|Yep! First Place age group medal is real!|
My daughter wanted to run this race, but had a softball game a few hours after she would have finished. Instead, she came to cheer on the Striders. She and my sister, Rachel, are my biggest fans - I just know it. Lol. My brother, Aaron, participated as the Strider's self-pronounced professional photographer and gets plenty of "thank yous" for capturing some of the good, the bad, and the ugly moments of our running.
I started out the race feeling okay, but found that I couldn't hang with a few friends. I ran 2 miles having to go potty and finally found a port-o-potty. I am so happy I do not have the intense, "I will die if I have to go into one of those!" phobia of port-o-potties (like my OCD sis - j/k Rachel, you know I love you!). I was running about a 1/4 mile behind the pack for those 2 miles, but lost them after the potty. I was upset and decided I was not racing anymore. It was then that I settled into my rhythm. I looked up at mile 5 and saw a couple of my peeps. I remember thinking stay strong and breath and had I not then my actions would have responded to that voice in my head that told me, "You're tired, slow down!" I finished within 8 seconds of the friends I was chasing, in 51:47.
As I crossed the finish line, I was disgusted with my race attempt and finishing time. I wanted something under 50 minutes and to take home age group bling. It felt like all this slipped away from me as I crossed the line, tired and out of breath. I threw myself a huge pity party, even as my favorite cheerleader (my daughter) met me at the finish line with a huge smile. The disappointment in myself melted away as she hugged me, sweaty and stinky as I was. How could I remain upset? I softened my mood and we went to check the results. OMGOSH, the first place in my age group medal now rests on my medal shelf. And, I was given a box full of bananas to take home...ahh, the spoils of racing!
Lesson: It is what it is, so do what you can and everything will work out fine!