Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Free to Breathe 5K

Last weekend I ran the Free to Breathe 5K in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  About a year and a half ago my grandma died of lung cancer.  She came to visit me in early December of 2011, just after Little J was born to help out while E was out of town for work.  She died just over 3 months later.  Everything progressed very quickly, and needless to say, it was really hard on my family.  My mom found this event in Milwaukee that happened to fall close to her little sister's 50th birthday.  My Aunt Kecka is a runner, so this seemed like a great way for our family to both celebrate her birthday and honor her mom.  In total there were 19 of us who were able to participate including E, the girls and me.

The full group!
Both E and I had planned to run the 5K, but he wasn't feeling the best and has a big week coming up at work, so he decided to do the walk.  I talked to Kecka on Friday night about what pace she was planning to run.  She said 9 minute miles.  I told her I was hoping to run closer to 8:30, so she said we could try to run it together.

I'll back up a bit here, and say I had a minor melt down on Wednesday night when I ran a 29:30 5K time, much slower than I had been running.  Luckily I have an amazing husband and friends who supported and encouraged me that Saturday would be better.

Back to the race.  Kecka and I started out together, and fought our way through the crowd at the start.  At the first half mile we were around 8:45, which felt pretty good.  Each half mile, Kecka ran a little faster, and at 1.5 miles she had the pace down to 8:18.  After a rough week training, and knowing that was faster than I'd ever finished 3.1, I let her go ahead.  My uncle Mike was standing around the 2 mile mark cheering us on, which was a big boost for me.  The last 1.1 miles were right along Lake Michigan.  It was really pretty, even though it was a little cold and windy.  I was still running at a good pace at 2.5 miles, so I picked up my speed a little, and when the finish line was in sight I ran as fast as I could.

3 Generations: My mom, Miss and and me!

The official time for the race had my at 26:38, a personal best itself, but the timing started everyone at the same time, not when I actually crossed the start line.  My timing of the race was 25:59!  When E asked me what time would make me ecstatic on Friday I said low 26s, so breaking 26 was absolutely amazing for me. I guess all those early mornings this summer paid off!  Kecka finished well in front of me, and finished 2nd in her age group!  

Overall I was really happy that we did this event as a family, and I ended up with a PR too!


  1. woo hoo! Nice race and a good reason to run the race too. :)

    1. Thanks, Katie! I hope your race goes well this weekend!