So Saturday was race day. Friday night I told my husband I was totally freaked out. He wanted to know what I was so worried about. #1 There would only be 5 people in the race. #2 That I'd get lost. He put things in perspective for me by saying if there were only 5 people racing, I was guaranteed a 5th place finish. He also suggested I make it a goal to come in last so no one else would have to go through that. He told me I would not get lost.
The morning of the race, I had a hard time finding the location where we were supposed to start. I drove around for a while, and finally found it. The race headquarters was in a tiny hole in the wall building on the south side of town at the bottom of a HUGE hill. I was a little worried because my training has been exclusively on very flat ground. The hill was in the opposite direction of the fairgrounds, so I assumed we would be running away from the hill, not up it. I went inside and was informed the race had already started. A woman walked with me to the starting line, which was, sure enough at the top of the hill. She took off running the moment we reached the summit. We were in a ritzy residential neighborhood and all the people were outside preparing for their beautiful Saturday. Garage doors were open, boats were in driveways, people were EVERYWHERE, but I was the only one jogging with numbers on my front. Try as I might I just could not get my legs moving very fast, making me look that much more ridiculous. When I approached the first intersection, I a friendly neighbor let me know I had to search for the direction I was supposed to turn. Like a treasure hunt. She was kind enough to show me the first one, since I was "so far behind." I'm lousy at finding clues and thought I'd just head the direction of the fairgrounds and hope for the best after that.
Thankfully I woke up shortly thereafter.
(Notice the cute running skirt? I got it on clearance at Target. Sooo comfy. I think I will wear it always.)
The morning of the race, I had to leave the house even earlier than Paul. He had to work, so he wasn't able to be at the finish line, but I was OK with that. I knew when I signed up that I was going to be flying solo, but I was still a little sad. I dropped the boys off at my friend Christiana's house at 7:30 in the morning and drove to the fair grounds. I found the starting line very easily, I signed up, got my free shirt and milled around pretending I knew what I was doing until the race started.
There were about 75 runners and walkers. I breathed a sigh of relief because at least I had a prayer of finishing before the walkers. A lot of people passed me at first, but I maintained a "comfortable" pace and managed to keep it up. I decided early on that if five people passed me, I would speed up. I didn't have to speed up. As I passed, the 1 mile marker, who should I see on the sidelines but my little sister with her camera and Emma. Even though I was fully aware I was being photographed, I couldn't help but be a little overjoyed.
(Are my hands seriously bigger than my head?! Meanwhile, it is very hard to pull off the princess wave while running. I think that's why princesses don't run).
I started hearing the applause for other finishers when I was still about 1/2 a mile away, but there were still a lot of people behind me. I finished the 3.11 miles in 32 minutes and 6 seconds which was 4 minutes faster than my best time so far.
This is me finishing.