I of course stayed up too late last night and then slept horrible all night. I think I woke up almost every hour. At one point I heard the TV downstairs and I jumped out of bed with this panic that I had over slept. I grabbed my phone (which is my alarm clock) and ran over to the bathroom and turned on the light. That’s when I realized it was 1:30 AM and not time for me to get up. I heard my dad up watching TV because he couldn’t sleep. I then tossed and turned waking up about every hour now worried I was either going to over sleep or that my alarm would wake up my boys. We were up visiting my parents this weekend so they were sleeping in the same room with me. I finally just get up at 5:40 AM since my alarm was going off in 5 min anyways. I tip toe into the bathroom and then over to my sister’s bedroom to get dressed. I go downstairs and start my coffee and get my bags. I’m out the door just after 6 AM to head to the race. It’s a 45-50 min drive over to the park. I get parked and grab my stuff and a water bottle and head off to find the registration table. It’s a small race so I’m not having to fight a ton of people or cars to get my race number and swag bag.
After a quick trip to the bathrooms, I head back to where I think the start is (I was right but it wasn’t screaming at you that “HERE IS THE START”). I find another girl that was wondering the same thing and we chat for a few minutes. I find out it’s her first 5k. So I ask her to take a picture for me so I don’t end up with a bad self portrait and I do the same for her. The weather was perfect. When I left the house is was 56 degrees. I think is was just a few degrees higher when I got there. By the time we ran the 5k I think it was mid 60’s but the humidity was tolerable and it was partly cloudy.
I finish my water and start walking and jumping around to warm up my legs. It’s a small group maybe 30 people that are running the 5k. The rest, maybe 40-50 are there for the triathlon, which was neat to watch. We line up and head off on the road but quickly are off on the trials. The course was not overly hilly but there several big ones. I went into this race not sure on how I would do. I have been struggling with feeling run down and that makes running hard. So instead of having unreasonable expectations, I decided that I wanted to run this at least faster than my first 5k which averaged out to about 15 min + miles. My second 5k was 13ish min miles. I figured I would run as much as I could and take walk breaks when i needed to and to not beat myself up if I was slower than I wanted to. I headed off and just ran without expectations really. We are off into the woods and pretty quickly we thin out so I can only see a few people in front and back of me. I am surprised when i see a 1 mile mark on the course (didn’t know if they would mark the course) and even more surprised when I look down and I’ve run a 12 min mile (I don’t have my watch so I don’t know the exact time). I was surprising myself and I was feeling pretty good. I carry on and know that I am about 1/2 way when i see the water station. The course was an out and back with a loop and one dog leg out. So I had hit the loop. I had to just be careful for the terrain and to keep an eye out for snakes. We are in the woods. Once I did the dog leg portion I hit the 2 mile mark. I ran that mile (which was steeper) in 13+ min mile. It was nice to know that I was 2/3 of the way done. For most of this I was following a girl who is about my size and we seemed to have the same pace of running and walking portions. She was starting to slow down and i caught up with her. I told her we have less than 10 min to go – meaning that I know we have run 3 or 4 min into the third mile and that if we stay at this pace we will be done in 10 min or less. She was thrilled. Turns out it was her first 5k and she had no idea how she would do nor was she wearing a watch. So we chatted and stayed together the rest of the way. Once we hit the road again we knew we were in the home stretch. The last turn had cars parked on it and the 4 of us close together all cheered that we were almost done. I finished in 39:46 min. About 20 sec slower than my 2nd and fastest 5k. So for having no expectations and thinking I would do badly (in my eyes), I think I did awesome. Got an after pic (by the same girl) next to the sign.
What you can’t see is how sweaty and nasty I am. We were standing around watching the tri folks start coming in from the bike portion. I was only going to hang out for a little bit and then go when they announce it was time for the 5k awards. So I stuck around. Good think I did – I won a 2nd place award for my age group. Who would have thought that would have happened. I was happily surprised. So here is my shirt and my award. So it turned out to be a great race. Proud of myself and all of that is what is keeping me going.