I did the 5K for the 2nd year. It was easier, mainly because I knew what to expect and because of the weather. It was gray and cool, good weather for being outside.
I woke up at 4, lay there then made myself get up. I was up until 11pm watching the Thunder game They beat Dallas in the very last second and right after that I fell asleep. I made some turkey bacon and had a small bowl of generic Cheerios and left short after 5.
Downtown was crowded. when there are 25,000-27,000 people there for a race it gets a little hectic and our little downtown can’t really handle that kind of traffic. Most of the streets were closed, not for the race but for construction. I marveled at the sheer masses of people I saw walking or running in the dark downtown. I saw a group of runners/walkers come out of a hotel and get assimilated into the crowd. I drove slowly, yielding to pedestrians and inching along until I found a parking garage that was, to my amazement, both open and unattended. Free parking! And not too far from the race! Woo-hoo!
I people watched, lots of families, lots of babies and kids, lots of corporate or organizational groups there. I took a couple of pictures, one of the finish line in the dark, one of the start when I passed through and one of a truck that had “Honk if you love Harry Potter” painted on its back window.
The race was not hard, which surprised me a little. Managing to walk with the crowd and pass people without being a jerk was the biggest challenge. There was a dude in front of me who told his wife he wasn’t looking forward to Holy Shit Hill, or the Walnut Street bridge. It is steep and slows everybody down, at least temporarily. I made it past the first water station and port-a-potties and then HSH/the bridge. I passed a few people and admit it gave me a little thrill each time I did it. I saw a woman with two prosthetic legs walking and a woman with one, who was relying on a crutch to help her along. It almost made me embarrassed that I am so slow with two regular (if chubby) legs. I jogged a little, about a block and half overall, but managed to keep a brisk pace or what is brisk for me. I also knocked 2 minutes off my time from last year’s Red Earth race, finishing in 52 minutes.
My sister and her friends were doing the relay and I didn’t see them. They let the wheelchair racers go first, then the marathon runners, half marathon and relay runners go then at the end the 5k runners/walkers. I didn’t see my pal Kelli, who encouraged me to do the race last year and I had walked with in the rain and cold.
I told my sister that I’m doing the half marathon, 13 miles, next year. Right after I said it I wondered if I was writing a check my butt couldn’t cash. Yet the funny thing is, I think I can. When I finished today I felt good and a little sweaty but it wasn’t that much of a challenge. So if I actually work at it and train, increase my endurance and maybe speed or acquire speed, I can. The idea blows me away.
Remembering the Earlywine race, I did everything listed except for wearing sunglasses. My cheapo Wal-Mart pair fell apart in my purse but I didn’t need them anyway. It helped.
People, most of them volunteers,stood along the route and cheered us on. I admit it helped. At the end I trotted across the finish line with a couple of other people. There were volunteers standing there with medals for us, for finishing. An older ndn man was among them and he handed me one and said “Good.” I felt good too.
I wandered on and got a little bottle of water and an orange. I enjoyed feeling the wind blowing around me and the cool air kept me comfortable. I made my way to the parking garage and after about 10 minutes of driving around downtown trying to get out, I drove home.