Monday, April 29, 2013

American Cancer Society Family 5K Walk/Run Recap

 Finally, a recap for the ACS Family 5K that was just over a week ago! I wanted to get this recap done last week but wanted to wait for my age group award to arrive so that I could have a picture of it. Go figure, I place 1st in my age group and then due to the weather the awards ceremony got cancelled and they just mailed the awards to us.

This was our first time doing this race so we didn't know what to expect. Registration was very easy- we just stopped by the American Cancer Society office and filled out the forms. Since we were registering on the Friday before the race we were given our shirts at that time. We had to pick up our bibs the day of the race. They added chip timing this year so that was something new for them.

We woke up on race morning to snow on the ground (April 21st... CRAZY Wisconsin Spring Weather)! The start time for the race was 11:00 so we got to sleep in and get a good breakfast before the race. It was still snowing as we headed to the race. Water was also running like small rivers through the streets! We arrived a little early to pick up our bibs and get everything situated.
We did a little stretching and also jogged a bit around the start/finish area to get our legs warmed up and get the stiffness out from our 18 mile run the day before. I really had no expectations for this race after doing the long training run the day before. Doing the race was important to me so we just went into it thinking it would be whatever it was and we were ok with that. We just wanted to do it and finish.
 They announced that start time was getting closer so we headed to the start line where it felt like we waited forever! It got chilly as we stood there. About the time we were starting to get really impatient to get going the front of the group moved closer to the start line and next thing we knew, we were off! There was no big send off horn or anything. For the first 1/4 of a mile or so we were doing some weaving through people and tried to find our pace. We actually ran part of this route the day before on our long training run so we were familiar with it.
As we got to mile 1 I looked at my watch and it was just over 8 minutes. At that point I told Tim that we started out too fast. I was already breathing very heavy and wasn't sure that I could keep it up at that pace for the whole race. We backed off just a bit at that point. Shortly after that we started to meet the leaders making their way to the finish. That was enough motivation to pick it up again. It wasn't long after seeing them when we rounded a corner and the whole road was slush - we broke our stride and sort of jumped around the worst of it but it didn't matter- our feet got soaked! We kept pushing which was now up hill! I tried to really push myself up the hill and then coasted a bit and caught my breath on the way back down.
As we got close to the mile 2 mark we started to meet the walkers that started a bit after us. Some of them were good about moving over to the side to give us room but there were a few that we came up on as we rounded a corner that wouldn't move at all for us. The one was using the Nordic walking sticks and almost tripped me! I was super frustrated with them but I used that to help push me! I was starting to really feel it shortly after that but we rounded another corner and had another small downhill. In this stretch we passed a few people so that helped me feel better! As we got to the bottom of the hill I felt like I was loosing steam but Tim was great about encouraging me and telling me that we were almost there. We made that last corner and were headed to the finish line when the wind hit us like a wall! For the last 1/4 of a mile or more we were bucking the wind but we kept pushing. There were people along the road cheering everyone on so that helped. As we got closer,  I could see the finish line clock and I couldn't believe what it said (I had stopped checking my watch after the first mile)! I started to sprint because I wanted to get as close to 25 minutes as I could. I stopped my watch as we crossed the line. Then as we walked, and I tried to keep from puking, I looked at it- 25:01. I was super excited because I knew that was a PR for both of us!
Tim right after finishing.

Me right after finishing and trying not to puke!

A big thank you to my wonderful hubby for pushing me!
 We walked for a bit to keep me from getting dizzy. After I race I have to keep moving! If I stand in one place too soon I get really dizzy and my legs stiffen up right away- doesn't matter the distance! Then we headed toward the car and the post-race area. Tim needed to run home to get Riley to baseball tryouts. I decided to stay behind and grab a banana and Gatorade and he would just bring Isaac and Aidan back with him. When I got to the post-race area they had computers set up that we could check our official times on and immediately see where we stood. I put in my bib number and about fell over when it came up! My chip time was 24:59.8! I actually made it under 25 minutes! Then I saw that I was first place for my age group!! I think I was shaking as I put Tim's bib number in. His chip time was 24:59.5 and I believe he was 6th place for his age group. I got out of the line and had to call him right away!! I was so excited!! I never thought I stood a chance at placing- EVER!! After talking to him I grabbed a banana, apple, cookie, and Gatorade and found a warm place in one of the tents to wait for him and the boys to come back.

When Tim, Isaac, and Aidan got there I took them to the computer to show Tim the results- part of me still didn't believe it and I thought they were going to be different for some reason. I went with Tim and the boys to grab them a snack and then we found out that there wasn't going to be an awards ceremony due to the weather :( Of course! I placed in my age group and then there wasn't even going to be an awards ceremony and I had to wait for my medal!
Just before heading home
We had Isaac take one last picture of the two of us and headed home! When we got home and got cleaned up I checked out the site that the timing people gave us and found out that I was the third place female cancer survivor as well!
I have to say that this was a good race - and not just because I placed. Supporting the American Cancer Society is very important to me and this race was a little emotional as well! It felt great to really push myself to see what I could do just months after going through my surgery and being so scared about what the outcome was going to be! I am sure we will be doing this one again in the future! Maybe next year we will get the boys out there with us. Maybe we will have to get a team together for the race!

Shirt, bib, and my age group medal
1st place female age 30-34 (front)

1st place female age 30-34 (back)


  1. Congratulations! You go girl!! Sounds like a very wet and chilly 5K but you rocked it! I am an ACS Volunteer with my area so I was excited to hear about this race! :0)

    1. Thanks! It was very wet and chilly but we did it and I am super proud of what we were able to accomplish! Thank you for volunteering with ACS!

  2. Congrats on the run! You're awesome girl!
    emma @