|Taken by Amber's awesome husband, Jeff!|
Last year I was passed by a pregnant lady - this year I ran with one - seems like an improvement no?
Normally I like to wear the race shirts in the race. I didn't for this one because I was picking up my packet at the race itself. Incidentally - I was blessed by my friend Nola again with a free entry. (She gave me and everyone I could scrounge up free entries back in October.) I had intended to do the race either way, but hadn't gotten around to registering. Procrastination worked in my favor this time around!
Since I had to pick up my packet, I arrived pretty early. I've mentioned plenty time before how I'm always afraid I won't find a parking spot...or that there will be some snafu to make me late. Packet pick-up started at 7:30...so I got there at 7:30. :)
Amber showed up fairly early too with her family. Her husband, Jeff, and son Elijah came to cheer her on. We all stood around chatting before the race. Around the time to start lining up we started over to the start line. "Hmm, I may have to go to the bathroom..." Amber said. I pointed to the port-o-potties, but she decided she could hold it. Brave woman. No really - running...while pregnant...AND possibly needing to go pee? Oh my...
We chatted about...oh...nothing and everything as we waited. Amber mentioned we were going to run the entire 5K. "But I'm sore! I don't know if I can!" I protested. I was sore from the previous day's events. I love Amber because she is tough. "You can do it! You did a half marathon!" So that became the goal for this race. I smiled nervously and wondered if I could. I hadn't run a full 3 miles in a very long time - not since towards the end of last summer. I had traded running longer for running faster in an effort to increase my speed. But Amber was JUST the motivation I needed.
I heard some music...and then it dawned on me it was the national anthem! Oops - we stopped chatting and put our hands over our hearts like good little American citizens. (Isn't it nice we don't get shot for NOT paying our respects? Of course I love my country...and in this instance I'm glad I didn't have dire consequences for an unintentional mistake! I digress......)
The crowd lurched forward and we were off. Strangely, everyone just walked up to the start line...so we were ready to go but couldn't really start running until we got over that start line. It was an interesting start.
One of the coolest things about this race was that all the GOTR graduates had "1" on their bibs. It was neat seeing all these young girls doing their thing. It of course is also neat to be in a women-only race...because women rule!
The first mile or so seemed to take forever. Starting is always tough. It was crowded and there were lots of people - so there was lots of dodging. "We are gonna beat all these run/walkers Miriam! You just wait and see!" It cracked me up - the gusto that Amber had to beat them. Mile 1 some gal was saying "Wow, we are done already? Really?" Nope. Try again. We were just 1 mile in. Someone broke the news to her and she said "I thought it seemed to fast to be almost done!" (The course looped back near the start...so I believe that is why she may have thought that.)
Amber pointed to the other side of the river and said "We are going to kick it up a notch right there..."
The water station came and Amber revealed she liked to use the water stations to pass folks up - not walk. She also showed me how she likes to drink and run. (Just squeeze the top of the cup together...helps aim it to your mouth instead of having it splash all over. Pretty handy!) Mile 2 went by pretty fast. We had about a half mile. "I'm going in the zone and probably won't chat anymore!" Amber said. I replied no worries, and tried to get in the zone myself. I soone began dodging people right and left. "GO MIRIAM! GO GO GO!" She stayed on my heels and I was running pretty well as fast as I could. "You can beat a pregnant lady! Come on! Beat me!"
With motivation like that, you simply don't have much choice. I maintain that she probably "let" me win - and if she weren't pregnant, there is NO WAY I'd beat her if she was really trying.
I love running with Drill Sgt. Amber! :) She was the perfect running partner for the one year anniversary of my start in running.
Official time: 36:11
Not too shabby if I do say so myself.
And now what will come of year 2 in my running adventure? No idea. :-P I certainly wouldn't have guessed I'd be running a year later last year - so I'm certainly NOT going to try to guess what will be coming my way in the next year!