Armed Forces Day 5K and Saturday Recap

Hey peeps :). I hope everyone’s having a great Mother’s Day weekend and getting away from the grind of work, school, and whatever else you might do. I took a vacation day on Friday and spent time with my husband, so that made my weekend longer which is always nice.

Clay and I went to lunch together and enjoyed delicious soups, salads and each other’s company- we’re not “that couple” that’s always together, but it is nice to have him to myself again sometimes! Then I enjoyed a delicious Sweet cupcake because I’m a little superstitious and usually get one before I run a race. I don’t think it actually helps me run any better, but treating myself to one on Friday makes me happy.

Pre-race eats- strawberry mozzarella salad.

I definitely needed the happiness, because my mom called me to tell me that my Aunt Nell passed away that night. I really looked up to my Aunt Nell and wrote about how she was a strong, powerful lady and role model here. She was in her 90s and had been declining for a few months, so I wasn’t shocked, but it’s still tough when it actually happens.

I’m not sure what or when the arrangements are yet, but I guess I’ll be making the hour-long drive home sometime next week to see the family (not under the best circumstances, unfortunately).

Saturday morning, I got up at 6:30 to run the Armed Forces 5K, which is a new race in town. I had two goals for the race, and the main one was being there early (only takes nearly missing a race once to keep you on your toes about being on time) and to beat what I ran two weeks ago when the race director hosted a timed practice run to test the course.

With that said, if you’re a recreational runner, the only people who care about your time in a race are you and the timing guy- and he only cares that it’s right, not what it is :). So don’t be so diehard on a finish time like me!

I got to the race at 8:20ish and hung out with some rockstar runners from Fitness World and chatted with a few track club friends and kids. It was super cheap (only $10- so a lot of people showed up), and for the track club kids, it was a good tune-up before the Mt. Pleasant meet next weekend. I hugged my friends at the start and wished them good luck, and I put everything that’s happened lately out of my head. When I lace up my running shoes- it’s ON, and anything else going on in my life is on hold until my run’s over.

Curtis’ shoes vs. my shoes.

My yoga buddy Stephanie and I- her first 5k!

The race kicked off with group of veterans who were travelling to Washington, DC by motorcycle, and everyone turned and watched them before the horn sounded. Actually, this was so no-frills, I think the race director just said “Go!”- looking back, I don’t remember a horn.

With beaming sun and little shade, it was a tough run for paved race in South Carolina in May. I already knew the course, so I had that advantage, and part of it was an out and back, so you could see who was ahead and behind you and cheer them on (or give dirty looks, whichever you prefer as a runner). The first two miles were fast, but I felt myself losing gas on the third mile. Maybe my sugar high from the cupcake had worn off, but my tummy started hurting.

A ton of kids were there, and one sweet little girl (who’s not a track club kid) asked me to run with her and I had to tell her (in my “Coach Amy” voice) that when you race, you don’t run with anyone- you push yourself for your best time. I kept up with my little buddy Alec for most of the last mile until another girl passed us both. After she passed me, all I could think about was how much I wanted Alec to stay ahead of her!

He beat three of his coaches, including me. And we couldn’t be prouder of him and our other athletes.

Crossing the finish right after him was neat though- we headed to the bouncy slide afterwards to work off more energy! The fellowship and bouncy slide definitely made up for the three sweat-fest miles, but I finished in 25:22. Not my best or worst, but not horrible, considering the heat and lack of shade. I hung out with my rockstar running friends Shayna, Emily, Stephanie, and other people, and we got some yummy fruits and refreshments and took pics :).

Emily and I have been doing 5Ks together forever =). She did 6 races in 6 weekends once, wow!

Shayna’s first Florence race and our first (of hopefully many) together.

Finally got Belinda from behind the camera… love coaching with her!

The sweetest moment of the morning was when the last walker finished. She was an 83-year-old lady who finished in just over an hour, and the race director told everyone she was coming, so we stood along the path to watch her walk toward the finish. Well, the last lady shook hands and thanked every Veteran (and other runners) who’d gathered near the finish to cheer her on. When you’re 83, you’ve earned the right to a big applause and can take as long as you want on the course to get your money’s worth.

