I have spent the last couple of days wishing I could go back & do Sunday all over again – but for all of the best reasons. Not because I would correct mistakes I made, but because I had a great time running it!
The 5k was the day before – me & a few of the girls I run with normally just took it easy & had fun. Check out this fun picture of us crossing the finish line!
On Saturday, my mom & I went to the expo & walked around for a good 2 hours.. which probably wasn’t the smartest idea. My feet hurt like crazy even though I was wearing a retired pair of running shoes! After the expo, we got back to the hotel we were staying at downtown & I got to take a nap. Once we grabbed dinner & came back to relax, I’m pretty sure I passed out before 9pm. LONG weekend continuing here!
My alarm went off at 5:30am & I sprung out of bed. I am definitely not much of a morning person, but I was too excited! I ate a Honey Stinger waffle & got my things together. I told my mom she could putz around the hotel & come out to the race area around 9am, since I wasn’t going to finish until after 10am. No sense in standing outside by herself for 3 hours! Of course, like her little girl going off to her first day of school, she had to snap a picture.. 🙂
Pro Bike+Run (formerly Elite Runners & Walkers.. same great store & staff!!) had their group picture at 6:15am down by Gateway Center.. so I left the hotel around 6am & walked over. So many people were already out & we all started talking about what our plans were for the day & when we should use the bathroom.. I love these chats because only runners find it normal to talk about our bathroom issues! haha! We got to snap a few pictures before heading to our corral..
The race starts promptly at 7am, but I was in Corral D (whats up 12 min pace! no shame!) so I didn’t cross the start line until about 7:30am. Letting tens of thousands of runners cross the start line takes a while. It was drizzling pretty good at this point.. but I was comfortable in my shorts & singlet. I was running with my new friend Jen – & I was excited! We had so much fun running together for the course preview that I knew this race would be enjoyable with her. Nothing like having 2.5 hours to get to know each other!
Highlights/notes from the race:
- I stepped in a puddle around mile 1.5 & unfortunately got a blister! No fun around miles 7-8.
- While running through the Strip District, I passed a woman drinking a beer (actually, a Mike’s Hard Lemonade……..at least drink real beer, jeez) & I shouted “Drink one for me!” — I really like interacting with the spectators, FYI. & she shouted back “Well, you should’ve made a better decision then!” – Jen promptly said.. wow. That was harsh! I did get a chance to yell back that this was the best decision. And it was.
- Around mile 4 I saw a huge painted sign that said “MIMOSA” so naturally I was looking for those folks to have mimosas in their hand. They did not.. so I yelled out to the crowd.. “Where’s the mimosas!?” & someone shouted.. “Back here! Under the tent!” I then proceeded to leap over their front lawn, under their tent, & I quickly grabbed a cup & poured some orange juice, while some guy I didn’t even look at poured champagne in at the same time. I said thanks & ran off.. All I could hear was people laughing.. it was hysterical & I was SO excited to have a mimosa at mile 4.
- Our pace was pretty on point! I had plans to go 12:30, but we were staying under a 12.. with our watches only a little bit short of the mile markers. We were going way faster than I expected, but I was feeling good about it.. I even thought I might PR!
- Turning on the Birmingham Bridge was where I started to struggle a bit. Birmingham is a decent hill, followed by an even more decent hill, followed by the biggest hill of the course. I walked a few times, but it didn’t hurt us enough that it affected our pace. I saw my coach on the bridge, & that is always a huge boost for me.. he knows just what to say to get my ass in gear!
I saw so many friends & so many fun signs along the way & I really enjoyed myself. I was so happy to cross the finish line.. there truly is no feeling better than crossing the finish line after you have just run 13.1 miles.
Final time: 2:38 – only 1 minute slower than my current PR. I call that a win.
This race meant so much to me. When I was struggling, I kept thinking of a sign I saw early on in the race “Purpose with every step”. I was doing this for a purpose. And every step reminded me of why I was running this race & who I was running it for. I am completely honored to be a part of Team ALS 2016 & I can’t wait to be a part of the team for next year’s event. Thank you everyone so much for the support.. it’s now time to let my focus on running take a back seat & focus on getting my body stronger! I’m excited for new beginnings 🙂