Saturday, October 1, 2016

Everything was AWESOME!

Today I had the pleasure of running in the most fun 5K ever! If you read my last blog post about picking my number up for the LEGO 5K, you will know that I was running this terrific little hometown race today. So many things about it were AWESOME!
Three girl runners all bundled up to head out.
First, and not to be discounted, I didn't have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to prepare myself mentally or physically for a huge distance. I don't run very many 5Ks and the last few I've done, I've run with my daughter, so they were non-competitive for me. For this race, I was running on my own. My mom came with me so she could hang out with the kids while I ran. With that in my head, I was hoping to come close to a 28 minute 5K. My last "fast" 5K time was 24 minutes, and I figured that was a little too out of reach. 
Newest Hogwarts student?
Anyway, the morning turned out to be a little chilly (50 degrees) and a little sprinkly with rain. Not too bad, but not an ideal fall day either. We all bundled up to head out, me for the 5K and the kids for the 1 mile kids run that was to follow the 5K. We only had to drive a few miles, and parking was a breeze in the ample parking lot at the LEGO offices. 
Checking out the silent auction items.
A large tent was set up where they had LEGO play tables for the kids and a long table showcasing the silent auction LEGO items. There was some amazing stuff up for bid! The proceeds for this race and the auction were to be donated to Foodshare. The mood was happy and festive despite the cold, damp morning. Everyone was excited to be there. 

Frost Jedi pilots.
The 5K racers lined up along a driveway in front of the left side of the office building. I tried to stay near the front of the pack, since I usually find that to be easier for me in a small race. I was right next to a fellow I happened to connect with on the local Facebook run/walk/bike page (Hi Russell!). We exchanged greetings and good lucks. I recognized him by his bright running shoes, just like he said I would. The race start was delayed a few minutes, probably to get everyone in and lined up, but it was fine. We were off pretty quickly. 
I did my best to start off on a fast note heading out of the LEGO roadway, and once we turned on to Moody Road, my breathing began to even out and get in to the proper pattern. The first stretch on Moody is uphill, so I didn't want to go too fast and burnout, but I kept a quick, light pace. When we turned the first right hand corner, I felt really good. The terrain hits a slight downhill at the turn, so I took advantage and pushed on. 
Shortly thereafter, we passed my most favorite fish market in town, Cold Harbor. My favorite fish guys were in the store getting things ready for the day's sales, and as I passed by I gave them a big wave. They waved back, although I'm not sure if they knew it was me. Hi guys if you are reading...
We took the next right hand turn on to North Street and halfway down this stretch was the halfway mark of the race and a water table. I grabbed for a cup, shouted a thank you, and gulped a couple of mouthfuls as I pushed on. I was doing well, or so I thought.
The next right hand turn put us on Park Street which is one of the roads in my regular rotation. I was on my home turf here, for sure. I didn't want to pick up the pace just yet for fear of not having enough  steam left for the finish. Park Street ended quickly enough and we turned back on to Moody toward the LEGO building. 
I tried to keep my pace quick and my breathing pattern steady. When I turned the corner on to Print Shop Road to the finish, I started to pick things up. I could see the finish line ahead, but I couldn't read the time clock from where I was. As I got closer, I could see it was at 23 minutes! To finish well under my hopeful time of 28 minutes would be a dream. So I started to book it! I pushed as hard as I could to the finish, and when I crossed it was 24 minutes on the clock! I was thrilled! 
My official time was 24:28--woo hoo! I passed the finish line and walked back toward the tent to try to locate my mom and kids. 
We found each other and talked all about the race. They saw me finish. I heard them yelling for me, but I was so focused on getting to the finish that I didn't see them. We hung out for a bit in the gazebo where they had various LEGO themed costumes to put on for photo booth type fun. My youngest had a great time with that. 
Costume/photo booth fun.
Limbering up for the kids race.
Next we went inside the office building where they had the company store open to the public. Apparently the discounts are really good, but the line was really long and we didn't want to miss the start of the kids mile race. So we went back outside where the girls did some warm up exercises. As we were waiting for the final announcement for the start of the mile race, the runners took off! We had somehow missed the starting command! Oh no! So I yelled to the girls to just get down there and go. And they did. They were at the back of the pack, but that didn't matter. They took off and got right in there. 
Mom and I lined up on the side of the road to wait for them to return from the out and back run from the LEGO office building down the street to the LEGO daycare. The front runner kids were super fast! Some of them were close to 5 minute miles. I was expecting my girls around the 10 minute mark. The clock wasn't reset from the 5K, so when my kids took off it was approximately 1:09 on the clock. My oldest finished somewhere around 1:18 or better and my little one was about a minute later. Super proud mom of two 10 minute (or less) milers! They pushed their hardest, I know, because they came across the finish line near the front of the pack after starting at the very end. I could see the determination on their little faces. What a run!
L cruising to the finish line.
E pushing to the finish. 
Working hard.
Giving her all while Grammie cheers her on!
I rushed to the finish line to find them, and as we met up, there was a giant crush of people just past the finish. To our amazement and delight, the kids were being given LEGO sets as their finishing prize! Unbelievable! We made our way around the giveaway area, and we were handed LEGO Friends sets for each of the girls. What??!!
Thank you, LEGO! We are so grateful!
I am so blown away by the generosity of LEGO and the incredible organization, activity, fun and great spirit of this event. I hope that I am able to run it each year. What a wonderful hometown race. Great job, LEGO! Thank you for an unforgettable morning! We headed home to dry off, warm up and build LEGOs while watching LEGO tv shows. A perfect way to spend a chilly and damp afternoon.
Warm and toasty post-race LEGO fun!