What a Difference a Year Makes! – Okatoma River Run 5k


Saturday marked the last “scheduled” race on our calendar until this Fall and what a race it was! This year there were 38 walkers and 109 runners participating – lots of fast ones too!

The night before started out how so many race nights do. Late going to bed and then I couldn’t fall asleep right away because of nerves (see why here). Of course, we were running a little behind the next morning, but not nearly as bad as some race days. When I walked out the front door, Jason was already running up and down our street trying to warm up since it was obvious that we wouldn’t have time to when we got there. I decided that my warm up would probably have to be the trip from our vehicle to the table where we pick up our packets. (It was.) Adding to the stress excitement of the morning, that same gentleman who was at the Run for the Roses 5k in Prentiss (see my blog about that race here) and was announcing the whole time on a megaphone was there….on his megaphone again, lol. He certainly knows how to put me into high gear. There’s nothing like hearing how much time you don’t have to really get your heart rate going. I finally got lined up and ready to go with about a minute to spare. I didn’t get as close to the front as I had envisioned that I would be but it was good enough. One of my concerns was racing with my new Nike GPS watch. I think I must have looked at it five thousand times during the race! (I promise to do a review soon!)ย 

Looks like I'm doing some kind of strange march here.


The weather was really pleasant that morning, which was something we’d all been praying for (at least I know I had!). I started out a little faster than I should have but once I looked down and saw my pace, I reigned myself back in a bit because I knew I needed lots of energy until the end. This particular race course is no cake walk. It has lots of hills, some that are long, gradual ones that can wear you out if you aren’t ready for them. I actually felt like I handled the hills better that day than any other race that’s had hills before. I kept telling myself that my goals were this: 1. Finish 2. Beat my time from last year 3.Try and finish under 30 mins. I decided that if I could obtain even 2 of those goals, I could go home saying it had been a good race.

Lots of people passed me at first. I expected it but it still bothers me. I just kept telling myself to keep a steady pace and keep chugging along. By the time we were 2 km into it, I noticed that some of the people who had passed me early on were slowing down a little and now I was passing them. When I made it to the park, which was close to the half way point, I’d finally pulled away and didn’t have anyone immediately beside or behind me anymore (of course, I can’t be positive about the behind me part because I refused to look but I didn’t see anyone when I turned the curve, lol). I used that time to slow down for just a minute and take some deep breaths to get ready for the next really big hill that was waiting for us when we exited out of the park. I was dreading it but I knew that the sooner I could get up it, the sooner it would be behind me! Before I knew it, I was over the hill and on the last leg of the race. I was feeling a little tired but had no idea if I had someone gaining on me and because of that, I was afraid to slow down. I also was watching my time closely and knew that I had a good chance of finishing under 30 minutes. (In the back of my mind I was wondering if I’d made a mistake when I slowed down some in the park….)

Here I am coming up the last hill before reaching the finish line. (It seemed much higher at the time!)

As I turned on to the street and topped the hill, I saw the clock and it was still under 30. I saw my parents cheering, I saw Jason’s mouth yelling (couldn’t hear what because my music was too loud) while he was frantically trying to take pictures of me. It was going to be close. I ran as hard as I think I’ve ever run in my whole life. The clock seemed to be ticking away so fast!!! One last look up as I approached the finish line and I saw 29:58. That was all I needed to see as I ran under the clock. I threw my arms up in the air. I’d made it!!ย 

I have 2 pictures from that moment:

One from Jason here –

As you can see, Jason was a little too excited and missed me. Luckily, he did get the clock in the picture! ๐Ÿ™‚ I couldn't help but laugh at this one...had to post it!

One from my mom –

My mom did a great job of documenting everyone's finish that day!

Jason finished in 22:27 and won first place in his age group!

Jason running for the finish line!

Several members of our family participated that day.ย  Our son Tyler ran it in 28:01, Jason’s sister, Donna ran with a finish time of 31:02, his brother’s wife, Delana ran and finished in 27:45 (winning 1st in her age group too!) and his mom walked it in 43:37 (winning 1st in her age group!).ย 

Tyler finishing strong.

Donna approaching the finish line. (She's only been running a couple of months now!)

Jason's mom heading towards the finish line.

Click here for a complete list of results from the race, courtesy of the Mississippi Track Club. They always know how to put on a great race!

I was very happy that several in our family participated and lots of our friends did too.

Here's Jason with his sister, sister-in-law and mother after the race.

I was super excited that my parents were there to watch me!

My parents and me.

Jason with his 1st place trophy.

My sister-in-law, Delana with her 1st place trophy and me.

Tyler and me after the race. (He'd already changed out of his running clothes.)

Here I am with Cherie who (beat the socks off me) won 1st Place in our age group with a time of 26:20!

This is my friend, Lakeisha Barnes, who signed up this year as a runner in the race!! She has been on her own fitness journey in the last year and is one of the strongest, inspirational women I know!

After being a bundle of nerves and not sleeping much the night before, and running behind that morning, I have to say that this year’s race was a drastic improvement over last year’s. Not being in pain is the biggest thing I’m thankful for but I’m also grateful that I’m a little bit faster too..or maybe just a little less slow!

First goal: Finish – CHECK

Second goal: Beat my old time – CHECK

Third goal: Finish in under 30 – AlmostMy official race time was listed as 30:01, even though I initially thought it was under 30. It’s ok though and you want to know why? Because I won my FIRST TROPHY with that time anyway!!

Holding my trophy for 3rd Place in my age group.

Two out of 3, plus a trophy isn’t a bad day at all in my opinion!!

Last but not least, here’s a picture of the girl I beat on Saturday:

This is me finishing last year with an official time of 32:54.

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” – George Sheehan




P.S. Look who I ran into after the race, talk about my lucky day!


I was shopping for my mom a Mother's Day gift and Elvis just happened to walk in!


Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Family, Racing, Running

6 responses to “What a Difference a Year Makes! – Okatoma River Run 5k

  1. Julie

    YAY! That is my goal too – to run a 5K under 30 minutes. I have 2 this month (one is this Saturday). Once I hit under 30, I will be moving on to the 10K. Gotta keep my goals up! Thanks for giving all of us new runners some motivation to push on through!

  2. I am so happy for you!! What a great race recap! bummer about the “official time” but whatever, your picture clearly proves otherwise.

    Great job, as always! And I love the trophy!

  3. Kristyn G

    Congrats on the 30min mark! It was a really awesome feeling when I broke 30 minutes!! I’m figuring I won’t see times under 30 again until this fall! It’s just too hot now ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 5k

    Yay! What a great time!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s