Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm just now getting a chance to post about the 5k.

I got up really early because I didn't want to be late to my first race and I wanted to get a good parking spot. I got downtown around 7:15. I went by the Birmingham Track Club tent and got my registration packet. I still haven't looked through all the stuff, but I got a race shirt, a long-sleeved t-shirt and coupons and things like that. At 7:30 all of the "Couch" group got together with our coach for a picture. After that my mom called and said she was there so I made my way to her. There were so many people there so it took awhile. Over 10,000 people signed up to race, and that doesn't include all the spectators. I hung out with my mom a bit and gave her my camera to take pictures.

Pretty soon it was time to line up. We got about 100 feet back from the starting line so that we wouldn't be mowed down by all the elites. I think we stood lined up for about 10 or 15 minutes, it took awhile for everyone to get organized. But soon we were off. I didn't cross the starting line until 2:00 after the official start. My group and I started off slow. My main goal was just to get through the thing without walking. The second goal was to do it in under 40 minutes, which was pretty generous. During the first half, we had to dodge and weave through a lot of walkers. They're supposed to get in the back, but inevitably there are always some who want to be up front with the action.

After about a mile, we rounded a corner that was at the top of a hill and I could see thousands of people in front of me just filling up the road. It was pretty amazing. Part of the route went under the interstate and a trucker honked his horn as he drove by. There were also a lot of spectators along the route cheering us on. I almost cried a couple of times. Kind of ridiculous, I know, but I couldn't help it.

As we got close to the finish line, the number of spectators grew. As soon as I saw the finish line used a little burst of extra energy and ran as fast as I could. My official time was 37:13, so I made both of my goals. I ranked 454 overall, and 228 out of the females. My average pace was 12:01 which is pretty darn slow. But I finished it!

My next race is November 3rd, the Vulcan Run which is a 10k. Eep!

Ok, here are the pictures:

All the serious runners up front

There's me! Looks like I'm just strolling here. Notice my pink running skirt? I love it!

Nearing the finish!

I made it!

Me with one of the guys in our training group

# 1024

Me and my mom, a two-time breast cancer survivor!