race report: runDONNA 5k

The alarm rang at 5:30 AM.

Finally, it was race day. Time for the DONNA 5K.

I got a decent night’s sleep. Not as long as I would have liked, but I was ok.  I showered and dressed in my gear, before letting the pugs out and feeding them and double-checking to make sure my race bag was packed and that little man had all his things for his football game. I was going to drop him off at the sitter’s in his PJs at 7:00 – she planned to fed him a pancake breakfast and then take him over to the field. I would meet them either at the game, or at her house afterwards, depending on how quickly I finished.

After some quick last-minute instructions, a big hug and kiss, and tons of thank yous, I was on my way. I had a banana and water in the car, to follow up the banana I ate at home, and I was glad that the weather was cloudy (though humid) and traffic was clear.

I was a little stressed driving into downtown. Finding parking throws me into a tailspin. There was a free lot near the convention center, but I wasn’t sure precisely where. I knew there were a few cash lots, so I had tucked some money into my Armpocket, just in case. I am much happier just paying for parking, than stressing about it, especially right before a race. I turned into a lot too soon, and ended up having to pay, but it was ok. I was close to the start line and knew where I was. Five dollars well spent.

I laced up my shoes and then set out to meet up with my friend S, and her friend (also S). It was nice to see them, and we decided to check out the convention center to see if there were real restrooms open, since they had packet pickup up and running. Lines were reasonable, and it was nice to not have to use a portapotty.

We lingered near packet pickup for a while, because it was still pretty chilly out. I ate my granola bar and adjusted my laces for the millionth time. For some reason, they just weren’t working out over my right arch. Annoying. When the other runners started moving outside, we followed suit. I was feeling great. Nice, and relaxed, and ready to go.

For a while, I was the only person there in a tutu. I was feeling a little self-conscious about it, but a very kind gentleman told me that I was the best-dressed person there, so I was already a winner. More tutus emerged later.

The scene at the start line was pretty incredible. There were a bunch of vendors set up, handing out samples and food. It was too early to have anything more than what I had already eaten, but it was nice. We didn’t have time to really look around, because it was crowded and Donna Deegan was giving a speech onstage.

Powerful and moving. It was such an inspiring way to start the morning.

We kept moving to take our places in the start line. There were going to be two starts, within five minutes of each other. I positioned myself near the back of the first wave. I was pretty sure I would be able to keep pace.

After the National Anthem sounded, we were off.

Here’s a look at the course.

It was lovely. There were two big ramps/bridges – one at the start and one towards the finish, which were unexpected, but I didn’t really mind. The views were lovely. I wish that I had my phone out so I could snap a few quick pictures during my walk breaks, but it was stowed in its band, and the effort to pull it out seemed counterintuitive. I resolved to come back and run the route at another time. I loved seeing the city skyline over the river, with the sun peeking through the clouds and fog. I don’t get much city running in my training and it was something new.

I felt good. Maybe even great. My heel was a little twinge-y, but I don’t think it was affecting anything (we’ll discuss this more tomorrow). The course wasn’t congested and I felt like I was making good time. There was a water stop somewhere in the second mile. I thought I grabbed gatorade, but somehow I ended up with water. This was not so good. I only had a couple of slow sips to wet my mouth a little, but it hit my stomach hard.  Blah. I ignored it and pushed on.

The last downhill was a fun, twisty corkscrew, which dumped out on the street. There was one more turn and then the finish line was in my sights.

My stomach was in absolute protest, but I saw my friends on the sideline and all the spectators cheering for everyone still running, and I couldn’t stop. I kicked it up as much as I could, and crossed the finish.

 I moved quickly through the medal distributors to get out of the way, and then squatted down by the barricades, to give my nausea a chance to pass. It only took a few minutes, and then I was able to go and rejoin the other ladies.

I didn’t get my PR. However, my post-surgery 5K time was over 37:00 and this time was just over 34:00 so I shaved three minutes off that. I call that progress.

The race was amazing. So much raw emotion and positivity all around. The crowd support was amazing, and the volunteers were friendly and encouraging. I loved every minute of it, and I hope to be back for many years to come.

Thank you to all who made this an outstanding race and event!

(If you didn’t get to run this year (or even if you did, and are excited to run again in 2015), registration is open for  the full and half marathon next year (other events will be open soon). Also, donations are still being accepted through March 31. If you’d like to contribute to help finish breast cancer, with funds going to the Donna Foundation and to the Mayo Clinic, you can do so here. It’s a wonderful cause and support is appreciated.)

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22 Responses to race report: runDONNA 5k

  1. Ashley says:

    LOVE the tutu. Great job, lady!
    Ashley recently posted…Announcing FiddleDeeFangirl!My Profile

  2. Love your tutu! Winning the best dressed award is just as good as winning a race, right:) Great job on your race finish, sounds like you had an amazing time!
    Kristy @Runaway Bridal Planner recently posted…Join up with us todayMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Right? I had a lot of fun running in it. Didn’t even notice it was there. I really though I was going to have to ditch it, but it stayed with me the whole time. It was a great run.

  3. Sounds like an amazing experience.
    I am just like you, I will happily pay for parking instead of stressing myself out about it.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…When To RestrainMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      When I lived in South Florida, everything was valet. At the mall, at the hospital. I would valet at the office building where my dentist was located. It’s made me useless in the self-park department. I own it.

  4. Matilda says:

    You are totally rocking the tutu and you look like you had so much fun.
    Love the medal design, that’s a keeper for sure.
    Matilda recently posted…Feb 2014 – Running StatsMy Profile

  5. jan says:

    Your outfit is seriously the cutest thing ever! Love the big skirt w/ your top. Sorry your stomach wasn’t feeling it! 🙁
    jan recently posted…InsanityMy Profile

  6. Elizabeth says:

    You look like you’re having so much fun in the pictures! I need that medal! Maybe I’ll sign up for the virtual option next year.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Getting my motivation back!My Profile

  7. Mizunogirl says:

    You take the BEST race pictures! Seriously. I am very jealous of your photogenic finish! I have no idea how you actually run in a tutu, but more power to you! I ran the Half at Donna in 2013 and also loved the race (except for a few hills at the end, and that Mile or so on the beach). This is a really well designed race!
    Mizunogirl recently posted…Loose endsMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Aw, thank you! This is actually my favorite finish line photo to date. I always hate how I look (although I buy them because I feel like it’s a mark of my progress). The tutu honestly wasn’t bad. I don’t think I could handle more than a 10K in it, but I didn’t even know I had it on. I purposely made it so it would sit on my hips (and not hit my arms) and tried to make it so that the tulle wouldn’t get stuck between my legs.

      I don’t know if I’ll ever be up for the half or the full with all that beach running, but never say never.

  8. Angie says:

    Great job! I may run the half next year. I have heard the race is a lot of fun. I will be doing the Gate River Run next weekend. It will be my first time running it.
    Angie recently posted…Should it stay or should it go?My Profile

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  10. Diana says:

    Adorable outfit. =) Congrats on a good race!
    Diana recently posted…Still HibernatingMy Profile

  11. I love your tutu, and the cute medal!
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…Worse. Run. EverMy Profile

  12. Pingback: race report: 26.2 with donna relay {2.11.2017} | Runs With Pugs

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