I had planned to walk for the first ten minutes or so, just to warm up. I lasted five minutes. I had to start jogging or I was going to be last for sure! I was pretty much alone. I did pass a few folks around the first mile. I ran as best I could and then walked when I was breathing too hard and hurting. Soon all the runners were coming back, passing me by. I counted as many as I could because only the first 75 finishers were getting medals of completion. I really hoped I could be in that top bunch so I could get a medal too. I soon realized I had no worries about that. I would not be finishing in the top 75.
I kept on going though, and hoped that I would be going fast enough to beat my previous personal best (unofficial) time of 18 minutes per mile. That is the speed that I do out on the trails I like. Oh, and asphalt is very hard on your knees and legs! I missed my softer trails!!!
As the finish line finally came in view, I dug down deep and talked myself into speeding up for a strong finish! I didn't want to embarrass myself or my family!
I heard my son and husband cheering me on and it was also nice that there were others in the crowd who were clapping too. I thought there must be a bunch of people behind me. (there wasn't)
Here I am, at the finish line! The time was 48min/15sec. I had beaten my old time by three minutes per mile! Yay me!
I wasn't in the top 75 finishers, as I had realized when so many passed me by as runner after runner went by me on their way back. So I didn't get a medal. Oh well, I wasn't last. I passed others. I went faster than I've ever gone before. And I have the tee shirt and photos to prove it all! hahahaha
I don't know if I will be brave enough to do a competitive race someday or not. This one mixed walkers, runners, and run/walkers all together. I was the 85th person across the finish line. This means I was faster than about 40 other people! (IF they had all showed up and run the race too)
Ok, ok, truth be told, those other 40 included a lady with a walker, an old man, a young girl that was heavier than myself, and others that were physically challenged! But you know what? I finished and a year ago, I wouldn't have been able to make it from the parking lot to the start line. I think that is the most important thing to take away from this...along with smiles and a great sense of accomplishment!