Last Friday was the night I've been anxiously awaiting for several months. I spent all day randomly yelling out, "I'M NERVOUS!" Earlier in the year, my goal was to run the race in about 30 minutes, but when winter hit and my stamina took a nosedive, I considered not running at all.
On Friday, my tentative goal was to run the whole thing without stopping. I've never run for that long before (I think my previous record is 27:30), and the two times before when I'd practiced the route, I wasn't able to finish without multiple walking breaks. Long story short: I did it!!!!!!!!!!
I felt really good until just after mile 2, when it really started to hurt. Before that point, it wasn't bad; I was even commentating the entire race in a southern accent that I pick up whenever I spend time with my family (I don't know why, none of us are from the south). Once you hit 2 miles, the course is a steady uphill, and I was getting crabby. Thankfully, I was running with my friends Simone and Maddie, who encouraged me through the entire race and chatted at me about donkeys and horses while I huffed along. There were definitely moments when I thought I wouldn't make it. When a volunteer shouted out, "Just a quarter mile left!" and I spotted the finish line in the distance, I was like, "Alright, alright, we got this!" and my morale shot up. THEN I saw Dan, who had finished the race already and was waiting for me. He joined us for the final stretch, which was awesome. I even finished strong with a sprint. I came in with a final time of 35:32, which is not only the longest that I've ever run, but (obviously) the fastest I've finished a 5k distance. I seriously thought I might die for a minute after I stopped running, but once I got some water it was all good.
I have not run since my victory but I am eager to start up again. I was going to run today, but...my hair looks cute and I'm going out tonight and don't want to have to do it again (yes, that's really the reason I won't be running today. Also, full disclosure: my hair isn't THAT hard to do). Tomorrow is the sad day that I bring my brother to the airport, so Thursday is earmarked for a nice run. Looking forward into the year, I will do some more races for sure, and will definitely do first night again this year. My goal is to break 30 minutes, which I think is easily obtainable with a year to train.