Sunday, May 10, 2009

Race Recap

My apologies for taking so long to write this. Thanks for caring enough to request the details!

Let me just end the suspense for you right now and tell you I didn't win the race. Now that we have that out of the way you can sit back and enjoy the rest of the post...

The weekend of the race was really hot. The race was on Sunday so I planned on doing my last long run on Friday but due to the heat and some other things I can't remember right now, it didn't happen. I don't think that made any difference at all so I'm glad I went to get a pedicure instead. The day before the race was so hot that when we got to the dog park, our dogs went to get a drink of water and then headed immediately for the shade. I was VERY. NERVOUS.

The race began at 8 and even though the bus stop area--where you go to load buses to take you to the starting point--was just a couple of miles from our house we drove. We left at 6:20 but still barely made it in time to get on one of the last buses which you would think would mean we wouldn't have to wait too long before the race began but if you thought that, you would be wrong. I hated that part. I spent most of the time sizing up the competition trying to find people who looked like they would be slower than me. Oh, and I discovered I left my little chippy widget that would time me in the car.* Let me just say that if you had been there you would have thought this 5k was an Olympic trial based on some of the people there and their elaborate pre-race routines. Seriously. I wish I had been faster because TOIAW ran with some of them and he said it was hilarious the way they would grab cups of water and throw them down and/or douse themselves like they were going for the gold. [I should note that TOIAW thinks you are 'weak' if you need fluids to get through a 3.2 mile run. I say if stopping for water when it's in the high 80's with 90% humidity makes me wrong, I don't want to be right.] So watching the 'hardcore' crowd was relaxing and helped take the edge off, thankfully.

FINALLY we lined up (TOIAW and I were together and I wanted to be much further back than I was but it was fun to begin together) and the race began! I ran the first mile pretty well. I turned around at the marker to see how many were behind me and I was more than pleased. Then there was a hill. Ugh. So I'm chugging up the hill singing TOIAW's cadence that goes 'little hill, no sweat--big hill, better yet.' I know, I know but it helped and it helps me with my breathing which I believe is at least part of the reason why they sing cadences in the military. Then, at the top of the hill there were a few spectators...and I saw two very pregnant women...and I held it together for about 30 seconds before I lost it. I really lost it. So many emotions and thoughts flooded my mind while the tears flooded my eyes. It took me about 10 minutes to pull it together (possibly longer but but I don't want to exaggerate my final time) but pull it together I did and although I both walked and cried the next 1.5 miles I finished in 47ish minutes. I was hoping for better--and I have had much better times even if you subtract the breakdown time--but I finished and I'm proud of that.

The most embarrassing moment came when I heard all this commotion behind me and I noticed the spectators were rising to their feet and clapping. "Why?" I thought. "It can't be. Seriously? How embarrassing," were my next three thoughts. In addition to the 5k race, there was also a 10 mile run and the lead runner was not far behind me. So I ran faster. Of course, he still beat me as did his friend. I was really self-conscious running in front of all the people at the finish line so I ran faster--so it would be over with faster--and at some point someone yelled something like, "Yay! You go girl!" which I have no doubt was meant to be sincere but it still embarrassed me.

TOIAW was waiting for at the finish line with water and a big hug. That's when I lost it again and sat down on the bank of the Potomac and had a good cry complete with statements like, "I'm supposed to be having a baby, not running a race," and the like.** After we made it back to the car--which was by no means a sure thing because it seemed like it was much farther away than I thought I could walk--we stopped by CVS where I proudly shopped while still wearing my race number.

All in all, it was a lot of fun and I would really like to do it again, soon. Who knew?!

*This actually turned out to be a great thing because TOIAW did wear his and last week he received an email with 'action shots' of him running and crossing the finish line. I saw what I looked like afterwards and I'm 100% positive I would not want to see any action shots of me.

**And even then there were still some 5kers just finishing so clearly I had nothing to worry about there.

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