She made her way toward the timing table, and instead of just walking through the finish line, stopped to look at the laptops, monitors, and timing equipment- the race director had to tell her to actually cross the chalk line to “finish”. She was such a sweet lady too (and yes, I went up to her after the awards ceremony and congratulated and hugged her). Coolest race finish ever :).

For a race that only cost $10-12, it was very well organized and marked. It was pretty frills-free; the awards were patches that Veterans had worn in service and ribbons, and the t-shirts weren’t too bad for the low entry fee (of course it was cotton, but it has three colors). All of the money funds the Veteran’s Park, too. Definitely a fun way to kick off the weekend, especially with Armed Forces Day next Saturday and Memorial Day later this month.

I got home at 11ish and cleaned up, then went to the gym to foam roll (I really should purchase a foam roller, but I already pay so much for the gym that I go there to use it…) and to Sonic for a half priced happy hour soda. You can get cool combinations of soda/drinks for half price from 2-4 PM there, and my track friend Caitlyn recommended the Cherry Pineapple Coke Zero, which was the perfect reward after my cruel and unusual foam roller punishment treat for a hot day.

That night, we had dinner at Rebel Pie (thanks Flossip for the shoutout– you made me crave pizza!) and Clay went to bed early since he spent the day playing a game with a bunch of guy friends. So, I spent the night catching up on blog reading and writing and cleaning around the house (ahh, married girl Saturday nights).

Q1.) What kinds of sodas or flavored drinks do you like? I’m not really a big soda drinker, but I like the Sonic drinks (I usually get a diet vanilla coke or diet cherry limeade) and the occasional Diet Mountain Dew. I’ve been craving the cold drinks lately because of the heat and being outside.

Q2.) What’s your favorite salad topping? I love fruit on my salad, like strawberries or cranberry raisins/craisins. Raspberry vinaigrette is tasty too.

Q3.) Maybe I’m a little OCD, but do you have any weird little traditions or superstitions? Am I the only one? Of course, I do the cupcake thing, but I also have a tradition of checking my bank account after Thursday night track practices because my money’s in my account (and yes, it’s the first thing when I get home, even before I shower). I’m a weirdo!

Q4.) How are you celebrating Mother’s Day? I think we’re all going out to eat…

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20 Responses to Armed Forces Day 5K and Saturday Recap

  1. krisranhere says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your Aunt. I have many older (86+) relatives and losing them is so heartbreaking!

    The 83 year old runner is adorable!!

    I LOVE Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke from a fountain machine. I don’t eat many sweets so that’s my guilty food I guess. I only have it once or twice a week and I will never give it up 😉

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah- I like the fountain sodas so much better too :). But I eat something sweet every day (oops).

      The lady’s finish thanking the veterans and seeing the computer system was epic. Makes me wonder how it would be if she was at a big race with a big finish chute and banners and everything!

      Thanks for the thoughts on my aunt, too.

  2. ladycoop says:

    First-Sorry for your loss. 😦
    Second- The “finish line story” made me tear up. How cool. 🙂 I love old people (well the ones who aren’t grouchy…haha)

    1) I don’t drink soda anymore. I used to drink a two liter or more a day everyday, so I gave it up cold turkey. It’s been two years now. I also don’t like to drink my calories, I’d rather eat them. BUT I do love Dark Chocolate Almond Milk. YUM!

    2) Fave salad topping- I like fruit as well (the pic of the salad you posted looks yum!). I also like sunflower seeds. 🙂

    3) I probably had a ton of OCD habits that I don’t even notice myself doing. LOL I am blanking right now though of course.

    4) Nothing special today. Just relaxing and hanging with the fam. 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It made me tear up too, even though I was there.

      I also love dark chocolate almond milk! I actually have some in the fridge right now… guess I may have some of that later after I work out.

      Hope you have a great mother’s day just chilling out with the fam!

  3. awesome job on your race! and it looks like you had a lot of people there! I need to sign up for some races.
    1.) I only drink soda when im at a restaurant and its diet pepsi for me 🙂
    2.) that is my favorite salad toO!!!
    3.) I am working today 😦 but my mom is bringing my son up here so we can eat lunch

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Hope you guys have a great lunch together!

