Bird in Hand 5K

Date of the race: September 11, 2015
Time: 6:30 pm
Weather: 72, sunny, slightly humid.
Fee: Registered the week before $30
Shirt: Navy blue tech shirt, pretty sweet shirt! I might even wear it.
Goodie bag: one whoopee pie, a couple of coupons and a pretty hilarious exercise block.
Lots and lots of portable toilets.
I want to say first that I was green with envy for those doing the half marathon! I have been training for the Hershey Half all summer, according to my Map My Run, I’ve logged over 200 miles of Runs, including races, training and hikes, so I felt that I would have been ready for the half! I’m glad I didn’t run in, because I was nowhere near ready, and I hope all the runners had a fantastic race!
I have been excited for the 5K for months! I knew I would not do the half from the beginning, but also knew that I would be there at least to have the opportunity to meet Christopher McDougall, since he would be there to promote his new book. My sister told me that she couldn’t wait for the race to be over, so I could stop talking about it.
I made several mistakes during the day, leading up to the run, mostly food mistakes, which I am still learning from. I’ll stack up the things that were against my run: 1. I had to work that day, from 8-2:30, I left work early to go to the race, 2. I ate lunch late, and wasn’t happy with it. 3. I didn’t eat a strong breakfast. 4. We arrived 1 hour later than we had planned; we were driving from Harrisburg to Bird in Hand, which on a good day takes 1 hour, but 1.45 hours on a Friday. I had planned to eat my bagel and find a small something to add to it, but got in so late that I had to eat my bagel as we were going to the Half Marathon expo tent, to get ready to start running. But I was feeling good and happy, so didn’t pay much attention to it.
Roger did the race with me, because he has wanted to beat his 5K time all summer. So, we got there and went over to meet Christopher McDougall, author of the book Born to Run. I read his book last summer, and it inspired me to run more. Whenever I am struggling in a run, I tell myself “I was born to run, I was born to run” over and over. It’s my race mantra. I asked him for a picture with me, and completely panicked after that and forgot to tell him how much I loved his book! I can be very socially awkward sometimes. He was really nice, and super friendly to everybody. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to meet him. Some people get excited to meet celebrities, I get excited to meet book authors.
The excitement could be felt through the entire crowd, from all people around, the runners, the spectators, and volunteers. It was electrifying!
As the 5K race was about to start, the hot air balloons were launched, the view of the balloons was spectacular! I have not seen so many hot air balloons up in the air at the same time, so close to me! it was an amazing experience. The runners included Amish men and women, and/ or Mennonite men and women. This is my second time running in Lancaster and I find it amazing to see the Amish men and Women run in their regular clothes. Men in long black plants and sneakers, women on their long skirts. Here I am complaining of the weather, wearing my tech shorts, and tech shirt, and the Amish are running circles around me in their traditional clothing. I still have a lot to learn.  

The race started exactly at 6:30; there were pacers from the start to the end. I placed myself towards the end of the 8min/ mile pacer, knowing my best average has been 8.05. I should have known better! The other races were under different conditions, on early Saturday mornings. Race started, we were running along the farms. This is one of me most beautiful running routes I have ran. The Amish families were out looking at the race, the corn fields were all around us, we ran through a corn field and along the road. I’m pretty sure I remember seeing a group of Amish men in a horse harvesting a field, but I might be imagining things, because around this time my running started to get sloppy.
I stared to feel really tired, so I slowed down, and then started feeling more tired, so I stopped. This was around mile 1.2; I walked for a tiny bit and was passed by a big group of runners. I picked up running again, and got water at the half way water station, which was staffed by Amish children. I got a cup from an adorable girl.
I had a quick sip of water, and then kept on running, and my real problems started. The water combined with the bagel I ate before the run, made my stomach feel big and bloated. A few steps later, I got stiches on both sides of my stomach. I stopped again. I walked a few more steps, as a ton more runners passed me. This was completely unlike me! Other than The Color Run, in which it is IMPOSSIBLE to run from the start, because of all the walkers, I had not stopped at any other runs, not even the 2 10Ks I had done. But this time I was stopping because my stomach was cramping! I walked and tried to pick up running again, it was no use! By then, my legs started to feel really tired, my entire body started to feel tired. I must have looked like I was really struggling, because a Mennonite girl came by me, grabbed my shoulder and told me “You go this!” I said thank you as she flew by me took a few deep breaths and started running again, only about 1.2 miles to go.

I kept that pace until the end, crossing the finish line at 27.30. I was completely out of breath and panting deeply. I kept walking to try to ease my breathing. I felt a little defeated, and tired. I don’t feel like that after run, I normally feel energized and happy. I shook it off and went to take pictures of Roger at the finish line. He finished at 31.24. He also wasn’t happy. He said that he also got side
stiches and couldn’t keep on running, had to stop.
We both felt pretty defeated, so we made promises to train a lot harder, no more whining and go all out with running. That only lasted about a week.
We got the spaghetti dinner, because we had planned it. The food was amazing! We had the salad, breadsticks made from a piece of heaven, pasta and pizza. We ate a lot, despite having said we were not hungry. We hadn’t eaten that much in a long time! We made a note to ourselves, when we go back for the Half and 5K next year, we are definitely getting the pasta dinner.

While we were eating lots of other runners and volunteers talked to us, everybody was very friendly! This has to be one of the most interactive and social race I have done.
I spotted two local runners I follow on Instagram, I knew from their post they would be running the half marathon, and they had posted that they were at the pasta and bonfire that night. After much debating inside my head, I walked over to say hi and wish them luck in their race. They were both super nice… even though I looked crazy and was all stinky from the 5K.

After we ate, and walked around a little, we were able to look back and appreciate everything we had experienced that night. We go to meet, talk to, shake hands with and take a picture with Christopher McDougall, an experience I would have never thought possible. We ran through a beautiful and truly unique route, that we would have never had the opportunity to run, we saw the hot air balloon launch, which had been amazing, we had the most delicious pasta and breadsticks from heaven! And we only had a small taste of the race, since the half marathon was not until the next day. So overall, it was an amazing night, and we were fortunate to have the opportunity to be there. We were definitely coming back next year for the 5K and the Half marathon.