When I got there, it was decently humid, but pretty nice with a good breeze, so I decided to run the 5k. It turned out to be a good thing that I skipped the one-mile race anyway, since that seemed to attract more kids, and it would be tough on the ego to be beaten by the kiddos, even though I know they're much, much faster. The 5k attracts the more serious runners, which is always a bit disheartening to me, but I put my game face on and headed for the back of the pack. As one guy put it, "Rabbits in the front, turtles in the back."
The race started out pretty decently. We were running in a park in Toms River, NJ, and it was quite nice in there. The course was not as flat as promised - it was pretty flat, but when you train on a road with literally NO incline, you notice every tiny hill and bump. The first mile felt like it took forever, but I managed to make it in about 10:40 (though it turned out my stopwatch was off by a few seconds). I reminded myself that I usually struggle the first mile, and started to relax into the run a bit. I also tried to slow down a bit, because the humidity was starting to take a toll on me a little. The second mile was better, though a bit more up and down, and I got to the second mile marker at about 22:36. Then, it was time to nail the finish. I had been pacing myself behind these two women for most of the race, and managed to pass them right around the halfway point at the water stop. There was another girl, right around my age, still keeping pace with me, but I pushed myself a bit and managed to lose her behind me. I passed a couple of other people, but most of them had a reason to be slowing down - one guy had a baby carriage, and his baby was crying, so he'd picked him up and was walking, another guy had a dog who needed to stop for a minute...you get the picture. But hey, I didn't come in last!
I finished right under 34 minutes, which is 3 minutes slower than my fastest time, and about a minute 15 slower than my first 5k, but I'm pretty happy with it. Being my first 3 mile run in 2 1/2 weeks, I was expecting it to be a tough one, and the heat and humidity (although relatively mild), still played a factor. I was definitely dripping with sweat by the end! I came in 127th place and beat three other girls in my age group, so I'm happy with that. The series goes on for the next two Tuesdays, so I'll be curious to see how I can reduce my time (if I can) and how I feel at the end of it! They're having a pasta party afterwards, and judging by how hungry I am tonight, I'll be ready for it!