The weather was ideal for the Bright Night 5K. It doesn't get much better than the 70s with low humidity in N.C. in May!! We got there super early and had time to make sure our race bibs were on right, get the chips tied into our shoes, get water, go tot he bathroom, etc.
The race was a pretty big one with 300-400 runners and walkers. I was definitely nervous as I found my spot in the middle of the crowd behind the starting line. At this point I wondered again why I decided to do this... I seem to always second-guess myself right before the gun goes off.
Started off pretty well ran nonstop for a pretty good while at the beginning of the race. The first water stop was early.. around the first mile. The side stitch from hell was starting at that point, but it was nice to hear a "Go, Beth!" from my friend Christie at the water station.
For awhile there I ran less than I wanted because my side was hurting so much. I tried taking walking breaks, massaging my side and breathing to help.
I pushed through...it was definitely hard. I felt like it took forever to get to the halfway and two-mile mark. I accidentally left my stopwatch at home, so I had no idea how I was doing.
I dealt with the side stitch through the end of the race. (My husband says better breathing and potassium-rich foods before the race may help next time.) I got re-focused and picked two women ahead of me as people to keep up with.
At the last water station the ladies did not stop, but my mouth was desert dry. I drank two sips of water, dropped the cup and kept trucking. Shortly, after the stop the two ladies started walking and I actually felt like running...so I passed them.
I ran for a bit more, took a brief walking break and was surprised to realize I had pulled ahead from the group around me. One thing that was great about the race was the volunteers cheering on the runners/walkers at each turn!! It helped there at the end.
I turned one of the last corners and decided to run the last bit of the race nonstop. I wanted to stop MANY times, but then I saw the finish line in the offing.
Before I could see the time clock, I saw my husband on the sidelines giving me a thumbs up so I knew my time was good. A smile lit up my face and that only got bigger when I saw the clock. It said 36:10!!! My goal was between 35 and 37 minutes...success!! My chip time was even better...35:53! :)
It was a great feeling that I reached my goal and my hardwork was worth it. My time in February was 39:48...pretty good improvement, I think.
Now onto the next race/challenge. My husband wants me to do a 10K in September...we shall see!