Since I started running and racing I’ve been doing races on the 4th of July. I did one race for 3 years and then last year they didn’t have it so I moved over to the Firecracker 5k. I love PR races anyway and have met many people who run the race so the switch probably would have happened anyway.
I made plans to meet one of my DTP training partners at 6:45 to warm up. I’m not so good about warming up for races so I thought if I had someone to run with I would actually do it. My buddy was also racing but wasn’t in the mood to warm up. We got there early and he stayed in the car for a while. We ran 2 miles around the town center to warm up while he rested in the car. After our warmup we headed to the finish line to meet my buddy.
After that it was a trip to the bathroom. I know the “secret” location of the indoor bathrooms and there I ran into Deb. We stopped for a quick picture and then took care of our business. We wandered around a little bit before heading to the start line. Pace groups were marked at the starting line so we headed to the group with which I expected to run. My buddy planned to move up right before the start. My DTP training partner decided to start with me. We didn’t really discuss staying together but I knew I wanted to run my own race and push myself a bit.
I could see the flag but could barely hear the National Anthem. I wish they had a better speaker system at the start line or a better way to let people know so they would be quiet. A mom in front of us yelled “Quiet!” to her kids….yeah lady, that really helps. I never understand that. I think the quiet had made its way far enough back for us to hear the last line. And then my buddy left to find the appropriate spot ahead of us. Right after that I heard the “G word” and we were off!
Right in front of me there were two parents and two little kids. They obviously hadn’t coordinated before the race and were trying to figure out which parent would run with which kid. And then the mom ran into her little girl and almost knocked her over. I could not wait to get away from them! I did quite a bit of dodging and tried to find my own space. At some point I think pretty early on I lost my DTP partner. I looked back a few times but then decided to just focus on what I was doing.
After a couple of turns I could see that some spectators had come over and I started looking for Kim. Luckily I found her….I knew she would never see me so I obnoxiously yelled her named and ran over for a high 5! That high 5 led to a really fast mile. The second mile of the race was my fastest mile at a race in a long time. I felt good but knew I might have gone too fast.
The last mile of the course has the hills and I was pretty burned up. I walked a little bit on each of the hills because I knew at that point I was probably walking as fast as I was running and I wouldn’t lose much time. I knew I wasn’t headed for a PR but I had a really good time so I kept fighting. I finally made the last turn and could see the finish line way in the distance. I didn’t have much left in me so I tried to keep a steady pace. I ran as hard as I could but didn’t have much kick in the end.
As I crossed the finish I saw one of my friends and I was so excited about my time that I ran over for a high 5! Not a PR and not even a CR but a good race for me and about 3 minutes faster than my last race so I felt good about it. My watch showed that I ran long….probably some GPS error but some dodging people and not running tangents. The pace on my watch was 22 seconds/mile faster than the race results but either way I was happy with the results.
I made my way to the water and grabbed a bottle. I turned around to look for my buddy and luckily he found me. He had run super fast and finished way before me. I looked for my DTP training partner but must have missed her in the finishing chute. After that I headed back to look for friends. I knew someone who was walking the race and I eventually found him and walked with him to the finish. And then I cheered for the back of the pack and the tots.
A couple of days before the race I picked up race dots so this was my first time trying them out. The magnets are super strong and worked really well. My bib did not move at all during the race.
Oh, did I ever mention it was raining? I guess not because I just didn’t care! I had so much fun anyway. By the time we left we were soaking wet. I did make one quick trip into the PR Store to high 5 my coach and thank her. Lots of high 5’s! It was a good morning!