I parked easily and headed over to the building to pick up my bib and race shirt. I walked back to the car to get everything pulled together, and as soon as I reached my car it started to sprinkle. I knew there was a chance of rain but I had hoped we could avoid it. Um. No. LOL I pinned my bib on and decided to walk back to the building to wait for the race start, in case it started to rain harder. I asked a lady parked near me if she would take my picture and she obliged. I left my camera and Garmin in the car so they wouldn't get ruined.
I sure am glad I made that decision because the rain started to come down more heavily and did not let up during the entire race! In fact, they had to delay the start of the race while they brought the PA system inside the building for the pre-race ceremonies. I tried to find a quiet spot to do my "Body Looseners" but unfortunately everyone was inside the building taking shelter. So I had to do these weird motions in front of the entire world and half of my church. I'm sure they thought I was crazy. I tried to look completely nonchalant about it, but I was actually quiet embarrassed (for reference sake, one of the body looseners makes me look like I'm trying to belly dance, and another makes me look like I'm trying to imitate Elvis LOL).
After the names of the fallen soldiers were read, and my pastor prayed for us all, and the most spectacular rendition of the national anthem had been sung, we all made our way down to the start. The corrals were set up on an honor system, and I think that's a great idea, but corral 3 is 27:00-44:00 and that is a HUGE pace difference. Those are people who are really running hard to those who are jogging or walking briskly. I think the corral standards need to be changed next year.
I lined up towards the back of Corral 3 anticipating that it would be hard to start walking 1 minute into the race and I was right. Many of those 9 minute mile racers were taking off hard and I found that I needed to keep going so I didn't impede their progress or get run over. And since I didn't have my Garmin to BEEP at me every minute, it was hard to keep track of my intervals. I did pretty good, though, even with all the rain to distract me. I felt really good the whole time, with the exception of my right hip being pretty tight (probably because I had rolled nearly 3 hours earlier). I missed my interval a couple of times, but I decided that I was feeling so good that it probably didn't matter too much. I just listened to my body and tried to remember to stop running after a minute, but I didn't stress over it, either.
I crossed the finish line at 34:16 and felt really excited. I had expected to finish in about 36:30, judging by my average pace at home doing a 1/1 interval. But I guess skipping the intervals affected my finish time. It cracks me up that I finished faster during this 5K doing a walking interval every minute than I did on my very first 5K in 2008 running as hard as I could! LOL My how time changes things! :)
Due to the rain and the fact that I had Riley's birthday party right after lunch and the race had started late as it was, I grabbed a bottle of water and headed back to the car without getting any snacks. I had a banana in my car and I ate that on the way home. I cleaned up and did the traditional race shirt picture:
The names of the Fallen - 10 more names this year than last year. :(
The 2013 date for the Fallen Heroes of GA 10K/5K/1K will be Saturday, March 16th. See you there!!