9/17 updated to add pics from the race! (at the bottom)
Woohoo, I did it!
No photos available yet as the race just happened this morning, but I finished the Aflac Iron Girl 5k in 34:02, which according to my official results was a 10:59 pace. I was 445th out of 1369 total runners and 88/255 in my age group (30-34).
The race itself was around Green Lake, but while the event website made it look like we’d be running around the paved trail that circles the lake, we were actually diverted up to the road that also runs around the lakeshore. I wedged myself into the starting corral with the 11-min mile group, aways back from the front where all the superfast ladies were lined up.
They played the Star Spangled Banner and then with a “ready, set, AFLAC!” we were off.
It was a lot of shuffling and herding along before I actually reached the starting line and started to jog (as quickly as I could with walls of people all around me) up the grassy incline toward the road. I was so focused on trying not to start out too fast and burn myself out that I didn’t notice I’d loaded the wrong playlist on my ipod until about halfway through the race (though I wondered how all the slow songs had made it onto my running list.. durrrr).
I felt pretty good though, I was glad I drank some water and had a small energy bar about an hour before (as I was driving around searching many a side street for a parking spot… lordy there were NO SPOTS within a mile of the place), my legs were feeling good and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going too fast, though I tried to be aware of the people around me and tried not to get caught up in following after people when they passed me. I passed a few people as well and settled into a groove with some clear space around me and just chugged along.
Right about the time we passed the marker for Mile 1 I saw someone had already stopped to walk. I still felt pretty good aside from a tiny rumble in the tummy which I prayed quickly for (did NOT want to have to deal with bathroom… issues out on the course) and told myself it always gets easier after the first mile. (Don’t know if that is completely true, but mentally it’s kind of a boost!) Somewhere around here we diverted down to the path right next to the lake and a cheering squad lining both sides – was kind of cool to blast through a wall of sound; totally took the mind off focusing so much on my legs and my breathing.
Around this time I realized I was listening to some random playlist other than the peppy running one I made, so I had a brief tussle with my ipod and emerged victorious, if somewhat “off schedule” with the way I planned the songs to guide me through the run. Oh well! there’s always next time!
We were shuffled back up to the road and I started trying to pick up the pace somewhat as we passed Mile 2. I spotted a girl in front of me wearing a tech shirt from my church (!) and paced off her for a little while before catching up and asking where she got the cool shirt. She told me there’s actually a women’s running group at the church, fancy that! We wished each other good luck and I ran on past her.
We were rounding the upper part of the lake again – getting close. I knew once I spotted the Mile 3 marker it was all but over. I could see the endless stream of girls in front of me curving around the bend ahead and willed my legs to pick up the pace even more. I was starting to feel the tiredness creep in but we were so close! Cops on motorcycles lined the road and cheered for us as we passed. And suddenly there it was – Mile 3! I rounded the final corner and kicked into high gear. I could see the clock ticking away and the finish line so close. I sprinted with whatever energy I had left and heard the announcer call out my name as I crossed the finish line. 5k DONE! (I forgot to smile and/or raise my arms or whatever at the finish so I’m sure my photo will be terrible, heh)
Afterward I staggered toward the folks waiting to take my timing chip, snagged a free bottle of Muscle Milk and chugged it (forgot to shake it at first and blehhhh it was chunky), got my finisher’s medal and a photo with it, and wandered around the expo for a bit (btw I had NO idea how much free crap you get at these expos, everything from painkillers to energy bars to body spray. sheesh!). They had a small finisher’s breakfast which wasn’t bad (aside from the astronomical line to get it) and a bunch of freebies (many of which were pamphlets for other races… assuming I want to go through the pain again!). I got a shirt that kind of sums up the whole experience:
I’ll post the official photos once they become available. And do I think I’ll do this again (aside from the fact I’m already signed up for other races ha ha)? Yes, yes I think I will!
9/17/10 PHOTOS from ASI! Gah, they want $35 just to download the high-rez version! holy crap!
Above: this is probably a mile into the race, hence why I am still smiling. ha
Again, right about a mile into the race or a little less. One thing I’m noticing is how ghostly white my legs are compared to everyone else hahah… I blame WoW
Approaching the finish line – I totally forgot what everyone says about smiling, raising your arms, etc as you come to the line, all I was thinking was “FINISH LINE FINISH LINE AMG SO CLOSE ALMOST DONE”
The reason there is not a photo of me actually crossing the finish line (which was a big blue mat) is because that other lady moved RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME at that moment ;_;
Here’s about where I wanted to flop down and make grass angels on the lawn. Also, remind me to get some more flattering pants for next time, gah.
Afterward, looking somewhat dazed with my finisher’s medal! weeeee!