Sunday evening I ran in the inaugural Bras across the CAUSEway 5K. As you might have deduced, this is an event that supports breast cancer awareness and the benefits actually support LOCAL breast cancer patients! For those of you who aren’t local to the Mobile Area, the Causeway is the term used for the approximately 7 mile stretch of road connecting US 90 and US 98 across Mobile Bay. The road is also known as Battleship Parkway as it is home to the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.
I knew this event was coming up, but didn’t realize that it was on Sunday evening. Rebecca mentioned that it might be fun to run and of course, it didn’t take too much convincing before I was in! She ran 21 miles that morning and I ran 11 miles, so we weren’t really planning to race this thing, but mainly just wanted to show up and support a great cause.
As I drove across the bay, I saw hundreds of bras strung along the side of the road, which was really cool! The race started at 5:15 p.m. I got there sometime around 4:45 and got registered. I thought about doing a couple of warm up miles, but really just didn’t feel like it … so I didn’t (for the record, I don’t really recommend this). The course was an out and back and it was windy! Goodness gracious. I took my visor off and ran with it in my hand for over half of the race.
My main goal for the race was to get a negative split (each mile faster than the one before it). I know that starting out conservatively and negative splitting is usually the best way for me to race and *sometimes* I do a decent job of keeping the pace even to slightly negative, but in the last several 5Ks that I have done, I have ended up doing quite the opposite. I’ve started out too fast and crashed hard, which is never a fun way to run.
I was the lead female from the gun, so there isn’t too much to tell as far as that goes. I did end up catching two guys that were ahead of me for maybe the first half to three quarters of a mile, but after that I kept the same position for the remainder of the race (second overall). I could see Brandon out ahead and I just focused on trying to steadily reel him in, which didn’t really happen, but it gave me something to at least think about. The first mile was pretty much directly into the wind and also ran across a slight bridge. I wanted to give you the incline of said slight bridge, but I guess Garmin doesn’t recognize bridges. Does this sound correct? Someone help me out here!
We crested the top of the bridge right at mile one and I glanced down to see a 6:36 mile split. I honestly had no expectations going in, so I didn’t really feel good or bad at the sight of the split. I just figured that it is what it is and let’s keep rolling. The first half of the second mile was slightly down the other side of the bridge and once we got to the turnaround, the wind was a little bit more at our backs. Of course, it didn’t really *feel* this way. If you are running and it is windy out, it always feels like a headwind! Ha. Once you got to the turnaround you also got to see all of the other runners, which is always great! I tend to really enjoy out and back courses because I love the feedback.
My split for mile two was 6:14. Woo! I hardly even noticed that we had to go back up and over the slight bridge and I knew that my pace was on the right track for the negative split (assuming that I could keep my effort level about where it was).
My split for miles three was 6:01, which I was ecstatic about and I crossed in 19:42. To be honest, I likely wouldn’t have been happy with this time in most circumstances, but since my only goal was to negative split … I was happy! Sometimes it is nice to set goals that aren’t solely based on your overall time. I think we are more likely to be pleasantly surprised with the outcome when we set smaller, more attainable goals. Once you get to a certain point, you can’t expect a PR at every race, but you can still set other goals and push yourself.
In the spirit of just rolling with it, I decided to forgo the typical cool down as well (also not recommended), but I did get in a half a mile or so, which I guess is better than nothing. We hung out for a little while after the race and chatted with friends. Jessica came and brought Miss Olivia to spectate, which was awesome! Savannah got a snow cone and was perfectly happy. The overall and age group winners got pink arm warmers as our awards. I thought this was very unique and I like them a lot! I really love the idea of arm warmers, but I have never actually run in them (and I have three pairs now … insert facepalm). Maybe this winter will be the year that I finally get up the courage to wear them (#goals).
This was a really fun run and I’d love to do it again next year!