I ran in a local 5k on Saturday. I work as a City Planner in an adjacent town, and it was their celebration. As you can see from the picture, my mom participated with me. We got to the race only a few minutes before it started - its nice when the race starts and finishes from the same location. I woke up that morning coughing and wheezing - there was a bad wild fire in the mountains outside my house, and I think I'm allergic to the smoke. I actually took my daughter's breathing treatments before the race so I could breathe.
The race began at 7am, and it was already hot. We lined up in the road, where someone had painted "start" onto the asphalt. It was a smallish race - less than 300 people - and not as well organzied as the other races I've run. We crossed several intersections, and only one or 2 in the entire race were there police there to help with traffic. In fact, there were times that cars actually drove right next to me. I was also suprised that the first part of the race was a steady incline, as I was expecting a flat race. I actually would have prefered more hills, as I think I would have run it better. But, I ran the first mile in just over 10 minutes, which is a fairly good pace. I was having a difficult time pacing myself because I'd forgotten my iPod, and I use that to pace myself. I still felt like I was doing fairly well.
Then, at mile 2, the course turned eastward - right into the blazing sun. It was hot, and I faded fast. And a young girl (maybe 8 or 9) who was runing with her dad right in front of me, fell and skinned her knees badly. She was so tough though, she got right up and kept running. I'm not sure how quickly I ran my other 2 splits in, because I never saw the mile 2 marker. I was so thirsty, but there were no aid stations to be found. Finally, at what I'm thinking must have been around 2 1/2 miles, they had an aid station. That water tasted so good.
I tried to pick up the pace a bit, but the heat was really taking its toll. About this time, I really thought I was going to puke on the side of the road. But, I was so close, and I willed myself not to. Finally I rounded the corner to the finish line, which was on the other side of the building where we started (we ran a loop around downtown). Seeing the finish line helped me get my second wind, and at least I finished strong. But my time was 34:30, which is really quite pathetic and discouraging.
We did have fun the rest of the day. Ben and the girls met me at the finish line, and we headed over to a breakfast in the park. The girls played at the park and had fun at the petting zoo, until we had to get Gracelin dressed and onto her float for the parade.