My husband, Marty, and I woke up pretty early to be down by the Chicago lakefront for our 10K race. We stayed with my friend Nicole (what a great hostess) and she made us coffee and I had my typical Luna bar before we left. The race was at 9:00 am, but we had to pick up our race packets still. We piled into her van and went to pick up our other two friends, Betsy and Mike, and headed down to the race. Our other friend Nick was meeting us down there.
Nicole snagged a great parking place and we headed to pick up our race packets. We got some really nice blue technical shirts. Then I used a porty potty for the first time ever. It wasn't bad, but it was early in the day. We had on gloves and coat while we were waiting. We stretched and took pictures. We did alot of people watching. It was a Trick or Treat Race so alot of costumes. Our friend Mike was a pirate. There was a "foot". There were all sorts of super heroes. Monster Mash playing in the background. Then finally we lined up and the Star Spangled Banner was sung and we were off!
A week or so ago I wrote that I was worried about being last in the race - not so much being last, but getting lost or turned around all by myself out on the course. Nicole read what I had written and wrote me and told me that she would run with me and we would have fun and we would finish even if we had to walk it.
So Nicole and I started off and Marty and Nick took off and we quickly lost sight of them. Mike stayed with us for awhile. The first mile was tough for me, but I hung in there because from my training runs I knowthat sometimes the first mile is the toughest. It got a little easier and I could see some of the first 5Kers returning already. They finished in 15 minutes or so. We could see whitecaps and they were crashing on the shore. It was beautiful. The sun was shining and it was just a nice day! Mike broke away from us even though he was walking.
Nicole and I kept running and we talked. Last year when I did my first 5K I couldn't talk hardly at all, but this time I could talk. So I must be in much better shape. LOL. Around the 4th mile, I was struggling a little, but just kept on going. Other 10K runners were on their way back and was giving us thumbs up and yelling encouragement. It was nice! We finally arrived at the turning around point where a volunteer asked us "Are you running?" I guess he couldn't tell even though we had numbers on our shirts. He told us that they had already taken down the cones, but he pointed at the turnaround. Nicole was pretty good at following the arrows so I just concentrated on running.
While we were turning around we saw another runner just coming up to the turn-around so we waved and smiled at her. She asked to join us so then there were three. We ran the rest of the way together. She had just finished a marathon a few weeks ago and was soooo encouraging to me. She ran at about the same speed as me and she finished a marathon!!! It took her over 7 hours but she did it!! AMAZING!! So that kept me going and around 5.5 miles who do we see, but Marty and Mike coming back for us!! They walked with us as we ran the last of the race. It was Marty's first race ever and he did awesome!! I was so happy for him. Then we saw Nick coming for us and saw Betsy waving to us and then the finish line. As I ran across they announced "it is her first 10K". Betsy, the best friend ever, told him it was my first 10K. There was hardly anyone left and they had picked up most of the bananas and bagels, but who cared I finished a 10K - it was about 1 hour 43 minutes. No record but I have something to shoot for now.
After we hugged and gave each other high fives, we took off for the van. We went home took showers and then headed to breakfast (at about 1:00 in the afternoon). A great day!! Marty and I had to say goodbye and get in the car for the 5-6 hours ride back home. We stopped after a few hours for a Starbucks and we couldn't hardly walk. Then a few more stops to stretch and we made it home. It was a fantastic weekend! I am so grateful for such good friends that support and encourage me. There were alot of my online friends also cheering me on and I could feel their hugs and cheers while I was running. I had to post as soon as I finished so I could let them all know that I did it!
Now what? A 5 miler on Thanksgiving morning that Marty already signed us up for and we are contemplating the Louisville Triple Crown of Running 5K in February, 10K in March, and the Half Marathon in April. That is alot of running - not sure I am ready for that yet, but whatever I decide it will be fun!