It's official! I'm a 5K finisher! Blew my goal time out of the water too (by nearly 5 minutes)!
As I wrote on Thursday, I signed up for this race on a whim. I thought that this was one of the craziest things I've ever done, but at the same time, I'm glad I did it!
My wake up wasn't super early (7:00), since the race wasn't until 9. Excited nerves hit me this morning, but I still managed to eat a bowl of Multi-Grain Peanut Butter Cherrios with skim milk (my usual pre-run fuel).
They didn't have packet pick-up yesterday, so I knew I would need time to get my stuff before the race. It turns out I was considered a pre-registered runner (despite registering a day and a half before), so I did get my shirt (see pic above) and a bag full of all sorts of stuff, most of it Army related, since this race was benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.
After I got my stuff, I ended up going back to my house to drop it off, since there was no gear check or anything (didn't think there would be), so that was my warm-up walk.
Once I got back, I was just mingling until about 8:50, when we lined up. There was no specific order for faster/slower runners, but they did tell those who were walking the whole thing to go toward the back. Still ended up kind of close to the start though, since it was kind of a small race:
(Sorry for the bad quality. This one was on my cell phone and its crappy camera =P)
Next thing I knew, the national anthem was sung and we were off!
I crossed the start line after about 15 seconds, and was off. The course was flat and fast through residential areas. There were a few locals around to cheer us on, which was awesome! =)
There were no mile markers, but there were volunteers from the Keansburg High School baseball and softball teams there holding up signs where we needed to turn. The turnaround was down by the boardwalk and surprisingly, there was a water station (Awesome!). I hit that point just short of 18:00, and it was then I knew I would finish under 40:00.
I did have to take a few walk breaks, but I ran most of the race, and next thing I knew, the high school was back in sight, and it was less than a half mile to the finish line. I finished as strong as I started, and crossed the finish line at 35:11, just less than 5:00 less than my goal time!
After the race, they had water right at the finish (Score!) and all sorts of food in the school cafeteria. All I had was a cinnamon raisin bagel with some cream cheese. I wasn't about to go for pasta or subs at 9:45 in the morning (and didn't think my stomach would enjoy it either).
I have to say that this was an awesome race. It was well organized, lots of support, and it was for a good cause! There were even some soldiers there, which made it even more awesome. I can already say I will be running this again next year!
Thank you to everyone for your love, support, and encouragement over the last two months! It meant a lot! I can't wait to do my second 5K next Saturday (This one being the one I originally signed up for)!