I'm not sure what I expected going into this race. Possibly (hopefully) a PR. I had a slightly better week in lead-up to this race than I did into Colfax a few weeks ago, but motivation has been a bit hard to find. Mentally, this constant racing has been rough.
In any case, Brandon thankfully came home Saturday night - his dad went in for heart surgery right after Memorial Day - why Brandon had to peace out after the BolderBOULDER (everything's okay now, though!) so he was able to come up to the race with me. He considered racing it for a minute, but then decided to just cheer me on. As a result, all photos you see are courtesy him (thanks, mrr!).
In any case, we got up to Louisville about 6am - 45 minutes before the half-marathon went off and about 90 minutes before I went off in the 5K.
We walked around, talked to Nicole DeBoom a bit ... mainly just hung out. We watched the half-marathon go off and then soon enough, it was time for the 5K.
I started out near the front - my initial race plan was just to GO and pray and try and hold on. Unfortunately, I didn't have the lungs to execute. My Garmin said my early paces were in the mid- to low-7s ... but I kept having to walk. Race went slightly uphill and then waaaaay uphill. I knew a PR was NOT in my cards. I just had to run when I could and see what happened.
Then I saw a girl, probably middle-school-aged, struggling. She was running with her dad, but they kept getting separated. I heard her crying. At one point, I asked if she wanted someone to run with; she said yes, so I did. She ditched me soon after when I had to walk, but I caught up with her again with probably about 3/4 of a mile to go. We stayed together after that but I held back a bit at the finish line so she could have her own moment (she finished 8 seconds ahead of me).
Tim DeBoom and daughter Wilder coming to the finish in third (Wilder was DQed thanks to dad).
Coming around the corner with Julia, the girl I ran with.
Afterward, waiting for results, we hung out, ate bagels and delicious gluten-free chocolate cake and I got a picture with the DeBooms.
Lotta Ironman royalty here ...
I also won a jar of salsa and a massage for my mad dance skillz. They were doing some games for prizes and they had a mini dance contest that I somehow ... won. I know, right? I don't mention it here, but if you know me in person, you know that I lack rhythm. Luckily, I am also starting to not care about that in my advanced age.
Eventually, the results came out ...
Overall Rank: 22/161
Gender Rank: 17/138
Division Rank: 3/14 (F30-39)
Yep, the smaller race and my halfway decent time meant I got third place in my age group and my first ever actual award (something that says I placed, rather than just a random pint glass) for a running/multisport race.
Totally wasn't expecting that - wasn't my best race and I essentially put my own race aside to help someone else out ... which made the result that much more gratifying.
One more race and then SIX GLORIOUS WEEKS OFF ...