I did not welcome the sound of the alarm clock when it went off yesterday morning. It was still dark and all signs pointed to “You should still be asleep!”
I maneuvered myself out of bed and into the outfit I had laid out the night before. Then I rousted Robin Hood and the dog, and after a blur of staggering around and gathering supplies, we were out the door.
Our destination: the New Mexico Chips & Salsa 5k.
Despite the early hour, I had reason for good cheer. Not only did I have a support crew with me (that wasn’t always a sure thing due to Robin Hood’s hunting schedule), but it was clear and a little cooler than usual. Conditions were in place for a beautiful morning.
Once we got to the race site, my warm-up consisted of walking from the car to the porta-potty line, going through the porta-potty line a second time, then walking to the starting area. Such is racing when you’re 28 weeks and two days pregnant. But relaxing and hanging out with my little family (Ann, our coonhound, got loads of attention and ate up every bit of it) suited me fine. I even felt the baby fluttering around – maybe she was excited for the run??
After the half-marathon and 10k had their respective starts, it was the 5k’s turn. I smooched Robin Hood and patted Ann, and found a spot for myself in the middle of the herd. Shortly thereafter, we were off!
I trotted along, taking it pretty easy per my routine for the last few months. I focused on my breathing and let that be my guide. I peeked at my watch at mile 1 (some habits will NOT be squashed), and saw a satisfactory 9:22. I continued to focus on my breathing and took some water at the mid-course aid station. I’ll admit the old competitiveness flared up a couple of times (again – habits!) but rather than unleashing a sprint, I tried the tactic of merely lengthening my stride. So simple, but SO HARD to remember in a race. I don’t know if it accomplished much in this case, but hey, I felt good about it!
Right before the final straightaway, I passed Robin Hood and Ann on the sidelines, cheering (well, cheering and standing there looking bored, respectively). That carried me across the finish line in an official time of 29:06. I was VERY happy with that. Other than needing the porta-potty again, I felt good.
The race organizers deserve tons of credit. The event was smoothly run, with lots of support – including cheerleaders! Never have I run a 5k with cheerleaders!! – and a phenomenal post-race spread. I’d rattle off all the food they offered, but that would lead to hazardous amounts of drool on my keyboard. Suffice to say, we didn’t need to go out for breakfast afterwards.
We checked out the race results and saw that I had snagged 3rd place in my age group! I’m telling you, don’t stop going to races if/when you get pregnant; the results could amaze you. We ate some more, I got my medal, Ann got more pats from the crowd, and we headed home.
It was indeed a beautiful morning. I am so very thankful for it.
P.S. My Texas and Florida readers – my thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay safe.