      I love doing races, it’s not even about the finish time so much (well, I say that, but I do sorta compete against myself…) as it is the fellowship.

  4. Cori H. says:

    That salad looks yummy! I always love strawberries in my salad. I’m sorry to hear about your aunt. The 83 year old woman is so inspiring. I hope I am able to do those kinds of things when I’m that age. I love the flavored drinks at Sonic. We don’t have a Sonic close by, but I always loved happy hour when I lived in Alabama. For Mothers Day, we spent the day with Joel’s mom yesterday. Today, I’m spending the day with mine. Hope you’re having a great day!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I hope I’m able to walk 3.1 miles in my 80s, that’s pretty incredible, and she really enjoyed herself too which is important :). You could tell she was grateful for her health and for all those veterans had done. Glad you got to spend some time with both mom’s for mother’s day!

  5. Awe that 83 year old woman is adorable! Congrats to her! I do agree and I will be that little lady finishing! Great race Amy and your preeat salad looks amazing!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was quite tasty =).

      So with ya on that lady finishing. I will tell this story to anyone who says something like “What if I’m last?” when doing a race!

  6. Kara says:

    I would have been crying watching that lady! That makes me so happy! I’m so sorry about your Aunt and hope you and you’re family are doing okay.

    Way to go on the race! All your races always look like so much fun!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      They all are fun! We just have a really fun group of runners around here. And I guess I have slightly decent writing skills to make a race look like fun- I’m not good at writing those recaps where people talk about what happened each mile or anything like that, though. I never remember that!

      It was really teary-eyed to watch. I had kids around me so I was trying to hold up but as soon as I hit the car… well, you know the rest.

  7. Shayna says:

    Hey Amy,

    Sorry to hear about your Aunt Nell, that’s tough. Let me know if you need anything!

    That old lady was adorable! The race was fun. The course was a bit boring, but for a new and super cheap race it was awesome! If you know the organizers tell them that I said that they did a great job with everything. I thought that the organization of the race was amazing, and I didn’t really miss any of the frills. I’d definitely do this one again.

    I’m sad I’ll miss the Race for Taylor, but I’m sure we’ll have many more races to run together!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      We’ll miss you Saturday too! But, you can do it next year hopefully and I will do it next year too (it’s one of my faves…). The Taylor course is MUCH better too.

      I agree on the race being really well organized on Saturday. I’ll have to give Jimmy and Steve your feedback the next time I see them (they both work at MHFC). The cheap price was also good… these things can get expensive!

  8. I love salads with fruit and nuts in them. They remind me so much of summer!

    I haven’t had a soda besides Zevia in awhile, but one time I went to a restaurant that had one of those new soda machines with touch screens. I got diet orange Coke mixed with diet vanilla Coke and it was just like an orange creamsicle!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I want to try one of those! Firehouse subs has one here and Clay’s tried it but I haven’t. Seems like an awesome machine :).

      Pretty much all salads remind me of summer. So tasty!

  9. allieksmith says:

    Mmmm, that salad!!! Great job on your 5k, it sounds like you did your best with the circumstances!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks- yeah that’s important to remember. A 25:29 is not my best time and not anything that I would write home about, but considering my aunt passed away and I’m dealing with a bunch of stuff with Clay’s job search and emotional stuff, I think I did good just to get out there and give it my all and keep my mind off stuff!

      Oh well, like I said no one much cares about time but me anyway! And I need to learn how not to care so much about it.

  10. Aww Amy I am so so sorry about your Aunt 😦 Your family is in my thoughts and prayers now! And yes wow, that woman is inspiring to say the least, I sincerely hope I am still up and moving around like she is at the age. Otherwise well, I feel very strongly that life is not worth living after a certain point, a point of being unable to do things for yourself anymore. Clearly this lady is far from that!
    I think you did great with the race, especially with the heat and other circumstances…. I am so bad at running in the heat, I cannot tolerate it at all!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, running in the heat is tough! It gets really hot here though, so I’m trying to get used to it. That’s just how it is in the SC summers. It definitely makes you a stronger runner though, that’s why my Fall race times will probably be so much better than these! And hopefully I can find some more peeps to train with, too *crosses fingers*

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