I went into an old church and said a little prayer.
And I ran the first annual Firefighter's 5K. Here are the highlights:
- I walked to the race, which was only a few blocks from my hotel. After getting my race number and taking a few pictures, a fire fighter got us all to line up.
- The race started promptly at 8:00, and while my legs felt good, I realized immediately that I should have run my race in other clothes. (I have read lots of advice about not trying anything new on race-day clothing- or diet-wise, but my cute, new Brooks Podium Boy Shorts were calling my name.) Within a few steps, those cute new sorts made their way up (way up) my thighs. Not to get too graphic here, but I basically ran in underwear for 3.1 miles. (I think I am about ten pounds away from being able to wear these shorts and keep them where they are supposed to be.) While I could have been embarrassed, I decided that that wouldn't serve me well in the race. So, instead of trying to pull the shorts down every few steps, I just decided to let them be and just run the best race that I could.
- I decided to run without my Garmin, and that was an interesting experience. On one hand, it was liberating - I didn't have the urge to look down at my wrist every quarter mile to check and double-check my pace. On the other hand, I had no idea how far I had run (and there were no mile markers on the course). It wasn't until I got to the turnaround point that I knew I had completed half of the race.
- My legs and body felt neither energized nor sluggish. I ran a steady pace and didn't worry about "beating" any other racers. I just ran for myself and enjoyed the feel of my body running.
- When I saw the finish line, I expected to feel an extra surge that I usually feel at the end of runs/races; I expected to sprint toward the clapping crowd. But, to my surprise, there was nothing left in my legs, and I just ran it in at the same pace that I ran the rest of my race in. I crossed the line at 34:14, which averages just over an 11-minute mile. I didn't get a p.r., but it was my second fastest 5K to date.
- Overall, it was a fun race and a good workout. I am so glad that I ran a race in Indiana! This is a picture of me after the race, right before I sat down to breakfast; it was so humid that the sweaty clothes didn't dry by the time I left the conference that evening. (Nice!)