Today was THE race. As in, the one I signed up for over three months ago, and have spent the last 10 weeks training for.
Last week blew my expectations out of the water with a 35:11 finish. I was hoping to get below 35:00 today. How did I do? Well, keep reading, and you'll find out! ;-)
Anyway, I needed to pick up my bib, shirt, and (so-called) goody bag (turned out to be nothing but flyers =P) since I couldn't get there last night. I got to the school that was hosting the race around 7:30, picked up my stuff, and sent it home with my sister after she pinned my bib on me. Like it or not, there was no turning back now!
I knew this race was big, but compared
to the one I ran last weekend, it was HUGE! There were at least three
times the participants, plus they had a one miler before the 5K and
kids' races after.
This race implemented B-chip timing,
which meant the timing chip was attached to the bib. Awesome. I would
know my official time and didn't have to worry about a tag as well as a
After I was all set, I just tried to stay loose since excited nerves hit me about two days ago. The national anthem was sung around 8:05, just before the one miler started. The one miler was fun to watch. It was a lot of kids, and it was so ADORABLE!
Once the one-milers ended their race, it was time for the 5K racers to line up. Since our time didn't start until we crossed the mat, it really didn't matter where we were positioned. I kind of ended up in the middle of the pack. It was so packed at the start it was crazy! After we got started, it took me about 20-30 seconds to hit the start mat, due to the crowding. I didn't start my watch until I crossed the start mat, so I don't remember exactly how long it took me to get up there.
I hit the first mile in 10:43, which I have to admit was a little below what I was aiming for. I really thought I could get a sub 10:00 mile, but then I realized that this was only my second race, and my second in two weeks.
Right after the first mile marker, there was a water station (Nice!) and I had to walk through it. I'll eventually figure out how to "drink and run" while running on the road! ;-)
After that, my pace seemed to dip a little, but I kept going. I did have to take a few walk breaks, but I knew I could still finish under 35:00. Mile 2 was a blur, but I do remember the second water station. Mile 3 wasn't as much of a blur, but I do remember seeing the turn into the track where the race ended. However, I did not anticipate having to complete the race on 300 yards worth of track. =P
Best part: All the little kids who were holding out their hands to high-five the runners as we came in. Such an adorable moment. =)
I slowed down a little, but was able to sprint out the last few yards. My second 5K was in the books!
When I crossed the finish line, my clock time was 35:26. I then stopped my watch and it said 35:01. However, I knew that neither was my official time, since I didn't officially start until I crossed the mat.
About five minutes later, I got my official time: 34:56.11! BOOYAH!
Okay, I know that I only beat my goal by a few seconds, but considering I was doing this a week after running a 5K, and that it was only my second race ever, I was very happy with that time.
After the race, there was a ton of food. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and all sorts of other stuff. I knew I couldn't stomach any of it that early (I finished just after 9:00), so I got a sampler cup of Rita's cantaloupe ice (which was really good) and a cup of mango yogurt. I tried to eat a piece of a bagel, but I knew I couldn't after the first two bites.
This was another race that I would love to do again next year. Organization was top-notch for a local race, they had chip timing, and the atmosphere was amazing! I could do without the barbeque food at 9:00 in the morning, but that's just me.
I think I'm taking a week off of outdoor running, then who knows what the summer has in store! Once again, thank you all for the love and support!