The Green Girl Runs For a Pumpkin

This morning, I ran in The Pumpkin 5k run/walk at Legg Lake at Whittier Narrows Park.

I'm really familiar with this park because when I first started doing the Cool Running Couch-to-5k Running Plan, I ran around this park multiple times each week with my friend from college. Unfortunately, knee problems prevented her from completing the program with me.

When I picked up my bib at the registration table, they handed me a plastic pumpkin as my goodie bag. I took the pumpkin back to my car and pinned my number on. It was a chilly morning so I threw on my running jacket for warmth until it got closer to the race starting time.

I stretched and walked around to warm up my muscles. 93.1 Jack FM had a booth set up and was playing upbeat music.

This was a small race - there were 72 runners and walkers participating in the 5k. We assembled around the Start Line sign. I headed to the back of the pack out of habit. The director came over with a megaphone and instructed us all to turn around - we were facing the wrong way. I looked in front of me and there was only one person. I couldn't believe I was going to start a race second in line!

A gun went off and we started running. Within seconds, almost everyone had sprinted past me. I wanted to really push myself today so I was running outside of my comfort zone from the start.

When I hit the first mile marker, I was at 10:47:25. I felt good but I was breathing really hard. I started getting tired about halfway through the second mile. I pushed myself as hard as I could and made it to mile two in 11:07:44. I kept telling myself I only had another mile to go but I was rapidly becoming more and more tired. It took me 13:22:59 to get to the third mile. I did the 0.1 miles in 02:05:00. My official time was 35:12. No PR for me today.

At the finish line, they had bananas and oranges. Oranges are my absolute favorite post-run food. I always crave something sweet when I'm done with a run.

After I ate a few orange wedges, I got in line to get my finisher's pumpkin.

There were two boys in the back of a pick-up truck handing the pumpkins out. I politely asked for a pumpkin and the one boy marked my bib with a red permanent marker while the other boy tried to reach into the big box for my pumpkin. The cardboard side folded in and he fell in. He pulled himself out and commented to no one in particular that he had fallen in. I continued to wait patiently. The boy stood there casually and looked around. I realized he had forgotten all about my pumpkin so I asked him again. He shook his head in disbelief and gave me a pumpkin.

After the 1k Kids Fun Run with Batman was over, they began giving out prizes for the best costumes. A bride and groom won for best (and only) couples costume. They had pretty cool prizes, too. They gave away running accessories from Nathan Sports.

The top finishers in each age division got ceramic Halloween candy holders and mugs. They were really cute.


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