700 people, 67% of them women, a beautiful course and a light drizzle. Not quite the ideal "Perfect Run" that my t-shirt talks about, but I had a secret weapon. My father-in-law, by my side. His first race the MCM Gender Defender 5k, and he wanted to run it with me. Like side-by-side. I'm so glad that he did. In typical Marine Corp fashion, the gun went off at precisely 7pm. About a mile into the race, we hit Quantico, VA, population: 480. Live music lined the route and hard core supporters manned the water table. About 1.5 miles in we hit a hill, not horrible, but certainly not welcome. My constant supporters says, "We're halfway there!"
We come back down a hill and hit the water station a little before the 2 mile mark. We run a bit with an older marine singing cadence to his whining, teenage daughters. It definitely helped that he took my mind off the running and kept me on pace. We wound past mile 2 and hit another hill. Funny how routes always have more uphills than downhills, huh? A few twists and turns and we're in the homestretch. Down a nice hill through a tunnel, with no lights, which was an odd feeling, up a hill and we're less than 1/4 mile from the end.
This is where I usually kick it into a sprint. Fortunately/unfortunately, I didn't have enough left in the tank to sprint at this point. (Fortunately because it means I didn't leave anything on the course. Unfortunately, because I really wanted to!) At the 3 mile mark was an awesome site: my husband! The only time, save for my first race, that he has been at the finish line. Right before the finish line, about the time I decided to sprint to the end, I saw my kids and my mother-in-law.
We sprinted across the finish line and gathered up our bottle opener/carnation and our MCM Series Warrior Chip. While I am not pleased with my final time (41:02) I am so proud that I actually ran the entire race. No walk breaks, and not much variance in pace. This is a huge deal, and the part I am focusing on.
Next 5k is September 22nd and the next big race on my radar is the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon on October 13th. I'm pleased with my progress and hope to PR at both of those races!