Monday, April 15, 2013

The Schwartz's vs the Fairway 5k 2013

Saturday, Chris and I did the inaugural Fairway 5K that is now apart of the FedEx St. Jude Classic Golf Tournament.  (Even though the golf tournament isn't until June.)  I know I haven't run too many  races, only my first 5K ever that was apart of the Memphis Marathon Weekend, the Zoom through the Zoo, the Celebrate Munford, and the Color Run.  But this 5k was my FAVORITE to date.  I had the best time!  And since this was the first one, I want to set a goal to do it every year while I live in the Memphis area, pregnant, new baby, walk it, run it; I don't care.  It was that enjoyable.  First off, let me admit that the reason I signed up for this race: awesome swag.  As I was looking over the email advertising it, it said my favorite thing "finisher medal".  Now, I'm at the point in running where I do feel like finisher medals for 5Ks are a little silly, for me personally.  But that's because now I run 3 miles effortlessly most days (not all days, some days it can really suck.)  However, I can still remember back to my first 5K, coming across the finish line and someone handing me that finishers medal.  It hangs in my room on the mirror so I can see it every morning.  And it means something to me.  I had never run 3 miles in my life before that day.  I trained rigorously for 9 weeks doing C25K and I am proud of that medal.  To me it signifies all the doubt I overcame to achieve what I didn't think was possible for me.  Most 5Ks don't do finishers medals which makes that first medal even more special to me.  So when I saw this race had one, and the race was far enough out that Chris could do the whole 9 weeks of C25K I really pushed him to sign us up for it.  I wanted a new pair of medals that we earned together, side by side.  Plus the other race swag was awesome.  We got a long sleeve tech tee (not sure how very tech it is but it is a nice soft shirt), and a one day pass to the golf tournament, and it boasted of a post race party.  So I was sold on this race!  

Now as life does, it got in the way of Chris's training.  He was not going to be as far along in the program this time as he was at the St. Jude 5k in 2010.  And I got a little worried about it.  Chris and I have never run together.  We always split up at the different events we do for various reasons, at the first I was better prepared, and the zoo Chris's leg hurt so he turned early and only did the 1 mile fun run, at the Color Run we were with different groups of friends.  I was determined to run this race with him but I was really nervous about how to support him.  So I asked him at least 3 or 4 times in the week leading up to the race what he wanted me to do to encourage him.  I never really got a good answer.  So I just figured I'd do for him what my friends do for me: talk, a lot.  We looked up his old time and I knew we had to beat 39:59.  So I was hoping that between walking and running we could pull of a 12 min/mile pace.

The morning of the race was gorgeous!  A little chilly while standing around which makes for perfect running temperatures.  My sister and her husband were wonderful enough to watch the kids for us and perfectly located.  We were able to walk across the street to the starting line.  How lucky is that!  
starting line self portrait

The race itself was such a beautiful course.  It started on some hole on the TCP Southwind course, not sure which number hole but it was by the driving range.  Then it winded through the gorgeous neighborhood of Southwind for 2 miles with all their huge fancy houses, and perfectly manicured lawns.  Plenty of eye candy for me.  The course was nicely shaded, a few neighbors were outside sipping coffee.  It wasn't too hilly, but wasn't so flat and straight that it was boring.  Then we turned and finished the last half a mile or so on the golf course running on the cart path and finishing up at the 18th hole.  It was such pretty scenery!  Chris did an amazing job!  I get starting line claustrophobia and generally rabbit out of the starting line as quickly as possible to find a nice running hole and then let those who can actually maintain that speed work around me.  And Chris stuck by me the whole way through that and held on to about a 10 min/mile pace for the first .6 miles.  That was the furthest he's run constantly and he did a great job.  Then we walked for about 2 minutes and ran to the mile marker. He really did a great job!  I know he was only at maybe 3 minute run intervals on his training program and we always ran for longer than that and took shorter walk breaks then what week of C25K he was on.  So proud of him!  Coming down that last quarter of a mile stretch he was running a 9 minute pace. He may not want me putting this up on the blog, but afterwards he said, "is it normal to have to hold back tears coming up to the finishing line".  I think it depends on the race.  Finishing my first 5K when we made the turn and I saw Autozone Park I seriously almost cried I was so proud of myself.  I had so many emotions and it was just welling up.  Then when I did the Celebrate Munford and I realized I was going to PR and hit my goal of coming in under 30 minutes, I was so tired, and hot, and had worked so hard I again almost started welling up.  So I think the fact that he had that surge of emotions just shows how hard he worked during that race.  I pushed him hard.  I lied to him about how much father we had to run ("let's just run for 1 more minute" and I'd really make him run for 2, or "let's just run another .2 of a mile" and I'd make him run for .3).  He really pushed him self harder than any of his training runs that day.  And he earned that PR time!  He shaved 2 minutes off his 5K time, which is quite substantial for a short distance run in my opinion.  

And we were rewarded handsomely for our efforts!  The medal is awesome, it looks like a golf ball and is pretty big.  The post race party was great.  The food selection was awesome, tons of fruit, powerade, water, Smoothie King smoothies (very yummy strawberry banana with vanilla and soy protein), and hot Dominos pizza.  For others they also had beer, bloody Mary's and coffee.  I'm telling you it was a great post race party.  =)

So like I said, between the swag, pretty course, but most definitely because I ran it with Chris: this was my favorite 5K ever!  I can't wait to do it again next year.  And who knows, as Chris gets better and eventually faster than me, perhaps we'll make it a tradition to always run this one side by side.
Finish line photo

Official Results:
Natalie Schwartz: #428/707 finishers, 37:56.26 (12:14 min/mile pace)
Chris Schwartz: #429/707 finishers, 37:56.38 (12:14 min/mile pace) AND A NEW PERSONAL RECORD!


  1. So fun!! This sounds like a race worth the travel, let's say from... portland!

    I'm glad you're getting in some practice bc I'm going to NEED your coaching on Sat. Only, now I know you're going to lie to me. You're going to be the death of me.