My first race of the 2015 running season was the Alaska Heart Run, which took place last Saturday. My sister and her two boys ran too, and our mom came to cheer us on. This was my first time participating in the Heart Run. The first time I registered and planned to run, the race was cancelled because of snow.
This race signals that spring is really here in south-central Alaska and is the 'season-opener' if you will for the summer road-race season. Ever since being on the cross-country running and skiing teams in high school, I've loved to be apart of the running/skiing community. Races are a great way to stay motivated and on a running/training schedule, as well as a great way to stay active in the running community. They are so much fun, and if you've every participated in one, you know that you just can't beat the energy at a community race.
You don't have to be an elite athlete or even a runner at all to participate, and that's the true beauty of these races. People of all fitness levels can come out and be active together. And even though there can only be one winner, there are many other reasons to feel excited and motivated to do your personal best in a race. Beating a prior PR can feel nearly as exhilarating as winning the entire race (not that I've ever won, haha).
It was a little chilly as we arrived but it really turned out to be a beautiful day. It was my sisters first race and I was so proud of her and my nephews for how well they did! My oldest nephew even ran the entire 5k, when he had only been planning on running the 3k. I've been back to running three times a week for the last month, and ran with the intention of trying to give the race my all. I finished with a gun time of 25:06 (I was a bit back in the crowd at the start) and a chip time of 24:52, which means I ran at roughly a 8:01 min/mi pace, which I'm really happy with at this point in my 'training'.
The fastest 5k I ran in high school was 24:36, so I'm looking to beat that time at some point this summer. The older I get the more I love running, and the longer distances I enjoy running. With two kids who don't always nap at the same time, running can be the only time I get to myself during the day to reflect and just sort of zone out. I run 98% of the time with the kids in the stroller, and find myself running longer distances when I'm running with them, mostly because if I'm going to the trouble of loading them up and getting out with them, I want to enjoy my time to myself as much as possible!
I registered for the Her Tern Half Marathon in mid-July, so I'll be running four days a week from here on out and increasing my mileage every week from the 11-12 miles I've been doing a week for the last month. I'll also be doing the Twilight 12k in June, and I'm looking forward to it. I've done it a few times in the past couple of years and should be going into it this year with the most training, so it will be exciting to see if I can increase my pace enough to get a PR.
Riggs and Noah goofing around at lunch after the race