"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves."
I DID IT!!!! I ran the 5K in less than 30 minutes!!
The weather was gorgeous, but cool, and I got there way too early so I sat in my car for a while, picked up everyone's packets and walked around. Of the three people that were going to run with me, 2 bailed out sick, but I still had hopes for one running buddy.
I headed for the start line with the crowd. Thankfully the walkers had a start 15 minutes later so I wasn't worried about dodging people. 30 seconds before the countdown clock hit 0:00 my buddy called to say she was still about 5 minutes away and could I leave her chip and number with someone. EEEKKKK! I told her it was too late for me to get out of line and with 2 seconds left I said, "Catch up with me," and hung up.
I took off WAY too fast. There was a bigger crowd than I had expected so I was too far forward and didn't want to slow people down so I just ran with the crowd until I got to a place where I could get out of the way and let people pass.
By the first mile mark I was more tired than I wanted to be, but still keeping a good pace and finally warmed up. About a half mile later, my buddy appeared. I have no idea how she spotted me from behind in a hat and new t-shirt!
At the 2 mile mark and was really getting tired and starting to doubt myself. I'd eaten to heavy of a diner the night before and was so worried about maintaining my energy for an afternoon race that I had probably eaten too much breakfast too. I took a short walking break and started running again. 2.5 miles was when my friend dropped back. By then I was way too close to meeting my goal so I picked up the pace and took off on my own. As I rounded the second to last corner I was running on sheer will power.
The water station at the 3 mile mark was a welcome site. My throat was dry and I wasn't carrying anything so I grabbed a cup from an outstretched hand, threw some water in the direction of my mouth and managed to get some in, enough to unstick my throat, tossed the cup, and picked up the pace one last time.
My official finishing time was 29:20! I was 7th out of 19 in my age group and 4:23 faster than last years 5K, but I'm more proud to have been part of the event than I am of my finishing time. Overall the Foundation raised over $70,000 with this event! The star speakers at the after party were the Snow Flake Princess, a darling little 7 year old that was diagnosed with JRA at the age of 2, and the mother and best friend of a young woman that died this past June during childbirth, due to complications of RA, (they lost both mother and child.) It was the most emotional after party I have been to.