After all that my boss texted me to say that I needed to work night shift for the rest of the week. I scrambled to get the kids to my mother-in-laws and drink enough caffeine to make it past 10PM. I ended up working 10pm-8am Thursday night and 10pm-6am last night. And I'll be working another night shift tonight and possibly tomorrow too.
I came home knowing that Shane had already signed us up for the Central Elementary Healthy Family 5k on the rail trail today. It was raining out and I hoped that he would decide to crawl in bed rather than get me up. I wasn't so lucky and he dragged me out of my warm covers to get ready. The girls and Shane's mother were going to run with us too. Thankfully the rain had stopped for the most part by the time we made it down to the trailhead. I told myself I would go nice and easy and just shake out my legs.
The race started at 9:30am on the dot and I went out quickly to get past some walkers and slower runners. I was right behind a woman who was running a pace that seemed comfortably hard. I decided to stay right with her and see how that went. About a half mile out I started looking up ahead and realized I couldn't see any other women besides the one in front of me. Could I really be in second place?
As we approached the turnaround I caught sight of a ponytail way off in the distance. I realized I must be third woman and decided I'd better go ahead and make a race of it afterall. I passed the woman I'd been drafting off of and tried to gap her but she stuck to me, always just off my shoulder. As we made the turn around she stopped to take a cup of water. I almost screamed with joy right then. I'm glad I didn't because it would have been premature. A half minute later she was back on my shoulder again.
I was starting to hurt and my breathing was ragged. A headwind felt like it was beating me back with every step. Only the footsteps echoing behind me kept me pushing. I started reminding myself, "It's supposed to hurt" and "It's all about who's willing to hurt the most now." A young boy caught us and as he went by the woman he told her, "You can catch her!" Knowing he meant me I decided to prove him wrong. I did my best to stay with him and it worked. I put a 10-15 second gap on the woman and was picking up speed. I didn't know if I could hold it but I figured passing out or puking were the only things that might stop me.
I temporarily passed the boy again but he sped up in the final tenth of a mile and beat me by a few seconds. As I reached the last stretch I glanced back and saw I had at least 15 seconds on the woman. I glanced ahead and I saw the clock said 24:10! What?! No way! I was going to PR AGAIN! I found my after burners and eeked out a strong kick to cross the line in 24:27, a 25 second PR!
Showing off my hardware
I found Shane and he had finished in 21:06 for a new PR as well (not counting his 20:50 on a short course). He also got 5th overall and first in his age group. We went back out to look for the girls and his mom and cheered on our friends along the way. One of our friends was really struggling so Shane turned around to run back to the finish with her and ended up helping her get a PR too! I continued to head back out along the course and around a half mile out I found Shane's mom pushing Ash in the stroller. I took the stroller from her and pushed Ash to the chute where I let her out and so she could run across the finish herself. Her time was 38:53 and she got second in her age group (but we gave it to the next girl because Ash was pushed). We cheered in my mother in law for a 39:23 finish and second in her age group. Shane went back out again to find Gemma and run her in. She finished around 55 minutes and was really upset she didn't get an award. I reminded her she's been sick for over a week now and it's okay to take it easy and walk when that happens.
After the awards were announced we stuck around for door prize drawings. Gemma won a Kids' Book of coupons for clothing stores, entertainment, food, etc. Ash won a basket of Bath and Body Works goodies. We sure do have some lucky kids! A representative from GNC was there and sent me home with a bag of vitamins and goodies so I guess some of that rubbed off on me. :)
Basket and Coupon Book
All of our goodies
All in all it was a really pleasant surprise and I'm really excited to see what I can do in Baltimore next week!