Saturday, July 16, 2011

Caleb's 5K (Slow Runner or Fast Walker?)

Folks, this was without a doubt the best organized race ever! The church folk know how to do it up.  It was well planned  and the people were super nice. I mean everyone! So many encouraging words before, during and after the race.  There is no doubt I will be doing this one again. Even with the mile long hill!  And the decision to walk only was probably a smart one considering my knee issue.  Here is the blow by blow along pics from today's fun.
The Start Line

After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and juice, I left.  I fought the urge to take the car.  It was only a mile or so down the road.  I did however, see my upstairs neighbor get in her car wearing the shirt. I even saw a couple of other neighbors there in the parking lot.  I would have felt too guilty doing it.  After all, it WAS only a mile.

The events started at 7:30. There was music, games, lots of vendors and even a Kid's Zone.  Just before race time there were words spoken about what the race was about. It benefits kids in Foster care and other areas.  Then there were a few words from sponsors followed by a final prayer and the national anthem.  The horn blew at exactly 8:00am and we were off! 

It was refreshing to hear some of the participants say, 'No, let's stay back and let the runners have some space.' In particular, I liked the comments, 'The strollers are going to be going out last.'  And even the runners with the strollers stayed back (even tho it wasn't expected) and when they were making their way through the crowd, they were very polite and asked permission to pass.  Where the heck am I to be amongst such polite people?!? 

I realized within minutes after the start that I forgot my music.  How am I to push myself without music? I passed a lovely lady who had her phone playing music out loud saying she forgot her headphones.  I walked with her for a bit. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about making a quick pit stop at the apartment as we passed it just to get the music.  I resisted and kept going.  When we finally hit the 1 mile mark, instead of the regular 'One mile! Is that it!?!' comments I usually hear, I heard, 'One, that was fast!' This was definitely a different crowd.  As a guy was passing me, he patted me on the shoulder and said, 'Great job!'  As I said, there was a lot of encouraging words.  I started passing people and then felt like I was pushing to much for this early in the race. So, I trained my eyes on the one couple that seemed to be going a fast but manageable pace.  I tried to stick with them the whole time. 

By the time the 2 mile mark came, I was feeling pretty good.  And true to form, the couple did not slow down. We were at a 15 minute mile then.  Seeing that gave me a little more energy.  I passed yet another water stop up because I'm not one who drinks much while walking or running because I must have the weakest bladder around.  After that pass, I turn right and see the last stretch of mile ahead.  They were right. It was uphill.  But after seeing it, I vowed not to look again. Instead, I kept my eyes on my couple and those around me.  Passing a young girl tossing her cookies on the side, people waved down the bike cops to come and check on her.  Just after that we hit the incline.

I could see the last turn coming up.  About this time I had picked up momentum and was side by side with my couple.  I turned to them and said, 'I want to thank yall for being my marks.  You kept an awesome pace and it kept me there.'  This brought on introductions. Mary and Trey.  They were very nice and chatty and encouraging.  We took hit mile 3 and joked with others as we all crossed together.  Mary said they had planned to run the last few feet but decided she would rather be thought of as a fast walker than a slow runner. I thought that was funny.

The post race atmosphere was awesome.  Of course we had bananas but also there was a lot of vendors and church members offering up much more.  We had brown rice, turkey cheese mash, spicy chicken breast, granola, fruit, many different waters, protein drinks and of course Red Bull. The selection was pretty darned good.  While noshing on the goodies, there was live music which I have to say was some of the best I've heard.  If you are a fan of Glee, you would have been a fan of this band.  It was the praise band from the church.  

After enjoying a little music and being tempted to dance along with others, I finally had to drag myself away. It's the husband's birthday and he's babysitting while I'm doing this.  Not a great way to spend a birthday.  Besides, I had not even thought of a gift yet.  So, I began the lonely trek home.

My lonely trek home.

                   It was such a lovely way to spend my morning. It would have been even better had the husband been there. I know he was rooting for me from afar.  See yall next year Caleb organizers.

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