This morning the hubs agreed to be my
taxi driver cheerleader/photographer and headed over to Parma with me for the First Annual Run for the Pierogies 5K. This race was unique as it was held in conjunction with Parma’s Relay for Life. When I first heard about the race a few months ago, I was all on board. As this week progressed, I was on the fence; I hadn’t registered yet, I had just raced on Monday, had a workout consisting of mile repeats on Thursday, and haven’t had a weekend where I didn’t have anything planned in a long time, and the allure of being plan-less for a few days was tempting. Then as the weekend drew nearer, I had a change of heart. I knew I had to do this race, cancer has rocked my boat multiple times, and being completely honest with myself, I knew I would be disappointed in myself if I ignored a great opportunity to raise money and awareness to fight this horrid disease.
When I arrived to the race site, I picked up my race packet, did a 3 mile warm-up, stretched, and before I knew it, it was time to toe the line, where I was lucky enough to bump into@MojaMala2 and @CLECraftBeerRun !
Prior to the start bell, the race director expressed his immense gratitude towards all the race participants. Being the first year of the race, he was nervous about how it would turn out. He would have been thrilled with 150 participants, which a few weeks prior, was where the registration number was. As the days leading up to the race clicked past, the participant field grew to 400+! How awesome! Having recently lost his mother to this ridiculous disease made the great turn-out that much sweeter. All of the registration fees will go to the American Cancer Society, and will be used to fund things like programs for cancer patients as well as research.
The race course wound through Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus. The course included 2 loops and its fair share of hairpin turns with very minimal shade cover. Going into this race, I had zero expectations, I knew it was going to be a struggle, my legs were toast from hard efforts just days prior, and I melt in the heat. When the race started I heard a handful of groans because it was a tight squeeze, and it was hard to break free of the pack and get a good placement early on in the race. Within seconds of the start I pulled out to the right side so that I could get around others and not have to bob and weave or stutter-step too much in the beginning. From the get-go I was neck and neck with the race’s eventual overall female winner.
I lost her shortly after the first mile after we came blazing through at 6:12. Half-way through the second mile, the monkey jumped on my back, I started cramping up in my upper thighs, and I just felt horrible. I slowed way down and clocked my second mile at 6:57. I tried my hardest to get my mojo back in the last 1.1, and struggled to finish the last 1.1 miles in 7:36. My overall finish time was 20:45, a 6:40 overall pace per mile. I managed to place 2nd overall for women, which completely shocked me, but I will totally take it!
Post race I did a 2 mile cool-down by running out on the course and cheering for everyone else out running and walking. I got to see Jess finish, and I spotted Kali with just under a mile to finish! Great job ladies! Post-race I also had the pleasure of meeting multiple tweeps in real life! @HungryInCLE @poiseinparma @whycle ! Social media rocks.
And yes, pierogies were plentiful post-race, say that five times fast, made fresh and also of the frozen variety – Jess won some in a post-race raffle! But don’t ask me how they tasted, as I did not indulge, these pierogies weren’t on the vegan-friendly list. Maybe next year?