I really wanted to move forward but I was dying! I think I would have benefited from warming up and stretching- my cycling muscles: quads and calves, were feeling so fatigued I was tempted to lie down in the road for a quick stretch. I almost did, especially since I could hear that there wasn’t anyone close behind me but instead I just took a few walking breaks. I felt silly walking for such a short distance race but I knew that it would help me power through. I wish I had remembered my watch because I had no idea what pace I was running or how close I was to the finish line. All I knew was that it had better come soon because I didn’t have much fight left in me! The finish line snuck up on me and I went out as strong as I could but couldn’t push past the boy I was neck and neck with. But I did get 2nd place for women!
My dad told me good job and then ran back up the course to find my mom, brother and cousin. A few minutes later, my uncle ran in pushing a stroller to cheers of “First Baby!”. He left his adorable daughter with me so he could run back up the course to finish with his wife. I waited for the 3rd place girl since we were all supposed to take pictures together and then I ran with the stroller back up to the parking lot to grab my camera. By the time I got back to the finish line, everyone had already come in! That was a bummer but at least everyone finished and looked happy! So proud of everyone!
The kids got their finisher’s medals and then we all went to replenish ourselves with the juice and snacks they had out!
We stuck around a little longer to wander around one of the beautiful buildings; no touring of Michael Jackson’s grave though my mom said a song of his came on her ipod when she ran past it…The kids were getting tired (those little champs ran 10minute miles in Converse and denim!) but we stayed a few more minutes for awards. My dad collected his 3rd place medal alongside a couple of youngsters and then I got my 2nd place medal. He finished in 19-something and I did it in 21:33. Not too shabby! I guess cycling isn’t as awful for my running as I think it is. I just have to remember to stretch my legs more!
It should be noted that he’s wearing bronze, NOT gold!
Then my dad had to be a show-off and run home. I really wanted to do that too but I was saving energy for the bike ride to work I had later in the afternoon. I had forgot how hungry and tired running makes me! I was an eating machine the rest of the day and was basically a zombie when I rode home at night after work. But it was worth it!