Race Recap: Chapman University 5K 2011

by This is Carrie on October 26, 2011

We look forward to the Chapman University 5K every year.  They call it the “flattest, fastest, and ‘funnest’ 5K in the world” and we definitely agree.  The first year I ran it, I actually made it onto the podium, receiving my first ever age group trophy.  The second year, I managed to run a mile of it with eight year old Princess (I was 36 weeks pregnant). It was her first 5K.  This year, both the girls and I trained for and ran the race while the boys cheered us on.

Team Sparkle had a huge showing at this little race. There were women ages 6-60. There were women who made it on the podium and women who just barely started running a few weeks prior.  It didn’t matter that most of us didn’t know each other, we were all part of the team.

With Todd as her pacer, Pumpkin finished her first 5K in 37:50 (12:11 pace). Not only was the one of the youngest kids in the race, she was the fastest kid under 8 years old. She credited her speed to her Team Sparkle skirt and her running shoes.

This year Princess ran with a friend (until the finish chute where she sprinted ahead) and finished in 30:38 (9:52 pace) cutting almost 2 minutes off last year’s time. She placed 24th out of 64 girls ages 13 and under.

I was hoping to hold a sub 7 minute pace.  My secret goal was for a 6:45 pace.  With a race this short, you have to go all out from the start line.  By the last half mile my body was hurting. The nausea was constant.  My brain turned on me. “You can just stop running.” “You don’t need to go this fast.” “It will feel so good to walk.” The mental battle was tougher than the physical one.  It was so tough, there were moments I almost started to cry.  Tears would start to well up, my chest would tighten, my breaths would become even more labored. I owe victory over the negative voices in my head to the guy running just a few feet ahead of me. Each time he heard my breaths become more labored as I choked to find the air and struggled to fight back tears, he’d yell words of encouragement.  Those words helped me regain my composure 4 or 5 times during that last half mile.  I couldn’t wait to give him a big hug at the finish line, but he was instantly lost in the crowd.

So thank you mystery man for helping me get a PR: 20:50 (6:43 pace), placing me 12th out of the 943 women in the race.

I was so proud of our accomplishments.

The girls were pretty proud of themselves too.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel October 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Girl you rock! That is an awesome PR and having a couple of young kids who join me in running a few 5k’s a year, it’s such an awesome example for our little ones. I love your story of the mystery man. Don’t you just love the camaraderie of the people during a race? Some of my best memories are of those people who pushed me on, and I have been thankful that I have been able to share the love with a few other gals along the way. Thanks for sharing!


Darcie October 26, 2011 at 4:13 pm

You are so inspiring; I love to read about your races. I ordered a rain cover for my jogger (I live in Seattle) after reading about your marathon. Thanks for sharing!


Delilas October 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm

So cute even little brother is wearing a sparkle skirt. I am training for my first 5K in DC, Hot Chocolate Run, sponsored by Ghirardelli, yum. I will run for chocolate!


lauren October 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Wow. Nice job on your PR. That is FAST!


jonita mortensen October 26, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Cheers for all “my” girls. You are all amazing and inspiring.


Tara October 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I love your blog… your running time in this 5K was awesome. I was just thinking how that was the exact same number as my 5k best in high school cross country. It is so inspiring that you are a mom of 3 and kicking butt in the running department as well. Inspires me to get back into it!


Kathi October 27, 2011 at 8:12 am

Impressive time. And I know that feeling. I have heard those voices. Good for you for not giving up. I am proud of you.


KP October 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

Love the story of your PR~ awesome job!!!


Treva October 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I love this post, but have to say that my favorite element is the pict of your son in the sparkle skirt. How awesome is that? Completely awesome.


Misha October 28, 2011 at 6:28 am

I can’t even imagine running that fast. You continuously amaze me. And I started to get a little emotional with your description of the “mental struggles” you battled. I go through those, too. That mystery man will probably never know how many people he impacted with those positive words.
You’re definitely one of my running heroes. I love reading about you and your family.


Marie October 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Rock Stars!!! That is awesome, all 3 of you. I love those kid sized sparkle skirts. I’ve got to get 2 for my girls!!

And congrats on running a PR. Dying you went that fast. I love how you described it all. Let’s me know you’re not just an awesome running machine like you seem, but a person who plays that mental game too :) Fabulous job!


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