Saturday morning, I got up at 7am and made a piece of peanut butter toast. I’m always really nervous race mornings for some reason… so I ended up only actually eating part of that toast and my mouth is always so dry when I’m nervous, so I started drinking tons of water! The race didn’t start til 9am so I had plenty of time to let it out if I needed to! I put the clothes on that I had laid out the night before and grabbed my bag that I had packed and got out the door and to the race around 8:15am.
I headed to the pre-registration packet pick up and took it back to my car and my mom and dad met me at my car. I handed my camera to my mom who said she would love to take pictures and we headed back into the festival to take a potty break and I jogged a bit and did some stretching. Then I saw my aunt and uncle and cousin and his wife! This is a record for me of most spectators at a race!! lol… usually I go to my races by myself! We started lining up and I was quickly aware that this was a record of the biggest race I’ve run in to date! I noticed this on my own, before the guy told us there were about 500 racers there that morning! I guess that was the largest turn out for this race up til now too.
Seeing that my mom was taking a picture, I quickly made a face! Also, a quick shout out to Running Diva Mom because that ladies skirt made me think of you! (Too bad it’s not pink!)
Me looking at all the people and getting more nervous
I lined up between the front of the pack and the middle of the pack just because I have the goal to run sub 25 (also part of the 100 day challenge) and the race wasn’t chip timed. See the lady in the white on my right? Her name is Cynthia and we talked as we were waiting for the gun to go off… she’s also running in the 5 mile race next weekend that I signed up for! She was really sweet and had a few tips for me on the race next weekend! Then the gun went off! **BOOM**
I took off and reminded myself not to start too fast, but ended up feeling like I started a little too slow, so I picked up the pace a little bit. About a half mile in, I saw a girl that usually beats me and decided that I would use her as my pacer, so I tried to run with her without making it weird lol… I actually ended up passing her and not seeing her for the rest of the race!
There were water stations about every kilometer I believe because there were 5 of them!! Another record!! Most water stations yet in a 5k! Another record (what is this, the fourth now?!) was the number of hills! They weren’t huge hills… but they were enough to notice! I felt really good the entire way, like I was strong and not pushing too hard, but just enough. My parents were yelling for me with about 800 meters left to go, and I tried to pick it up a little bit because I was close to the finish but my time was getting up there. Then when the finish line was in sight there was a really animated guy cheering for someone that was ahead of me. He was yelling and doing motions saying “Come on _______, you’re almost there! Pick up the pace!’ So I pretended like he was cheering for me and saying my name instead of the other person!
sprinted ran as hard as i could to the finish line and remembered to stop my ipod and watch almost right after I crossed the line. They both said 25:22 … so even though I didn’t run a sub 25, I still got a new PR!!! So I was super excited!! I knew that it wasn’t my correct time so that made me even more excited because I new I was faster that that even!! As we crossed the finish line we were put into a single file line that was hardly moving and I just wanted to hurry up and get thru the line so i could get some water and not feel like I was gonna die from my sprint hard run at the end! They took our little slip that we had pinned to us (it wasn’t actually a bib number) and then handed us an index card to fill out and put in our age group by male or female for the random draw prizes. I filled mine out and went to put it in the tin and noticed there were already 3 or 4 cards in there which means I didn’t place in my age group… but i was still excited about my time and having family members there to share the experience!
I went and grabbed some gatorade, a bottle of water, half an orange, and half a banana and talked to my family and stretched while we were waiting for the awards. Even though I dont win or place or anything like that, I like hanging out to see who actually did… I think its fun to see the faces of those who are better than me and who better watch their backs as I train more-and-more!! Only kidding… sort of!
Me with my parents (It was my mom’s birthday)
My Cousin and his Wife and my Aunt and Uncle
Some other pictures of us standing around talking… Me and my dad
Me talking to a guy I know… he pulled his hamstring midrace and didn’t finish in a time he would have liked to :(
Well, the awards started out with a whole bunch (another record of “most”) random draw prizes… I didn’t win anything, but it almost seemed like there were enough prizes for almost all the people who ran! (ok, maybe not quite, but there were a lot!) It was getting really cold (it was about 62 degrees and the sun had been replaced by nothing but clouds and wind). I’m just glad it was sunny for the race!! My aunt went and bought me a hot chocolate at one of the festival’s booths.
Then the guy announced that since there had been so many racers today, they were going to acknowledge the top 4 in each age group! Well my dad and Uncle kept saying “There ya go, you’ll still get acknowledged!” even though I kept telling them that I really didn’t think I placed still! He got to my age group (20-24) and announced the 4th place time and name, and it wasn’t me and then I started to realize that… “and 3rd place, with a time of 25:14, Zaneta (insert last name) of (insert town)!!” OH MY GOODNESS!!! MY PR WAS BETTER THAN I THOUGHT AND I PLACED!!! I’m pretty sure I couldn’t stop smiling!
Then, Cynthia (remember the lady at the beginning of the race?) came up to me and she had placed in her age group too!! Congrats Cynthia!! She was so fun! She kept hugging me and telling me how proud of me she was and that I did a great job… she made me smile even bigger than I already was! After one last hug, we parted saying we couldn’t wait to see each other next week at the Hospital 5 Mile Race!
After the awards ceremony, all my spectators/fans/loving family members and I walked around the festival eating and having a grand old time… the big thing at this festival is the corn so we had to have some yummy corn on the cob!!
My parents at the corn crossing lol… gotta love them! they’re so cute!
Me and my dad, my mom, and my aunt chowing down on corn!
All-in-all it was a great race experience and I will definitely be doing this one again next year! It was definitely a plus to have my family with me! It made it all the more fun and not so lonely!
**all the pictures were taken by my wonderful (birthday) mom, isn’t she great?!