At the start of the year my best girlfriend Sharon was on a mission to lose 30 lbs before her 30th birthday. Can’t say I didn’t know the feeling. 😉 We talked about how running was a great way to lose weight, or in her case, lose the baby weight… I mentioned how helpful it was for me to have a race in mind to train for when I started running a few years ago. Motivation is a wondrous thing. I’ve run the Lilac 10K the past two years in a row and thought it would be a lot of fun do this one together. Sharon was all for it and got started with a goal of running the Lilac 5K in May.

I really like the Lilac 10K/5K because it’s a pretty popular race that attracts a lot of runners from the Rochester area. It weaves through some trendy neighborhoods in the city and is also fun because it feels like the start of the summer race season! And of course Sharon and I have been going to the Lilac Festival with the kids for the last few years, making it a perfect debut race for Sharon Lee!

So fast forward through the last 5 months; Sharon’s been running and lost all her weight and then some! She loosely followed Hal Higdon’s 5K Novice program which is similar to the Couch to 5K program, both great for people who want to begin running.

Race Day!

The thermometer said it was 43 degrees outside when I came downstairs just before 6AM. COLD for a mid May morning! I fueled up with a chocolate breakfast cookie and TWO cups of coffee. (YAY caffeine!) Sharon arrived at 7:00 and we were on our way.

Due to the start times of the 5K (8AM) and the 10K (9AM) and our desire to drive together, I decided I would do the 5K this year instead of the 10K. My pace dramatically picked up last year when I trained all summer for the marathon. Dropping 35 lbs surely helped too! I’ll admit that I was curious to see what time I could a run 5K in, knowing my current 5K PR (Personal Record) was 27: and change.

After a little running and some dynamic stretching with butt kicks A LA Jillian’s 30 Day Shred we were warmed up and made our way to the start line to join the other 862 runners. lt was chilly and windy but the sun was shining and we were ready! The starting line was PACKED with people. The starting gun fired and we were off, each making our way through the crowd at our own pace.

My super supportive and devoted father (and fellow runner!) called on Saturday to predict a time of 21:52, which would mean a race pace of about 7:02. That would be pretty damn fast for me, but I wondered…. maybe? I kept that time in my mind as I ran and was pumped to hear the 1st mile split shouted as I ran by: 7:04! 21:52….hmmmm… just maybe??

Somewhere between mile 1 and 2 my car keys fell to the ground from the TWO safety pins I had used to secure them to the waist of my tights with. CRAP! I had to stop, back track and retrieve them and get back on my way. 5 seconds (??) lost!

At the 2 mile mark I looked at my watch: 14:25… making my overall pace now about 7:13. I needed to pick up the pace if t I was going to hit 21:52!

I was feeling ok and running a pretty fast pace, anxious to see the clock as I rounded the corner near the finish. I was a bit bummed to see it already said 23: when the time finally came into my line of sight. I had missed 21:52 but still sprinted to cross the finish line at 23:21.

I snagged some water and ran back along the side of the course to watch for and cheer on Sharon… she was not far behind!

Run Sharon!!

I missed her crossing the finish line due to the throng of people but we caught up with each other and then found Mat, Haylee and Lauren who had come to cheer Mama on! (Where was my crew? Home sleeping! hehehehe…)

It was fun to listen to her version of the race, seeing a man running the race barefoot, being pushed and crowded and practically stepped on by other runners as she made her way through the start, noting that she preferred to run with music (we both ran sans iPods) and that MapMyRun must be full of lies because the 3.1 mile race seemed a lot further than the 3+ miles she was use to running during her training runs around her house! (LOL!)

So in summary, our much anticipated 5K was a great success!

I set a new PR of 23:21, getting 3rd place among females aged 30 – 34, placing 88th overall!

Sharon ran a fabulous first race with a time of 28:48, 20th among females aged 25 – 29, placing 333rd overall!

With our race SWAG…. bottled water and a banana! 🙂

A HUGE congrats to Sharon for running today’s race and meeting all the goals she set for herself! (But this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Sharon!) It’s been a lot of fun getting ready for this race together. We’re already plotting our next 5K later this summer. And we both have times to beat!

21:52 here I come. 😉


4 Responses

  1. Awesome!! Good job Ali and Sharon….you guys rock!

  2. I couldn’t be prouder of both girls I have watched grow up. Alison is too humble. She was third of 73 runners and right on pace with the winner…third place is a podium finish and gets a medal. I beleive she will easily drop into the low 20’s and 19’s. They say the twig didn’t fall far from the tree…well the shoe didn’t fall far the locker! Sharon did phenomenal for her first effort. Alison will end up holding her off in the coming years!

  3. Congratulations to both of you!!! 🙂

    Alison, I think you did remarkable! Next time you will definitely make the 21 mark. (just don’t bring your car keys):)

    I loved Sharon’s comments after the race, too. (haha) Wow…that is just fantastic she did her first race and was not far behind either. 🙂

  4. Thanks everyone!! 😀

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