Bridgeport Hospital Home Run 5K Race Recap
A few girlfriends mentioned they were running this race and asked me if I was interested. It has been on my radar for several years but I’ve never bothered to head down for it. The race starts and ends at our minor league ballpark, and I’d heard you finish the race actually in the ballpark. Sounds cool right? When I read that not only the ballpark stuff was true but that the course went through Seaside Park, where I ran a lovely 5K last fall, I was sold. Sign me up.
I headed out early this morning; the weather was crisp and cool when I left my house at 7:30 but I knew that by 9 things would be much warmer. Layers were the order of the day. The forecast was for sunny at 63 or so by race time.
I spent some time before the race putting race flyers for my own race (next weekend!!) out on cars in the lot before I met up with my friends, did the final potty stop and got in line. One of us went to the front, one to the middle, and I headed to the back.
We started out and I got into a groove quickly. We started just outside the ballpark, through the neighborhoods nearby, and quickly entered the park. It was just gorgeous out. Sunny and once we got into the park, which is basically Long Island Sound frontage, there was a great breeze (actually more like a headwind, but I was trying to stay positive) keeping things comfortable.
The first mile passed quickly. I felt good. My last race, the 10K a few weeks ago, left me feeling a little demoralized. The wheels had come off so badly. In a 10K, I’m near the last, no matter what. People don’t walk a 10K. But in a 5K, you’ll get a lot more casual types, people who are willing to walk the whole thing. So as I passed this person or that, keeping a steady, even pace, I felt my confidence build.
The course was super flat, so I easily passed the water station without stopping and kept going. I was pushing at mile 2, but still feeling OK. No hills will do that to you. The view was spectacular, I was listening to my tunes and generally feeling good.
We left the park again around mile 2.5. I knew we didn’t have much further to go, and I was amazed at how good I still felt. I hadn’t needed to walk even once. Normally I hit a wall somewhere, or a hill, or something, and have to slow down. Not so today. I kept cruising along, picking off a few more people as I went.
We neared the ballpark and I realized I was not terribly far off my PR of 35 and change. I wasn’t sure how far I had left to go, but I tried to push myself as much as I could. There was the 3 mile marker just as we entered the ballpark and I knew I was going to come in under 36. I’ve only run four 5Ks under 36, so this was great news. Not one of those races had temps above 55 degrees, so this was even better news.
I ran as fast as I could towards the finish and knew I’d done well. I wasn’t sure how well, but I knew I’d done well. I found my friends one after the other, and was shocked to find that they hadn’t done so well. Granted, they all had finished before me, but they hadn’t enjoyed their races. They told me they’d had to walk, they felt tired, they weren’t happy with their runs at all. For me, I knew I’d run the best race I could, and that felt pretty good.
I needed the win. I’m going into my own race next week and I don’t want to embarrass myself by pulling a 39 minute run. Granted, that could still happen. Our course is hilly and it could be hot next week. But I wanted to prove that I had the juice to do well today.
I took in the post race glow of free Italian Ice and water and took my time before heading back to my car. After I got home I found that I actually PRed today. By one second. One second. 35:25. But I’ll take it. Especially considering this race was probably 15 degrees warmer than my other similar time? It’s definitely a PR.