Honestly, I can't believe I did it. I'm usually a quitter, which you know by now. But, I've had a surprisingly easy time sticking with the training, and it really never crossed my mind as an option to not do it. Which, is a good thing. I think I've passed some sort of important milestone because of that. I haven't been this proud of myself in a long time, and that is totally awesome.
So, how did it go? It went fine, actually. I think I've mentioned that Justyn runs faster than me (he finished in about 31 minutes), and so I ended up running alone for practically the entire race. I found that part of it harder than I thought, actually. Every time I would get close to another group of people, I would get a burst of energy... but when I was alone, my energy started flagging a bit. I don't really understand why, because normally I run alone anyway. Not sure what that's about. They're estimating that there were about 50,000 people there, and I think I was really hoping to feel like part of something. I did at certain points, but I think being surrounded by a bunch of people, but still alone, made it kind of hard. There was no one waiting for me at the finish line, either, which kind of took something away from it for me. I mean, I know I should be doing it for myself, and I am. But... it would've been nice to have someone cheering for me, you know?
About halfway through the race, I passed an older guy with a sign on his back that said he was running in memory of his wife who died of breast cancer. I totally almost broke down at that point. I was almost at the top of a huge hill, at which point you could look out and see the river and several of the bridges (a really great view of the city), and I just got totally overwhelmed with emotion. I started to tear up, and my breath caught a little and I almost lost it. But then I realized I probably wasn't going to make it very far if I was bawling, so I cut it out and passed him. I don't know if it was the emotion of actually doing what I set out to do, or if it was seeing this guy who lost someone, or the beautiful city view, or what. Regardless of the reason, I felt really moved and totally in the moment.
Anyway, that kept me motivated for another mile or so, and around 2.5 miles (previously the farthest I had run before), I definitely started getting tired. But then I saw the finish line, and totally busted it out. I pushed myself a little too hard, though, and pulled my calf muscle. I iced it when I got home, and it feels much better today. But, I definitely learned a lesson. Just because you can see the finish line doesn't mean you're invincible. I knew my legs were fatigued, and I started to realize that I should slow down, but didn't. Anyway, like I said... lesson learned.
A couple of pet peeves I have already with racing. First of all, to the old lady who nearly ran me over: Just because you're old and you're a breast cancer survivor doesn't mean you can plow into me and push me out of your way if you want to go around me. I'm glad you beat cancer and everything, but you don't have to be mean to people who are running slower than you. Maybe you should have lined up in the "7-8 minute" section instead of the "Over 10 minute" section.
And, why, oh why do people cross the finish line and then just freaking STOP? I mean, seriously, who are these people? Am I the only one who needs to ease myself out of running? Seriously, as soon as I crossed the finish line, I hit the people in front of me like a brick wall. I mean, they were just standing there! I'm like, Excuse me... umm... I need to keep walking or I am seriously going to pass out. Who are you people who can just stop, mosy over to the tent and grab a banana to chill out for a while? Am I in the minority here?
Lastly, the race t-shirt was ugly. Even though Amy says they're always ugly, I was holding out hope that it would be cool because it was my first race. Not so much. Honestly, I'd rather they just kept the shirt, and used that money to find a cure. Not that $5 is going to help much.
Anyway, I'm kind of sad it's over now, but I'm definitely sticking with it. I still have 2 weeks of the training program left, so I'm going to pick up where I left off. I found a 5k in another month that I think we're going to run, so I'll be interested to see how much of a difference one more month of training will make. Plus, it's right before Halloween and you're supposed to run in costume, which sounds totally awesome.