I did it!!! I completed my first 5k of the season! Tonight’s run, the Espirit de She 5k Tempe was also my first night race. This was a big deal since it’s the first 5k now that I’m seriously training for the Women’s Racing Series Scottsdale/Tempe half marathon. I registered for this race months ago, so I had a low number and personalized bib. The weather was beautiful and actually a little chilly! Of course, that’s relative to Arizona. Weather was perfect!
I’ve been to many races in the Tempe Beach Park area, but this was my first start at the north shore. I came up with a few girls from the gym and the Sunday runs at Cadence and we met my friend J there! We missed the parking area on our first pass, and none of us were familiar with the area. We thought there would be more signage. It almost felt like we came on the wrong night. Thankfully, we found parking and there were carts taking people to the start. Plus, we lucked out and really didn’t have too walk far.
The atmosphere was very festive in the celebration area! I saw the Hylands/Another Mother Runner table and I was super excited to learn about the Team Luna Chix Phoenix Triathlon (Thanks for the water bottle! Once I get serious about triathlons, I’ll have to attend their events.) and be reminded about the Turkey Day 5k and 12k’s of Christmas. Our family is serious about Thanksgiving, so I won’t be able to make it to the Turkey Day run, but I’ll have to see if I can squeeze the 12k run into my race calendar. One drawback to the celebration area, the bag drop area was super secret and not obvious. You had to know the code word in order to utilize it.
Once the sun set, it was time to get the race started. There was a Zumba pre-race warmup, which was fun. Another draw back was the location of the start/finish line. I think the race coordinators should have roped the start line off, so that there was only one flow into the start “chute.” Also, I think that the 10k runners should have started first. It was cool to see the first few 10k runners fly by and pass us around the first mile, but I know that they had to do a lot of dodging!
The following pictures are super blurry, remember I’m running with my camera, so you can’t see how pretty the pedestrian bridge looked during the race. But you get the idea! I loved that we ran across the bridge!
I started off the race with J! We chatted while we got the race started. I knew that I wasn’t racing this one, so I was in no hurry to get started. After the big incline just past mile 1 onto Priest Drive, J had to walk. She was a trooper, since I was pushing her pace. I’m not really a walk-runner (unless I pushed the pace too soon and I’m hurting), so I kept running. I like to start slower and then push my pace at the end. If (and when) I race a 5k, I know that I’ll have to get serious and jog a little bit before I get started. Right now, I’m just not there mentally. The girls from the gym/Cadence are ROCK STARS and did a warm up jog before hand. They also finished in the top 20. Again, they are ROCK STARS!I’m super proud of the speed on my progressive miles and I’m ecstatic that I came in around 35 min. Tonight was a baseline run for my 5k pace. Now, I need to push it a little more to get my speed ramped up just slightly. My 2:30 Half Marathon goal is still in sight!
The post race celebration was excellent, complete with post race bubbly (orange raspberry and grapefruit mimosas). They also served Turkey Chili and Jimmy Johns Sandwiches. They had massages, mini manicures, and hair braiding. We didn’t partake, but it looked like fun.
I would definitely do the Espirit de She run 5k again, maybe even the 10k. Night races are a lot of fun, it just takes awhile to come down from all the excitement. That and I probably shouldn’t have used my caffeine enhanced Nuun during a night run. D’oh!!