What a difference a year makes.
So on Saturday morning I set out back to that site where my first 5K was run at the Crackerbarrel Classic 5K.
I was driving to the race and remembering how far along everything in my life has moved this past year. I lost 70 more pounds, I ran 4 half marathons and I committed to running a full marathon. Last year after that first 5K I would not have believed you if you told me I would be standing where I am today. Kind of mind blowing for me.
It brought me back to my childhood too. I grew up in the small town of Wrentham. In fact I worked right across the street from the race course, as a waitress at the tavern. That tavern always holds a dinner the night before and sponsors part of the race, I never paid the race any attention all those years growing up. I never had the desire to run or be involved with running. Funny how after I moved away and moved on with life that it brought me right back there last year to kick off my running.
The race was pretty small, only about 300 people and it was nice. I got there and got my number and went to meet up with one of my coworkers Nneka. She was doing this race today with me and another coworker as well. It was Nneka's first race!! I may or may not have lit the spark in her to get running again ;)
I was also lining up with the great Bill Rogers and running with him! He did this 5K with us and was meeting runners and signing autographs. It was pretty cool! I wish I had more time to meet him.
I love getting out there with new runners and getting people around me up and running. For me it is a far greater reward than anything else out there!
We all met up and headed to the start line. As the runners all headed down we found the start line spray painted on the pavement. No fancy chips, no fancy nothing, just my style ;) The horn went off and away we went. Garblah was next me running for about 30 seconds. It is kind of tradition, he tries to keep pace with me in the beginning of a race and I smile at him and say good luck while waiting for him to taper down. He always intends to catch me, it is kind of fun. I know one day he will if he practices more.
I was in the front of the pack. There was one man who was way ahead of us and then there were the rest of us. I felt good, I felt fast. When we hit the first mile and they called out the split, 6:22 I kind of had to pick my jaw up from the ground. Never had I been able to run a mile on pavement that fast. It was pretty amazing.
I just kept going after that. I was in the lead for women until that mile 1, and then I saw my only competition get out in front of me and charge ahead. I thought about trying to catch her for a minute. I tried honestly to. But I could not, she was super fit in her little shorts and sports bra and super fast. No match for me this year ;) So I just settled into my pace and had fun.
The course is easy for me because it is pretty flat. Where I train outside most days, it is pretty hilly. So my legs felt great during this race and there was little knee pain. When I came past mile 2 I realized that even if I stopped and walked the rest of the way I would beat my time from last year of 28:10. Kind of mind boggling that I had run the first 2 miles in 14 minutes or so.
But of course I kept going. I kept glancing back to see if there were any more women who would come take my number 2 slot hehe but I never saw another one. And then mile 3 came and I made it to the finish line. I saw that clock flashing with a 21 and my PR grin popped onto my face. Then I saw my sister and niece standing cheering for me. It was a great moment. And one that I have been working hard for this whole year. A new PR and accomplishment reached. It is just one step closer to my big goal of that sub 20 5K!
We waited for our team to come in and then celebrated!
The team did great!! The race results are here
Nneka finished in 29:40 and Garblah in 27:46 they both did really well!!!
I was beaming when I saw my official time of 21:10 and SECOND place for over all women and FIRST place for my age group 20-29!!! Not too shabby ;) I got a nice plaque to add to my race wall :)
This past year has had many ups and downs. And there are days when I struggle, there are days that are great too. One thing I have learned is this, you have to keep moving forward, have to keep going in that direction. Even if you fall backwards a few steps you just keep pushing the feet back forward again and again. If you can dream it, then it can and will be done with the right attitude and mindset.