This week, I participated in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge along with a group of other runners from my company. The race is a little more than a 5K–3.5 miles, to be exact–around the lake in Central Park.
I ran the Corporate Challenge last year, before I got bit by the running-in-races bug, so I was eager to see how (or if) the training I’d done for my half marathon throughout the winter would affect my race this year.
…And, apparently, I subconsciously thought my training was going to make me SUPERHUMAN. So much so that when I registered for this race (at 8:15 a.m., right when it opened, in my defense), I accidentally cut ten. whole. minutes. off my expected finish time…which, in a 5K is the difference between an Olympian and oh, ME.
Yeah, that was an oops. I knew when my bib was the only red one in my whole company that I was in for it. And while I considered telling my coworkers that I normally run three-minute miles but was returning from an injury, I figured such a fiblet might be just a tad unwise. So I decided to grin, bear it…and hopefully not get trampled.
The evening arrived, overcast but not raining–an ideal temperature, for sure, since I was hoping it wouldn’t be obnoxiously hot. But the moisture in the air from the potential rain made it crazy humid–almost like trying to breathe in a sauna. Ideal for running, no? And for an asthmatic like me, let’s not even talk about the horrific pollen situation that results from running around a tree- and flower-lined lake. HOT MESS.
Whaaaat?! That was pretty much my reaction upon seeing this time. Not only is it a PR (well, I mean, I’ve only done two 5Ks…but it was a PR over last year!), but I also shaved four whole minutes off my time from 2011. Woohoo! This all in spite of the fact that my legs felt like lead for the first mile and I am convinced that they somehow add manmade hills to Central Park for the sole purpose of making me want to die.
The toughest thing about the race for me was having to run pretty much all-out from the moment the gun went off until the moment I crossed the finish line. Since a 5K is so comparatively short, I didn’t get to find my stride slow and steady the way I did in the half–never did I ever think I’d prefer crazy long distance running!
I wound up finishing third overall from my company, and second of the women. And after my celebratory banana, I promptly went home, watched Around the World in 80 Plates, and collapsed. Wild life!
Oh, and conveniently, I received a sample of Clif Builder’s 20g Protein Bar the week before the Corporate Challenge. Perfect to try as some pre-race fuel, since there was no way I was eating dinner before the 7 pm start time. Crunchy, sweet, filling, and delicious!
I’ve also been sampling the new LUNA Fiber bars over the past few weeks. They come in Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter Strawberry, and Vanilla Blueberry, and they’re designed as a between-meals snack that also packs lots of great nutrients (calcium, folic acid, and iron, anyone?). But my favorite part? A portion of the sales goes to the Clif Bar Family Foundation, which contributes to the Breast Cancer Fund as one of its primary organizations. That’s definitely close to my heart.
I’d be hard-pressed to tell you which flavor is my favorite. The Vanilla Blueberry is bright, sweet, and fruity; the Peanut Butter Strawberry is hearty and has great peanut butter flavor; and the Chocolate Raspberry perfectly pairs the tangy fruit with deeper chocolate undertones. They all pack a major taste punch for only 110-120 calories!
Disclosure: I received a Clif Builder’s 20g Protein Bar and samples of Luna Fiber bars for review purposes. All opinions are my own.