Once again, I FINISHED!
For me, that's always a plus.
I woke up at 5:45am, got dressed, checked the weather (NO RAIN!), put my hair up in pigtails, strapped on my sneakers and headed to my friend Chris' for the Breast Cancer Awareness 5k race. He happens to live right across the street from the park where the 5k was being held, so it worked out wonderfully. I managed to enjoy half of a banana and kept my water bottle handy to hydrate before my run at 9:15 (See? I remembered this time!). We got to the park around 7:30 and I got my bib (yea 618!) and my t-shirt. Then we hung around until the men's race started at 8. Chris did fantastic and finished in under 30 minutes (I wish I could do that!). I was at the finish line cheering him on! It was fun to watch all of the guys coming across the line, and the crowd was amazing with their support. A lot of people had some strong finishes, pulling out a fast sprint right at the end. Awesome!
After the men's race they had a children's fun run and a 1 mile race. All of the kids were so cute! Some ran on their own and some ran with their parents, but they all crossed the finish line. Adorable! After the kids were done, the women lined up for our turn to race. Right before I went to line up, Kurt rode up on his bike! He had come to watch me run and cheer me on (plus get in some biking time for himself). It was a nice surprise!
I put myself about 3/4 of the way back in the line. I didn't want to be at the very end, but I didn't want to be too far up front because I knew I was going to be kind of slow. I managed to run a little over 1 mile before I had to slow down to a walk. I only allowed myself to walk for 90 seconds before jogging again and I kept that rhythm going up past mile 2. At mile 2 I ran into a woman who was sort of having a panic attack. It was her first 5k and she wasn't sure why her fingers seemed to be a little swollen. I assured her it was a normal thing because of the warm weather (Did I mention, NO RAIN!!!) and because of all of the running. We kept pace together and she told me how her daughters had talked her into doing he race as a warm up for the Warrior's Dash coming up and they had pretty much left her in the dust. I felt bad because I have totally been there. Not to the point where friends and family have left me in the dust (though they definitely could) but where it's my first race and I'm nervous, not sure of how much longer I can keep going, etc. So, I took it upon myself to be her cheerleader for the remaining mile or so.
I gave us goal markers to jog towards before we would walk again and advised her that the race course finished uphill (which has never made me more grateful to live on the steep hill of a street that I do) and she would want to take the bottom half of the hill in small, slower steps so she would have energy to get over the top. She told me that she had wanted to quit within the first mile and she could barely believe she had made it this far. I know that feeling all too well myself. As we got to the hill, I kept cheering her on and we made it all the way up. I shouted (because there was so much cheering going on near the finish line) that we could sprint to the finish line now and she told me to just go ahead. So, off I went- and man did I fly! I didn't realize I had that much energy left in my poor body, but I passed about 3 people on my way to the finish line! (I didn't look at the clock as I crossed, but apparently my time was 45:34, which isn't too bad considering I did go a little slower than intended. Still, a great time!) It took me a moment to be able to slow my legs down and once I did I realized that I was not really getting as much oxygen to my lungs as I would have liked (oxygen is overrated anyway, right?). The volunteers handed me a water and I weeble wobbled my way over to my dad, Chris and Kurt. I ended up doubled over for a few moments, trying to catch my breath and not pass out, but then the feeling passed and I was fine. To make my amazing finish even better, not only did my father take this action photo
(Please ignore the fact that the shirt is uber long on me and notice how fast I look! haha)
but, my friend Chris captured it all on video as well!
(He apologizes in advance for his finger being in the way and the cheering he was doing. I love it!)
I'm like lightening, right? Be impressed lol
All in all, it was one of my favorite races that I have ever had the chance to participate in. The crowd was amazing, people lined the course and cheered from their porches, etc. I made a new friend, got to be a cheerleader, had a positive attitude while running, and dug deep to finish fast. How could I NOT be proud of today?!