Since I am a Sweat Pink Ambassador for Fit Approach, I had registered for the EMPOWER 5K race all the way back in April. Needless to say, I had been looking forward to this race for quite some time! It was held at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA across the bay from San Francisco. Guess what was right next door? The Rosie the Riveter Museum! She is the ultimate symbol of empowerment and was the mascot for the race!
This was my first time running since the Peach Festival 5k three weeks ago. I took a break due to shin splint issues in my right leg. I was nervous it might flare up again but overall, I was so ready to get back to running! On Friday, the night before the event, I put together my Flat Christa!
I slipped into bed at 9 P.M. with my alarm set for 4 A.M.. I had a long drive ahead of me to be there at 7 for bib packet pickup. On Saturday, I started my morning with coffee and getting dressed. I hit the road at 5 and it was an easy, traffic-free drive to the event!
As I was driving, I kept checking the dashboard to see the temperature slowly dropping as I got closer and closer. I went from 75 degrees at home to 60 degrees by the bay! It was foggy and windy too so I was definitely freezing in my pink tank top.
I should’ve known better since I’ve been to the bay area countless times. It may have been fate though because I was standing looking out at the water and a woman asked “Aren’t you cold?” I told her that yes, in fact, I was freezing and we laughed. She said that she’d also shown up in a tank top but luckily for her, she’d brought long sleeves in her car. This woman was Tara (follow her on Instagram: @medicineandmarathons) who is in SF for a short while for med school! Yes, that’s right, she’s going to be a doctor soon. How impressive is that? I’m also blown away by the fact that she’s doing all of that and still running races and keeping a healthy lifestyle.
We bonded over being cold, took some photos, and got to know each other while we waited to run. She is a really sweet person! When it was time to line up, I followed her to the start and she planted herself right in the front. I had to tell her “Well…I’m going further back because I’m not this fast!” We laughed and I headed to the middle where I belonged. I always love the starting line because everyone has that nervous or excited energy buzzing through them. We’re all stretching, moving, shaking out, ready to go! We can’t be still. I love it.
We finally heard the countdown and we were off! I started very slowly just to feel out my shin and make sure I didn’t overdo it. The course was gorgeous. We ran all along the water and there were boatyards and beautiful parks. I wish I could run on that path every day!
My first mile was a little under 12 minutes so I was fairly pleased with that time.
I kicked it up a little bit with each mile after that for negative splits. I did have to take several walking breaks but I was fine with it. I was just so happy to be running again and I kept waiting for my shin to hurt but it didn’t.
I came around the final corner and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face!
I was handed this beautiful Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wrap as a finisher’s prize.
“Sweat. Run. Empower.” Could there be a more perfect quote for me? That could be the Sweating Awesome motto. Working hard, exercising, and motivating others to get healthy is why I started this blog! I think this wrap will hold a special place with me always. My second finisher’s prize came in the form of the cutest pancake ever.
I wandered around a while, took a lot of photos, watched people crossing the finish line, and then headed into the Pavilion to check my official results. It wasn’t my best race but considering I hadn’t run in 3 weeks, I was feeling really good about my time!
After seeing that, I headed upstairs to browse the vendor booths. As I walked about, I had a few different ladies ask me if I was going to yoga. I had totally forgotten that my race registration included access to a Flex and Flow yoga class! I changed my clothes, found Tara, and we grabbed some spots right in front.
The class was intense with some challenging moves but I felt so relaxed, stretched, and refreshed afterward! It was pretty amazing getting to do yoga with the women of Fit Approach! If you follow them, they do yoga all over the place and it was so cool to see that in person!
I don’t think my words can adequately express what a wonderful race this was. The feeling of empowerment seeing females supporting each other, the cool ocean air, the beautiful course, the feeling of doing something I love after taking a long break. These feelings are priceless and this event was simply amazing!