You betcha! (In case you can't read that, it says 26:21.) I cut a full 90 seconds off of my previous personal record! and I am absolutely thrilled. Evidence:
Thumbs up for new personal bests! This race was proof that if you put your mind to something, you really can achieve it, because it was. not. easy. My thoughts:
- The race was really well organized. Everything flowed smoothly, was clearly marked, and went according to plan, as far as I could tell.
- The positive energy was palpable - this was a race for a really great charity (the Semper Fi Fund) and so the majority of people there were military supporters. It was awesome! Very good vibes all around.
- The race course was flat and easy to run, and very clean. The cleanliness was a big concern, because the huge storms the night before left debris everywhere - luckily, the course was pretty much immaculate by the time the race was starting, and I was very thankful to not have to be dodging sticks, leaves, and other bits of nature while I ran. The volunteers must have been working super hard before the event, and for that, I am grateful!
- The awards presentation started right on time, results were posted quickly (both on paper and on the website later), and there wasn't a huge delay between the end of the race and the events afterwards. I've been to races where there was a long gap between, leading to lots of standing around. I've got places to go and things to do, folks! I liked that everything moved quickly.
- There were good, plentiful refreshments after the race. This is so nice! There were banana halves, orange slices, bagels, water and Gatorade, and snack-size Luna bars. So many choices!
- And a personal positive - my dad and C were there with me! They both walked, and they did a really great job, as well. Plus, I got to share my excitement and happiness with them at the end! I'm just glad to see them both out and exercising, while supporting me as well. We had fun! Thanks, dudes.
- The water station ran out of cups. This didn't affect me, as they appeared to have plenty when I reached the halfway point, but many of the people after me were complaining about this - and with good reason. It was WAY too hot and humid to not have water available to participants. I heard some people saying that the volunteers were just pouring some water into peoples' mouths, and I can't even imagine. That would completely throw me off track! I know that they got someone on a bike to take more cups to the station once they figured it out, but this is still a huge issue for me - you must be prepared!
- The start of the race was delayed by about 15 minutes. There were obstacles on the path (a tree down and some high standing water) that needed to be taken care of, and I completely understand that - however, this is still a negative, because with every passing minute, the temperature was climbing. Every minute earlier would have helped!
- The whole race path was in direct sunlight, with the except of passing beneath one overpass. This made the race that much harder. There was no respite from the beating sun - and it was rough.
- My biggest issue: I do not believe that the race course was accurately measured. My app said that I had gone 3.26 miles when I turned it off. I know that I started it a few seconds before crossing the starting line, and I walked off the course after finishing before turning it off, but in no way could that have added an extra .16 miles to my distance. Plus, as I was running, my app always indicated the mileage about 10-15 seconds before I got the the race marker. So I'm pretty sure that my app was right, and the race was a smidge too long. (That means my PR would actually be even better! But whatev). It happens, especially when races are done on a small-ish, local level, but I was still a bit miffed because the timing isn't as accurate as it could be. Plus, it was SO HOT. Every step counted.
- Mile 1: Great! Good music, good energy, not too hot, nothing hurt. I felt so good!
- Mile 2: The heat was getting to me - I was absolutely dripping sweat. I found some good people to keep pace with, and got lots of encouragement after the turn-around point from the people I knew who were passing me! That's always awesome.
- Mile 3: Pretty much thought I wasn't going to make it. It was like running in a sauna. The sun was pounding on my head, sweat was dripping in my eyes, and I really thought I was going to have to walk for a bit. The last leg of the race was all mental for me: it was purely my body saying no and my brain saying yes. I was picturing myself crossing the finish line, mentally seeing myself being done and setting my new PR, and that was the only reason my feet kept moving. The power of positive thinking!!
|Terrible iPhone pic per usual - hot, sweaty messes but happily done!|
And because it wouldn't be a real event without me looking ridiculous at some point, I leave you with this: