Race Recap: Grings Mill Run

On Sunday I ran my first 5k since the wedding:  the Grings Mill Run in Reading, PA.  The race was advertised as the “prettiest race in PA”, and when I heard that it was also flat and fast I was in!  Now, here’s the bad news:  I hadn’t run a full 3.1 miles since the 5k Run for Clean Air in Philly back in April.  And I’d only been training for this run for 3 weeks.  So I was pretty nervous on the drive to the race.  We arrived at 8:30 and were asked to park in a field because there were a ton of people already there.  After checking in and getting my tech shirt (with no advertising!) we walked to the starting line.


There was a 5k and a 10k option, and you didn’t have to choose until the day of the race.  I obviously chose the 5k!  After hearing the “Ready, set, GO!” from the oldest member of the Pagoda Pacers – who was 93 years old! – the race was underway.  We ran down a narrow path, across a bridge, and onto a path that wound along Tulpehocken Creek.  The course was pretty, and it was mostly flat except for a few small hills.  For the first mile or so, I was feeling awesome!  It was pretty crowded so I had to weave around people, but eventually the crowd thinned out and I was able to get into a good pace.  It was around mile 2 that I started feeling reeeally awful.  My stomach hurt, and I was getting nervous about how slow I was going so that made it worse.  I started passing people that were walking, and every time I thought, “I wish I could walk too”.  The only thing saving me was my Garmin, which told me that I was almost done.  When the bridge came back into view, I told myself that I wasn’t going to give up and I started running as fast as I could.  There was a tiny steep hill leading up to the bridge, but after sprinting up that I ran as fast as I could towards the finish line at the end of the bridge.  After crossing it and handing in my bib number, I grabbed some water and walked up a hill where I collapsed in a patch of shade.  Andrew convinced me to walk around a bit to feel better, but I honestly have never felt that bad after a race.  I had never run that slow during a race, and I couldn’t figure out why I had decided to run this race with such a short training time.  I guess I thought that I could just jump back into running after taking a break for so long, but I definitely should have waited until I was back in shape!  After moping around (and trying not to puke) for a few minutes, we headed back over to the finish line.  They had a band playing live music, and the post race food selection included pizza, pork sandwiches, and ice cream!  I love race food that doesn’t just limit itself to bagels and bananas!  Overall the race was very well done and I loved the post race celebration.  And who doesn’t like finishing a race to a view like this?


And I found out that I finished before 1/3 of the participants!  I wasn’t even close to last place which makes me feel better about the race.  But next time, I think I’ll train better  🙂

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