I had SUCH an amazing time at the race tonight! I am probably going to forget something in all of the excitement, but here is my best attempt.
I wore my new SparkleTech skirt from SparkleSkirts.com and it looked absolutely adorable and, of course, comfortable. And let me tell you... I just got this skirt and wore it tonight without having done a test run. That's how confident I am in these skirts!
I was mulling around in the parking lot and there weren't very many people. I stopped the race director and asked him if the course was well-marked and he said yes (HA! LOL) and then I asked how many people signed up and he said 40ish (HA! LOL). I made friends with a lady who was also running and we hung out together a bit.
Finally they called the 13K runners to the start line and there were a whopping TWELVE of us! LOL I was really nervous and quickly came to terms with coming in last. I knew that it wasn't the end of the world, but I was still nervous. The horn sounded for the start and we took off - all together for almost 3/10 of a mile. Then everyone started spacing out and it was time for my first walk break. And that's how I ended up last. And that's how I stayed for about 2.5 miles! LOL
That also happens to be where we went up the big, nasty hill. I was walking it and passed one lady. I made it to the top of that nasty hill to find that there were more relatively annoying hills to come - and we had to do them all twice! It was dreadful!
Around mile 6, I passed the group of ladies (including my new friend) but assumed they would pass me back when I hit my next walk break. But they didn't. And not on the next walk break, either. In fact, they never passed me again!
Finally it was time to go back down the big, nasty hill and I let myself sort of fly down it, mostly trying not to fall. I was looking forward to a nice drink of water at the water station where we were to rejoin the 5K, but they had already taken it down. BOO! No more water for the rest of the course, and there was still 1.5 miles to go!
I was back on the part of the path that I run regularly, which was good. The familiarity was very helpful. My legs were getting really, really tired, though. Probably from all the hills - and I was running faster than I usually do. But I'm not really used to that "tired legs" feeling and I don't especially enjoy it. I prefer to run a little more slowly so I can feel strong through the end of the race! I didn't get to do that, today! LOL
Around mile 7.5, I decided that I was done with this run! This is when familiarity with the course is really helpful because I knew I didn't have THAT much further to go! But it would figure that there were several more uphills to conquer. I am not sure I have ever been so happy to cross a finish line!
I stuck around for the awards, figuring that with only 12 of us, we were all very likely to win something! It was so neat as all of the 13K folks stood together and cheered the remaining ones as they came in! We all talked about how nasty the hills were! I think the overall winner finished only 20 minutes or so faster than I did!
I did end up winning 1st place in my AG - there weren't any other runners in that AG. I'm really OK with that because it's not my fault that nobody else my age signed up! Their loss! :) I received a gold medal and it is so cute!