I took off the whole day on Friday (my first day off in 19 days, just a little fyi). I woke up around 7:30, cleaned the house and took my time packing. I didn't leave until around 11 or 12 and started my journey to Virginia Beach. Fortunately, they weren't blasting that day. (The state is trying to cut into the mountain for much needed interstate expansion, but it comes with a cost of HOURS of traffic. I once sat on an on-ramp for 1 hour 15 minutes waiting for the blasting to finish, them to clear the road, and then do whatever else is needed before they open the road again.) My trip took no-time and I hit very little traffic. Other than having to pee really badly when I got to my friend K's house in Chesapeake, it was a great ride with beautiful weather. Already a stress-free start to the weekend. Another friend arrived shortly thereafter so we went to see a basketball game for the high school K teaches at, caught up on some great teaching stories, and oh I could gush forever because it really was an amazing time. It also really made me yearn to move back near a city - small or large.
Saturday morning I got up ready to go! Not! Ugh I was tired from driving all day. So I showered, put on my running clothes and had a breakfast for champions. I knew the Cliff bar would get me through but I was nervous about the coffee. Luckily, I had a small cup and was totally fine.
It was sooo cold that morning! About 30, not including the breeze from the ocean. By the time the race started I was able to take my jacket off and run in short sleeves so that was a really good thing. The run was AMAZING. My friend V ran, too. We started together but then I took off on my own. I really wanted to push myself for my first race. The sky was gorgeous, the weather warm by the end. We ran down one side of the board walk and up (literally - it's at the slightest incline the whole way back) the other. I kept telling myself to keep running - I wouldn't let myself walk - and luckily I had my woman in my Ipod who kept updating me as to my status. (Thanks Nike+!!) At one point I almost cried because a woman was sitting on a bench holding a sign that read "Thank you for being a hero." I though about how much all the money we raised was going to help so many well deserving people. Remember, the race was for Special Olympics of Virginia. I raised $500 and altogether we set a record $1.12 million! So awesome to be a part of that.
Physically, it felt amazing to cross the finish line. I was so invigorated and could have kept running forever - or at least a few more minutes. My finish time was 32:56 - well under my 35 minute goal! V finished in 37:50 which was under her goal of 40 minutes. We both did really awesome. Out of the 186 women in my age group, I finished 90. I'm thrilled with how well it I did. It's even inspired me to set a new goal of an under-10-minute mile so I can do even better in my NEXT 5k!!!
So after bananas, a lot of water and some stretching, we went back to K's to shower, read and nap. I relaxed until it was time to go to the PLUNGE!! I actually ended up plunging twice. Traffic was bad so my friends dropped me off and went to find a parking space. I had to run to check in and run to the beach. Then everyone plunged and I tried to wait but I didn't want to miss the whole opportunity! I ran in and ducked under the first wave - the only way I ever get into the ocean! It was cold, but definitely not as cold as I had expected. So I waited on the beach (with beautiful 52 degree weather I had no trouble hanging out wet on the beach) until my friends came with cameras in tow! I went back in to get some official pictures - just as much fun the second time around.
In the ocean! In February!
Me and K on the beach - I had my hair braided so it wouldn't tangle but now it's half-out.
My hair is so long I thought this take on The Birth of Venus would be a good idea.
We went out Saturday night and it was nice and chill. It's been a while since I've been out like that. I got to wear my new shoes - which were a just-because-turned-Valentine's-gift from L. He has great tastes - which he says is because he knows what he likes to see. They're six inch platforms, which only puts me a foot shorter than him :) But back to Saturday night - we ate seafood and danced just a little, listened to some live bands and had great conversation. I love my girls.
Here's a couple close-ups of the events. L says I shouldn't have been "show boating" at the ed of the 5k because "it was a race. A 5k race. Not a 5k finish whenever you feel like it!" and apparently 5 people passed me while I was slowing down for the picture. I love how much he cares :) And edits me as I type this. And adds in his extra comments but then asks if I'm "really going to keep that in." Love him and his support. Here is a video of the finish - it would be really cool to imbed the video but I don't know how. Boo.
Thanks for all of your support!!! One goal down, more to come! Stay tuned - I'll keep you posted on my running goals and I am pretty sure the cake decorating course will happen within the next two months!