2015 8K River Day

This past Saturday, Mackenzie and I ran the 2015 8K River Day race at Grace Episcopal Day School.  I was unable to run it last year but heard lots of good things about the event, so I was excited to add it to my calendar this year.  It’s super close to my house (I left the house 45 minutes before gun time!) and I love running down River Road in Orange Park, it’s beautiful.

river road orange parkfrom a training run in 2013, still the same pretty view though

I’m not exactly the smartest runner out there.  I didn’t think to check the weather in advance, so I was a bit surprised when Adam told me that it was supposed to be cold for the race Saturday morning.  I kind of just assumed it would be on the warmer side.  Imagine my surprise when a cold front came through and brought freezing temperatures with it.  Oops!

So Friday night, as the boys headed out to go camping, Mackenzie and I went to dinner with the grandparents and then to Target. Now that I knew it was going to be a chilly morning, I was worried about keeping her warm in the stroller, especially since we’d be running right along the water.  I’d planned to buy her some fleece footy pajamas since I assumed she’d just be riding in the stroller.  She insisted that she was running too and that she needed running pants and a jacket and a “headbandaid” (translation: a headband like mommy runs in).

kenz ready to run 8k river dayI’m jealous of her capri’s, why don’t they come in my size?!

I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of running five miles while pushing the stroller, given my current fitness level and complete lack of training while pushing a stroller, but it does have it’s perks.  I’m a Florida girl, which means I freeze any time the temperatures dip below 60 degrees.  It was really nice to be able to keep my warm jacket on until just before we started to run, when I stashed it in the basket on the stroller.  I loved having my own water bottle with me too.  And the company was pretty awesome.  And adorable.

keeping warm in jogging strollerWho says you can’t swaddle a 3-year-old?!

Since I was running with a stroller, I lined up in the very back.  Holy frustrating.  I kind of don’t understand why race directors ask that stroller runners line up in the back.  Why not let us line up according to our pace?  I guess I can kind of understand the concern that you’ll run into other runners with the front wheel, but I’d think that’s less likely to happen when you’re around others running your same pace.

I love that there are so many walkers out at races (I love my walk breaks!), I promise you I do, but it was beyond frustrating trying to maneuver around them while pushing 35-pounds of kid in a stroller.  Totally not their fault, but still annoying.

8k river day

Since it was a pretty small race, it didn’t take long for the crowd to thin out and for me to settle into a comfortable pace where I wasn’t weaving in and out.  I didn’t push the pace at all, I just ran what felt comfortable and chatted with Mackenzie.

Sounds sweet, right?  The chatting went kind of like this:

Me:  Oh look Kenz, do you see the birds out there flying over the water?
Kenz:  Mommy, those other people are passing us!  Run faster!!   Why are you walking?

Me:  Hey, keep an eye out for Mr. Keith.  Mrs. Jenn said he’s here running today too.
Kenz (for about 20 minutes, to every guy we passed):  Hey man, are you Mr. Keith?  Mommy, that’s not him.  Where is he??  MISTER KEITH!!!

Kenz:  Mommy, turn on my music.  I want to sing “Let it Go”.  Make it louder.  MOMMY DON’T SING!!!

She is a handful and a half, but she is so darn cute that she gets away with it.

The course was really nice.  There were three water stops and cops keeping cars off of the road.  It definitely wasn’t over crowded, but there were always several runners close by, which definitely helps me out mentally.  I usually have my earbuds in for races, but since I had Mackenzie with me this time, I didn’t.  It was nice not wearing them.  There were two other moms running with strollers and each time we passed each other, we shared a few encouraging words.  I had two guys compliment me on running with the stroller too.  I enjoyed talking with everyone and it definitely made the miles pass quicker.

8k river day finisherShe’s my favorite running buddy.  Even when she’s not so nice to me!

Our official finish time was 53:38, for a pace of 10:43. According to my Garmin, we ran 4.9 miles in 53:26, for a pace of 10:55.  (You can see the details on Strava.)

After we finished, we hung around for a few minutes to cheer for Keith as he finished.  We chatted for a few minutes, then I took Kenz over to the playground so she could run around and burn off some energy.  I’d planned to let her run in the kids race (they were supposed to have a kids dash) but maybe we missed it?  The only other run was a 1-miler, which was too long for her little legs.

Overall, a very fun race and definitely one I’ll put on my race calendar again next year!

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5 thoughts on “2015 8K River Day”

  1. I had no idea they allowed strollers! My husband and I would have run it this year. We try to find the races that allow strollers since it is the only way we can run together. I loved the race last year. It was small so you had room to run, but the atmosphere didn’t feel like a small race.
    Angie recently posted…That time I ran a marathon and my legs hated me for itMy Profile

    1. They do! All of the Ultimate Racing ones do too! I really liked this one too, River Road is one of my favorite places to run. We’re doing the Run Rabbit Run 10K in April and I’ll probably be pushing Mackenzie for it too.

  2. Good to know! I will have to check out their race schedule again. I am doing the Navy Run which is the same day as Run Rabbit Run, but it is on my list for next year. The area looks gorgeous, and I like to find all the 10Ks I can.
    Angie recently posted…That time I ran a marathon and my legs hated me for itMy Profile

  3. I always break the “line up in the back” rule when I have my stroller with me. Especially if I am running with both boys ,because it is REALLY hard to navigate a double stroller around people. I just line up a little slower than my normal pace and call it good. The only time I’ve ever had trouble pushing a stroller in a race was the 2012 Holiday lights 5k, or whatever the san marco one was called. SO crowded. I had multiple people run into ME while trying to cut in front of my stroller, assuming I wasn’t going very fast.

    1. It’s frustrating that they assume stroller = slow. I pass a lot of runners in my neighborhood when I’m running with it. I get the safety thing, but it seems to me it’s less safe to have us line up in the back, where we have the potential to run over people! :) I’ll probably break the “line up in the back” rule next time I race with Kenz too.

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