Last night when we picked up our race packets, I found out that my number was 24! That's so close to 25 that I knew it had to be a sign.
Happy with my bib number
All morning I was nervous, but I tried to put all those thoughts out of my head. When Mike and I got to the race we did our normal routine and I was so happy that I decided to wear my tank top. It was pretty hot outside and there wasn't a cloud in the sky!
Five minutes before the race was supposed to start we all headed to the start line. There were a few words said, including a prayer since the race was hosted by a Roman Catholic church. I'm non-religious but I did appreciate the part about "crossing the finish line in record-breaking speed".
Then we were off! We had lined up close to the start since there were a bunch of younger kids running in the race and we didn't want to get stuck behind them.
The course for this race was nice and flat and a semi-out and back route. I tried to control my pace during the first mile, like Laura suggested, but I felt so good that I kept going at the sub-8 minute per mile pace. I did slow down a little bit, though, and my first mile came in at 7:40 pace.
Right after the first mile we turned down a side road and this was the worst part of the race! The sun was right in your face and it was so hot. Thankfully there was one water stop, but I only drank a little bit. I poured the remainder on myself and continued on my way.
My pace had slowed to low 8 minute pace during the second mile but I was getting tired so by the time I passed the 2-mile marker my pace came in at 8:22.
I knew that I was going to have to push it if I wanted to come in at my goal time since I could tell that my pace was slowing down. I focused on keeping my pace below 9 minutes and I had to keep doing math in my head while I was running, not easy!
As I neared the last .35 miles I knew that I was cutting it close to come in around 25:59. The third mile came in at 8:56 pace and I didn't want to let my goal get away from me.
I ran as fast as I possibly could and rounded the corner into the finish. I saw Mike sitting down on the ground, cheering for me while the seconds on the clocked ticked on, 25:48, 25:49, 25:50...
As I crossed the finish line I knew I did it! I stopped my watch and looked down and it said 25:58! I knew that I was probably a little bit faster than that because I had stopped my watch a few seconds after I crossed the finish line.
We went inside to check the results because I had a feeling we might place in our age groups. As we were walking in someone was putting up the results and my official time was 25:53! I also came in second in my age group!
Mike did amazing and got a PR of his own of 23:18! He came in fourth in his age group which is great considering first, second and third all came in under 20 minutes.
We stuck around for the awards because they wouldn't give it to me early and then we went home.
Collecting my award
I am so happy with how this race went but I know I can do better. I'm excited to see how we both improve in the next couple of months, even though as of right now our next 5K won't be until December.