I woke up at 5:30am the morning of the run. Originally I was going to run TO the race, run the race and run home. That would have been 14.6 miles and I was curious to see how long it would take me. Anyway, my leg was already throbbing and I wasn't even out of bed. I also had worked the night before and didn't get to bed until after 1am. I got up and did some stretching, walking around the house, seeing if I'd be able to pull off the mind over matter thing. I knew I couldn't do 14.6 miles that day. I was certain I could do the 5K, though probably slow. I figured I'd give it a shot. I know I will be in some degree of pain in the marathon, I thought I'd use this opportunity to see how I'd handle it running. 5K is a relatively short run, I had finished it in 31 minutes a couple weeks ago. I had nothing to lose.
I arrived and picked up my packet. I ran a slow jog back to my car to put the packet away. My leg felt a lot like it did when I pulled that muscle a few weeks ago. I stretched some more and did a quick paced walk out to the starting line. I told myself I'd use this race to pace myself, not to win, because although I was tired and sore, I refused to miss this race. So I walked to the starting line to chat with some people.
The people I met Saturday made it worth going to the race for. Even if I hadn't run. I love being around these people and hearing their stories. I just can't get enough. I have a little plan growing in my mind about this very topic, not sure yet how to produce it. More on that another day.
When Joan yelled "GO" we were off and running. I told myself to go slow, breath and pace myself for a 10 minute mile. I put the ache in my leg from my mind, concentrating on breathing. As I passed by mile marker 1, I heard "9 MINUTES 7 SECONDS" Cool, right where I should be. At the second mile marker I heard "18 MINUTES 40 something SECONDS"....hmmmm, not bad, not bad. If I kept this pace I'd finish at about 28 minutes. Oooooh, I'd LOVE that. But during the 3rd mile I knew I was slowing. My leg did hurt and I was tired. I hope Jim isn't reading this part because even though I KNOW I should have walked it out, I kept going. I put his voice out of my mind and ran anyway.
KIM: I really should do a 30 second power walk.
SELF: Yes Kim, you should.
KIM: But I'm falling behind!!
SELF: I'm tellin' Jim as soon as I see him!
KIM: C'mon...let's just go for it! He won't ever know if you keep your big mouth shut for once!
SELF: No!! I'm telling....now walk it out!
KIM: Lalalalala...I see your mouth moving but all I hear is blah, blah, blah
And so I kept going. At mile marker 3, I heard "27 MINUTES 10 SECONDS" I still had .2 to go. I clenched my teeth and took off. Once again Marie was right behind me yelling "GO FOR IT KIM!!!!!!" So she's the reason I didn't power walk, if you are reading this Jim. It really is all her fault. I was just about to power walk. Ummmm.....so anyway, for MARIE'S sake, I took off. My leg was screaming with every landing. I ran anyway. I was getting closer, I could see the finish line. Left, right, left, right...breath innnnn, breath outttttt.....almost there. Across that finish line I flew, came in at 30 minutes, 52 seconds. I still beat my last 5K time by 1 minute. And that's with a sore leg and 4 hours sleep. Someone handed me a water, I looked over and found my husband and my 2 youngest kids, Emily and Robby. It always feels so good to see them after a race.
We went up to the tent to chat, eat and see everyone receive their awards. I didn't think I'd placed this time, but I still wanted to see everyone get their prizes. Ed and Joan Morgan did a phenomenal job getting the race together. The vendors, the awards, and the overall atmosphere they helped create makes these races so much fun. That and the priceless looks on the faces of my husband and son when they found out there was PIZZA! Even funnier when they found out it was FREE! I couldn't stop laughing....lol. My two guys love pizza!!!! Even better was Abbe's Donuts was there. Emily and I had a Boston cream donut that was like heaven. As I licked the chocolate off my finger, I looked around and saw everyone eating apples and bananas. NOT ME!!! LOL Give me a donut anyday.....hahahaha!!
Ed was yelling out the names of the women 40-45 who placed up to 6th place. As he began to give name #6, he said "and 6th place goes to a very special friend of ours, Kim Cusick!!" Tears came to my eyes at that moment. I know I'm a mushball, but I think that moment meant more to me than the pretty green ribbon Joan handed to me with a great big hug. Joan and Ed are two very special people. I'm lucky to know them both.