Sunburst is a complicated race for me. I enjoy the race on many levels – in fact it’s a race I look forward to running each year. But Sunburst also has some baggage for me (see also: black flagged marathon and ungodly heat). I wasn’t sure what to expect from this year’s race but I was ready to run.
The weather was absolutely perfect. 48 at the start, never got above 65 all morning, breezy… honestly I don’t know that you could get much of a better day to run. My legs were itching to run long but I promised my 13yo that I’d run with her and let her pick the distance. She wanted to run the 5K and I was determined to help her get a personal best. When she runs by herself she has a tendency to go out fast and then end up walking. I told her to stick with me and commit to not walking – slowing down was always an option – but no walking. She agreed and we entered the starting corral.
The 5K has one long gradual hill in the middle of it but other than that is a nice, flat, shady run. We pushed the pace but never so hard that it wasn’t fun – I wanted to have fun every step of the way. We laughed. We did some people watching. We ran and ran some more. We entered the stadium and my girl took off sprinting – I was amazed at her long legs in action, she didn’t get those legs from her mother. She got that PR. (I came sooooo close to a PR of my own too.)
I haven’t run a 5K race in years and it was fun to go out and attack a race course with a smile on my face. Just for fun, I looked up my results from the first time I ran the Sunburst 5K – it was my 2nd ever race, about a month into my new-found running hobby. My time back in 2009? 35:07. My time this weekend? 30:37.
And this time I ate the popsicle.
(Back story: in the ridiculous heat and humidity of last year’s marathon I dreamed/hallucinated/focused on that post-race popsicle for at least 10 miles. By the time I “finished” there were none left. And that in a nutshell is the story of my marathon.)