I almost forgot to give you the update on the race. I lived through it! It's so funny before a race starts to see everyone and what they go through to prepare mentally and physically for what is about to take place. You would think we were going to run to Canada and back or something. Alex is Mr. Organized, because he knows that if I have the chance to leave my brain on the table, I will. So he has the camera, which has to have the battery charged because it's low, so he does that. He has my water bottle, his coffee, has found where the start line is and which direction we'll be heading out. So he opens the tailgate of the truck and has a seat while I pace and wonder for the umpteenth time why I sign up for these things. I go for a short jog just to be moving, and I hear over the loudspeaker that the 10K will leave out at 8:00, the 5K at 8:10 and the mile at 8:15. So this huge herd of people starts forming at the start line, and I think, “I need to go to the Porta-Potty before this bad boy starts. So I stand in line with the rest of humanity that thinks it needs to go before a race. That done, I find Alex hanging out by a tree with camera in hand looking out over the 10K people.
I almost forgot to tell you about the chip. Races that are worth their salt will have you run with some sort of a chip to get your time instead of relying on some tattooed person at the finish line to get your time right. My past races have had a chip that was almost paper-like and came with directions to get it onto your laces correctly. This race had a purple plastic chip with four holes in it. I have a narrow foot, so there isn't a lot of space between the laces to put this stupid chip. Alex goes out in the garage and comes back with two zip ties, and I just look at him. I am not going to look like Goober coming to town with black zip ties holding the stupid chip on my shoe. This from the woman who wears purple shorts with a light blue shirt and a brown hat. So come to find out the chip had two small white zip ties in the packet that you use to put the stupid chip on your shoe. Once again, Mr. Organized was right, and he brought nippers so the ties wouldn't be flapping in the wind and I would be fashionable.
Off we head in a herd to do this 5K thing. We go through the mall, which is set up like an old town, where you must walk outside to get to the next store. We pop out of the parking lot and onto the road, where there is more room and I don't have to scream, "Don't touch me!" while holding my arms up like I'm a fullback or something. Mile two had the water table with never enough people handing out water. I walk a little to catch my breath and so as not to wear all my water.
Then the run begins—hills. Now in Wilmore, they had rolling hills that didn't last forever. Here there were two hills that seemed to last for half the race. In the back of my mind, I heard Mary telling me, "Pump your arms and your legs will follow!" Sure enough, I passed people going up the hills, which always makes you want to do the Rocky-jumping-around thing. I also flew down the hills, which is where Mary always told me you can make up for lost time. We had a small hill to get us back into the parking lot of the mall then a not-so-flat home stretch to the finish line. My tunes were rocking in one ear, cuz I always pull one earpiece out so I can hear the crowd. I turn it on, which is something I have been working on during the week, so I finish strong. I cross the finish line looking for Mr. Organized and the camera, and this man is kneeled in front of me with nippers in his hand. He wants my chip!
My Garmin said I ran 31:43, and while I'm OK with that time, I really was wanting to be under 30:00. I got the official results and my time was 31:40. I was 251st out of almost 500, I think, and 14th out of 25 for my age, which I think sucked. The last three ladies in the group walked, cuz their time was at least an hour. So I get one more year in this age group, and then I move up to the next one. That's when it gets hard, cuz older women are fast!