My goals for this race were simple. Not be last, not get lost, and to run the entire race (no walking allowed!).
And the race course was in downtown El Paso. Close to the border. By myself (and 1,000 other runners/walkers. But let's not quibble the finer points, okay?)
So Friday evening, Danny drove the course to show me where to run.
I was so nervous, I couldn't remember it.
But then, as all elite runners know, it was time to carbo load before the big race. As elite runners, marathoners, and triathletes can tell you, carbo loading is important to your performance the next day on your run. Carbo loading usually consists of some form of pasta. But carbo loading in the Southwest looks a little different.
Then off to bed and try to sleep before the race the next morning!
Saturday morning. Woke up before the alarm and we got ready to leave. Danny had breakfast but I couldn't eat a thing. Probably not a good idea for a diabetic about to run a 5K but I couldn't get anything down. That was a decision that would come back to haunt me later.
We got to the start and waited.
Here I am waiting for the start, ole number 719!
Then it was time. I lined up with the runners at the start.
I'm in there somewhere. If you look behind the guy in the yellow shirt you can just barely see me in my purple shirt. At least I think that is me.
The gun sounded and we were off!
(I don't have a picture of just me starting. Operator error on the part of Camera man Danny.)
The first block was flat. I was afraid to start out too fast and later run out of gas so I knew I had to pace myself. So I paced myself by running the first block with a 70 year old woman. That's right. Step for step with someone twenty years or more older than me. Lot's of people just breezed right by us. The elite runners and the not so elite runners. But then we turned the corner and faced THE HILL.
It doesn't look like much here but it was a MILE uphill. A mile. Uphill.
Did I mention that it was mile and uphill.
I lost my 70 year old friend at this point and did not see her again until after the race.
I made it to the top without stopping or walking. I turned the corner and it was downhill. Thank you! So I picked up speed running downhill. I was flying. In a metaphorical kind of way. I really had not sprouted wings. I felt good. And then I turned the corner and...
ANOTHER HILL! I made it up that hill. And hit another downhill. I was flying on those metaphorical wings again, getting close to the finish line. I was passing slower runners right and left. I was a running machine. When I turned another corner and ANOTHER HILL! Right before the finish.
I made it up that final hill and crossed the finish line...
in the blazing hot time of 35.01.
(Camera man Danny had to use a fast shutter to catch my speed at the finish line.)
(Not really. He used just the regular shutter.)
I came in fourth out of nine in my age group.
I did get a little light headed after the race. Probably low sugar levels from not eating that morning. But a banana and a few cookies later and I was fine. I knew that the decision to not eat breakfast would come back and haunt me.
And my goals of not be last, not get lost, and to run the entire race (no walking allowed!), I accomplished them all Since I did not win a medal at the race we made a trip to the mall and picked up my own award.