The other week Jess wondered if my plan was to do a 5K a month because that’s how it’s worked out in the past couple of months. That was never my original plan, but it’s definitely something that could keep me motivated.

I did the first annual See Spot Run 5K this past Sunday, although it turned out to be a 6.4K for me.

The See Spot Run 5K was put together to benefit the APS of Durham. Dogs were all over the place, all of them as friendly as could be. Some of them ran in the 5K while others settled on the one-mile fun run.

I felt good when I got to the run site despite sleeping less than six hours. I much prefer morning runs as it’s not as hot out and it allows me to go home and relax for the rest of the day.

My goal was to run at a 8:30 pace, which seemed doable based on my recent runs. I got off to a good start and then settled in, pushing myself when the voice in my ear told me that I was a little slower than the pace that I had set.

At around the 2-mile mark, I was still feeling good, knowing that I only had a mile left. So I the mile. The exact same mile that I had already run. Whether it was poor course marking or just stupidity on my part, I ran a one-mile loop twice. Luckily, I went the right way the second time around, but by that point, I had only done 3 miles and still had a mile to go. It’s not that I can’t run four miles comfortably, it’s that mentally I was only prepared to do just over 3 miles, and I was pushing a 3-mile pace. So when my phone coach told me that I had hit 3 miles, and I knew that I was nowhere near the finish line, I immediately started to slow my pace. It turns out that I was doing 8 minutes per mile, 30 seconds faster than my original intentions. Truthfully, I had very little to give during that last mile.

I finished at around 33 minutes. A pretty bad official time for a 5K, but a good time for a four miler.

When I crossed the finish line, I overheard people talking about the course maybe being a little shorter than 3.1 miles. I told them that I logged it as 4 miles, and they were confused. I immediately knew that doing the loop twice is what added the extra mile and said that it could’ve been my fault. The event coordinator was apologetic and said that next year they’d make sure to mark it better.

After resting for a bit, Jess and Smith joined me for the one-mile fun run. I was excited to run with Jess and the dog, especially Jess, who is not a runner by any means. Unfortunately, my legs were shot, and I couldn’t get them moving enough to keep up with her. So I ended up walking a half mile while she ran the entire mile. I’m really proud of her for doing it because I know she hates running. And I’m proud of Smith because I’m sure he pulled her the majority of the time.

When I finished the fun run, the event coordinator asked me if that was a mile. I told her that I don’t know because I only did about half of it. She laughed and said, “well you got your extra mile in for the day so I can’t blame you.”

Smith made a bunch of new friends on Saturday. He especially loved the massage lady who gave him a nice back rub. He got along with every dog he came across and was spoiled with treats.

There were no prizes for runners, just a post-run raffle. I ended up winning a $20 gift card to The Spotted Dog, which is a dog-friendly restaurant. When they called my bib number, the gentleman behind me said, “he deserves it, he did an extra mile.” That made me feel good. Who knows, maybe the event coordinator felt bad, and the drawing wasn’t so random after all.

Overall, it was a great event and a good warm-up for this Sunday when I once again run in the Hurricanes 5K. Last year’s Hurricanes 5K was my first ever 5K event, and I’m excited to do it again. After the See Spot Run 5K, I know that I can push myself to finish this 25 minutes or less, which seemed nearly impossible a year ago.

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