I did it.
I ran the Ryka Iron Girl 5K in Quincy, MA today and I did it in (officially) 47:07. Of course I started my watch when I crossed the start line and had 46 and change - but either way it was a respectable time.
I ran the first mile, walked the second and ran the third mile. Even though my sister and two of my nieces were there, I ended up running alone - which was fine by me. I just sparked up the mp3 player and ran my race.
I loved how there were random people waiting for their loved ones to come by but still found a way to yell encouragement to the rest of us as well. During the second mile, I was pretty much between packs and as I walked by one father with his two young sons, one of the kids broke into applause for me. I felt special.
Remembering my brother, the marathoner, and his tales of how important that t-shirt selection can be, I decided to wear my oversized tie-dye shirt I got at a Boston Cannons game. It is the perfect tie-dye shirt - a bright rainbow spiral that is truly a gift to get. Along the route race officials and volunteers as well as the police detail officers were all saying, "Looking good - great shirt!"
Just as I passed the second mile sign, the speed demon 10K folks were coming through. I began to run again as the song "Dirty Water" by the Standells started up just as I came around the curve. There, in front of me was a beautiful view of the Boston skyline through the marshes just as I heard, "Oooo Boston you're my home" and that distinctive chord riff. There was no way I was going to walk any more of the race, I was going to finish it and finish it strong.
As I turned the corner for the finish, my sister and nieces were there waiting for me and cheering me on. They jumped in to run with me but ... let's just say that whoever thought a carpet at the end was a good thing was sadly delusional. My sneaker caught on the carpet and I went down. Determined to finish, I got up, my sneaker caught a second time and I rolled over the finish line. After that was just funny.
One of my nieces, since she used to be a crew cox, is trained to yell out any medical information necessary - so she's yelling, "She has asthma and uses an inhaler." The volunteer is trying to hand me a medal and my sister and my other niece are trying to keep me walking. I sat down in the chair to take my chip off (which my sister graciously did) and telling everyone I was fine but figured I needed to get my legs back.
Overall this is a nice race. They gave us performance shirts instead of t-shirts, which is really nice. The medals are really pretty - that magenta/dark pink color withtheir butterfly logo. The food spread at the end was plentiful and a great variety: fruit, yogurt, cereal, bagels, coffee cake, breakfast burrittos, you name it - they had it. OK, they didn't have coffee... which I could still really use a cup right now... but that's fine with me.
I also like that they set up a ton of tables with table cloths, chairs and centerpieces. It was just a really nice touch. They also gave out free pictures - so the four of us had ours taken and I'll get a frame for it to hang on the wall. It was such a pleasant race that I think I'll do it again next year.
Listen to me.
In April I didn't run for the bus and now, three months later, I'm planning on my races for next year.