Downtown driving does not agree with me. Give me a nice open parking lot with lots of spaces and I am a happy camper. Ask me to find a spot on a side street in an area where I am not familiar and I may just turn around head back home. Parallel parking and I are not friends. If Parallel Parking tried to friend me on Facebook I would click "ignore".
Anyhow... after texting my friend in my stressed out state, she told me where to go to find a spot. I made my way there, threw the car into park and ran from the car to the race site. Whew. Made it just in time to pin on my bib and watch the 5k start. The 10k started 30 minutes later so my friend Sarah and I hung out and waited for our start. She just finished the iron distance at Beach2Battleship a little over a week ago so it was kind of impressive that she opted for the 10k - but then again that girl loves her distance running :)
My plan was just to use it as a training run. I had 7 miles on the schedule for the day. I figured this would be close enough. As Sarah and I were standing around she mentioned that she had seen little to no course markings or cones earlier when she was checking out the course. My over 40 eyes don't see that well at night and being as the course was on a path that was dimly lit and/or not lit at all we thought this should be interesting. They had sent an email earlier to let us know it would be dark and to wear reflective clothing. I brought my clip on light for my hat just in case.
So the race takes off and I am pretty much at the back of the pack. Not that there was all that much of a pack - maybe 150 or so. Anyhow. Announcements, National Anthem, count down and we are off. I was feeling pretty good, passing people up a little hill and into the park. Once into the park it was pretty dark but there were enough people on the first 5k loop to be able to follow and not worry about getting lost. I was kind of amazed how dark the course was - there were several places where I would not have been able to see where I was going had I not had a light on my hat.
I knew I was doing pretty good but it is so dark I don't bother trying to look at my watch and the 10k people are mixed in with the 5k people at this point in the race. I get to a little out and back turn around and see a motorcycle coming out. Hmm. That's weird there is a motorcycle on the course. Oh wait. That is the first place runner. There is the second place runner. Annnnnd then there is me. No way. It is dark. I must have missed another runner or two in there. There had been some 5k people in between. Totally possible I missed someone.
We get to the split off where the 5k people head to the finish and the 10k people start the 2nd loop. It wasn't all that clear where to go so I had to ask the volunteer. At that point the motorcycle was far enough ahead that I couldn't follow anyone so I was just running and trying to remember which way the first loop went. (There were quite a few forks in the path). For most of the next two miles I wasn't even sure I was running the right direction. Occasionally I would see a sign or a volunteer to help but there was no one ahead of me close enough to see. I wanted to keep my pace the best I could just in case I was in 3rd. I passed two volunteers and one of them says "just damn! that girl is run-ning!" LOL. I finally got to the out and back again and there was the motorcycle. One runner. Two runners. Me. Holy Moly. I am 3rd! Cannot even believe it - I was sure the one a couple weeks ago was some weird cosmic alignment but here I was again. So surreal. I knew I had about a mile to go. It was cold out and my lungs were starting to burn a little. Just hung on and tried not to get lost in the darkness on my way to the finish :)
|Me with my cheering sign my friend made for me!|
|Podium shot with our flowers and gifts :)|
On deck for this weekend is an 8 mile run on Saturday followed by a 25k race on Sunday. Hope you all have a great weekend!