Picking up from yesterday, my first 5k went pretty well.
It seemed that, somehow, the photographers knew when I wanted to walk. In the first half of the race, every time I wanted to walk I’d spot a photographer. And I always try to run by them like I know what I’m doing.
You may remember, I was an idiot last week, losing my headphones on the flight to Indiana. When I got home, I ripped open my back-up pair. I have really enjoyed going sans music for my last two races. But, coming off of Indiana, I knew I’d need some music to keep me pushing through this race.
I went along going slower and slower, understanding my dad’s exhaustion level from the previous day.
There were some pleasant surprises along this course.
As I passed through a neighborhood, there was a family all gathered in their front yard, putting out watermelon, donuts, and muffins for runners. Amazing, right?
Later on, I looked down and saw that someone had written “Go, Tracy, go” in chalk. I don’t know how fast Tracy is. She may not have been able to see it if there were too many runners by her. If she did see it, I bet she felt pretty special and happy.
Later, I saw a joke written on the ground. “Why did the elephant cross the road?” “It was the chicken’s day off.” As I quietly chuckled to myself, I saw “ha ha ha” in chalk, which for some reason made me laugh more.
There were tons of kids volunteering today. I think children may have been responsible for the various awesome chalk messages. I wonder if I missed any more secret chalk jokes anywhere on the course. Great job being funny, and creative in placement, kids!
I slowed down as the race went on. Somewhere in probably mile 6ish, I called my dad just to tell him I was still alive and definitely gonna make it through this race (and to make sure he was still alive as well). I told him that I was gonna come in around 3:30, but since I wasn’t the last person to cross the start, I had a buffer zone of a few minutes. “You don’t need a buffer zone. You can do it in 3:30.” Huh, well, okay, Daddy. My dad’s driven inflection made me decide that I was absolutely going to cross that line in under 3:30.
Once I had gone a good number of miles, I saw this area where The American Heart Association had a bunch of interesting facts regarding how modern medicine has grown over last sixty or so years. I’m asking around to see if anyone has pictures of all the facts. I wanted to hang out and read, but I was getting slower and couldn’t afford the time.
This race had a cool theme going on – “Why I run.” Every mile marker gave a new reason why people liked to run.
In mile 10, I had the overwhelming desire to jog a fair part of it. I had been slowing down, and could use the time. Plus, I was just tired of walking. As I got closer to Mile Marker 11, I saw a hill. They didn’t have any super steep hills here, but it existed. I figured I’d want to slow down to walk it, but when I approached my legs just said “keep jogging!” I happily did. I reached Mile Marker 11, banking a minute or two. Jogging up that hill helped.
As I got closer to the end of the race, I came to a station of volunteers handing out pretzel sticks and bananas. Thanks, OC half marathon! (I took a pretzel stick. Two adorable little girls handed it to me.)
As I passed Mile Marker 12, I was right at a 16 minute mile pace. I didn’t want to chance coming in even a second over 3:30, so I jogged the last 1.1 miles. Official finish time: 3:27:46
A volunteer put my medal around my neck. (I love when they make it cool, instead of just handing it to you.) I was given a bag of food. Then I hung out around the finish expo. Massage Envy gave free massages, and brilliantly gave out wristbands with a coupon for one in their store. A runner is way less likely to lose something they can put around their wrist than a postcard. They have no place to put the postcard. Brilliant, brilliant idea there, Massage Envy.
First double half marathon weekend down. And I lived to tell about it.