On Saturday, I ran the Mercerville Mistletoe 5K. All the proceeds from the entry fees for the race went to the Wounded Warrior Project. It’s kind of a nice bonus when you can run a 5K and help a charity at the same time. There are so many 5Ks out there for a specific cause or charity. I’d like to participate in one kind of like we used to do in school, where you go forth and ask for donations from your friends and family. I’ve been searching online for 5Ks to run in the future, and there are so many all over New Jersey next year. I want to RUN ALL THE 5KS! How do you pick your 5Ks? I might just start with ones I know other people are doing, or ones that are just geographically close to me. I wish more 5Ks gave out medals, because even though it’s only a few miles, for some of us, it’s an incredible achievement and I’d like something shiny to show off. I was sort of disappointed that I didn’t get anything from my first race, although I kept the bib I wore and my husband bought me a cool frame for it. I’m also keeping all the bibs from my races – I plan to make some kind of race scrapbook with pictures of me from each race I run. Might be cool to track my progress!
The race on Saturday was awesome and crazy! It started snowing like mad at about noon, and the race started at 2 PM. We got there, signed in, and I caught up with my co-worker John (he gave me the heads up about the race.) We were all pretty antsy to get running because it was still snowing like crazy and it was cold. (side note: I had bought a pair of pants to run in like two days beforehand because I didn’t have any pants, just running shorts, and they were so incredibly warm, so that worked out perfectly!) After we started, I kept up with the pack for like a quarter mile, and then people started pulling ahead. I have accepted the fact that I am just a slow runner, and I have to remember at the beginning of the race to keep my pace and not try to keep up with everybody else. We started at the firehouse and ran on suburban roads back to the firehouse. So, first complication – snow & ice on the roads kind of made things interesting. Also, cars. I’m just glad no one got hit, because there were a few snow banks that forced us to literally run out into the traffic lanes. and hills! There were hills! Whew. There were a few people running near me that I tried to keep pace with, but my foot started falling asleep at about 1.5 – 2 miles. I try to walk it off (well, run it off) and just keep going but it’s uncomfortable. Stopping and just taking the weight off my foot makes it go away, and then I can run another ten steps before it falls asleep again. About 3/4 mile from the finish, I hear footsteps behind me and someone catches up to me and says, “Finally! I caught you. You were my goal.” Cool! I helped her in some small way! She also helped me push myself, because every time I heard her footsteps I started running so she wouldn’t catch me! About 1/2 mile from the end, I’m walking because I’m having trouble with my foot, and I hear more footsteps…. it was my husband! He snuck up from behind and encouraged me to keep running. He ran off to the sidelines while I headed for the finish line, and then I heard him yell, “Does that clock say 49 minutes?!” My PR is 52 minutes, 15 seconds, so I started booking it to the end. Funny, I hit a really strong stride about ten steps away from the finish line…could have used some of that oomph beforehand! Ah, well… I crossed the finish line, fist-bumped my husband, and went home to dry off. I hadn’t realized how much snow I’d collected during the race. Also, I got an awesome t-shirt! It’s the little things. OK, gotta go be awesome now.