I told her if I had a camera I'd take a picture of it! I continued running and finally made it past the farthest point I had gotten to in training. I was in unfamiliar territory. Well not really, since I was born in this city and have lived here my whole life, but I had never run and probably never even driven on this particular street. My right foot felt like it was developing a blister, maybe from running on the slope of the road for 5 miles. I tried to get more toward the middle. We turned onto Coffee Pot Boulevard, which I've been running once a week for a few months. I started to run faster the last 1/10 mile when I saw the finish line! I made it in just under 1 hour and 25 minutes. I walked straight to my mom and daughter,
took a big drink of water, got a square of Dove dark chocolate, and asked them if the 5K had already started. One of them said it had and one said it had not because she never heard the announcement. Okay. The 5K *had* already started but I saw walkers just past the start line. My feet hurt but I speed walked and half ran. The chocolate didn’t seem to give me much energy but it sure tasted good! I was trying to catch up to the back-of-the-pack walkers. I wove around people with dogs, people with strollers, and people lined up 8-wide across the entire street. Sometimes I had to walk because it was so crowded, sometimes because of fatigue, and sometimes because of drinking water. At certain points I jumped up onto the sidewalk to get around people and sometimes jumped back down to the street for the same reason. It was almost like an adventure run! I finished in 2 hours 11 minutes and 41 seconds, but I didn't stop my watch the couple minutes between races. I ran the 5K in roughly 43 minutes, slower than I usually do, but not bad considering how much walking I did. I stopped where my mom and daughter were but then went to get my medal.
All the way through both races I was prepared for the fact that I might not get a medal because I wouldn't finish the 10K in time and then didn't make the official start of the 5K. I told myself it was okay and that I had the personal satisfaction of doing a 15K with three days of preparation. I walked up to the medal tent and they must've seen that my bib said 15K (I really hadn't compared my bib to others) and they gave me a 15K medal with no questions asked. J It made me very happy!
Race organizers had set up about eight kiddie pools filled with ice and bottled water. After making my way down the avenue of vendors and getting a massage (ahhhhh!), I walked back past the pools. Several hours after being filled most of the ice had melted and almost all of the waters had been taken. A few of the pools had just melted ice in them. I bent down and soaked first one hand and the other in the icy water. My feet were wet from having poured water on my head at each water station, so it was an easy decision to put first one fully shod foot and then the other in one of the pools! It wouldn't have taken much to convince me to sit down! I had brought dry socks and shoes but no dry clothes, so I just got my feet wet. I stood there for a few moments until it got too cold and then I stepped out and went back to my family.
Terry, thank you for not being able to run the race yourself and giving me another opportunity to let God work through me! Like I said in my very first blog post, my reason for blogging is to encourage people to allow God to dream big within them so that together they and He can do amazing things, hard things, things that they'd never be able to do on their own. And to encourage them to give Him the glory and credit for them.