It’s been a few days since I’ve had a chance to sit down and blog, mainly because things have been pretty busy around here. We had another 5k race on Saturday, March 26 which was the Doctor’s Day Dash (I’ll come back to that in a moment), Sunday was my oldest son’s 17th birthday, dentist and doctor’s appointments abound this week , AND the weather cooled off. ( Yay!! Thank you, Lord!!)
Saturday was the Doctor’s Day Dash at the Longleaf Trace Gateway at USM. There was a pretty large turnout for it, which we expected since it was free, unless you didn’t pre-register and then it was only $5.00 to run or walk in it. I thought it was a really well organized race and the weather, compared to the race the weekend before, was much more tolerable. Even though we had planned to get there early enough to warm up for a few minutes, we were running late. Our warm up ended up being us trekking through the parking lot as quickly as possible to go get our race packets, take them back to the vehicle and go to the bathroom, of course.
The bathroom seemed to be the biggest challenge on this day! The line was a mile long and some brave girls were even sneaking over to the men’s room. The countdown for the race was down to about 2 mins or less and there I stood with about 5 ladies in front of me. Why oh why was I thinking that 5 women could all go to bathroom in 2 mins or less?? Jason finally convinced me to try the men’s bathroom, but, as my luck would have it, it was occupied too by women. I looked back over at the ladies room. With about a minute or less to go before the race started, low and behold the bathroom had cleared out (apparently they had given up on it, as I should have)! I made a mad dash from the bathroom and there was about 20 seconds left before the gun fired. With my heart pounding, I feverishly wiggled my way through the crowd to get closer to the front, stuck my ear buds in and pressed play on my Ipod just in time. That’s not the best way to begin a race, by the way. 🙂
Besides the awful start, I really felt good while I was running, once I finally settled down and was able to get to a good pace. I don’t usually start near the front but gave it a try because Jason had suggested it was much easier than using so much energy passing people at the beginning. He was right! I felt only a little fatigued around the 2 mile mark but after allowing myself a few seconds to “get it together”, I was ok again and feeling strong. As I approached the finish line, for some reason I had decided my time was going to be slower than usual. I don’t have a clue why I was thinking that…maybe just not getting my hopes up? I hadn’t even looked at my time on my Ipod, just my pace. I was only about 100 meters or less away and I glanced up at the numbers on the clock that I had been dreading to see. I couldn’t believe it. Surely I was hallucinating? I looked over again….it had the number 31 at the beginning!!! Not 32 or 33…Thirty one!! My unofficial time was 31:08. Fastest ever. Now, for you really super fast runners that are reading this, I know you’d probably choke on your sports beans if your time was ever this “slow”. For me….the person that considered getting a tshirt that says, “This is my race pace!”, it was a huge deal! In the race the weekend before, I had set another PR,coming in at 32:04, even though the actual race results were jumbled and it shows me coming in behind Jason at slower times. (He was behind me that day, for once in history, only because he was pushing Zach and Zoe and I’m pretty sure he was still holding back.)
I really thought that it would be awhile before I could surpass my time of 32:04. He kept saying for me to try and start closer to the front and try to aim for 31:59. So, that’s what I did and I couldn’t believe it. I’m so thankful to have Jason to encourage me, give me a high five when we meet each other in passing during our races (He’s always the one on his way back and I’m on my way to the turn around!) and cheer me on at the finish line! Oh, and he set a PR that day too by running it 22:30 *unofficially* AND won 3rd in his age group!!
Overall, it was a really great day. I didn’t win any prizes or medals but sometimes the best prize is accomplishing something that you thought you couldn’t and running into the arms of the people that you love. I did both.