I woke up Thanksgiving morning at 6am while everyone else was still asleep to get ready for my last race of the year. I checked the outside temperature to see that it was 43 degrees, it was going to be a cold run. I met Ashley in downtown Orinda only to find the temperature was 37 degrees there. We parked and walked over to Civic Park to pick up our race packets only to find a huge line of people. There were 1600 people racing and only 4 people distributing packets. It was 7:35am when we got in line and we guessed that the race would not start on time based on how long the lines were. Once we got our race packets we walked back to the car to drop off our shirts and ran back to the park in an effort to try and stay warm and warm up for the run. It was almost race time, but it didn't look we would start on time. Sure enough the 10k started about 25 minutes late and than we waited another 10 minutes before the 5k runners could start. Once they gave us the start it was slow moving to the start line, we crossed the start line about 30 seconds after the start of the race, not as bad as the Devil Mountain Run earlier in the year where it took an entire minute to reach the start line. After we hit the one mile marker I was strangely feeling really good, I was expecting a tough run as I had not run in three weeks with both kids being sick and then a week in Mexico. So, I was pleased to be feeling good and had found a nice pace. I was amazed to see how crowded the path was. At no point in the race did it ever seem to thin out, I guess that's what you get with 1600 people running. There were lots of turn-arounds and the paths were narrow and people were jumping out into our direction to try and pass people in their direction. Thankfully most of the strollers were behind me, I don't even know how anyone managed a double stroller on this course. I caught a sneak peek at the 6 mile marker for the 10k runners and knew we were in the home stretch. I picked up the pace and tried to really maintain a nice pace knowing how close we were to the finish line. I had to quickly jump left as I saw the signs pointing to the 5k finish. Phew, I had made it! And according to my watch I had finished at 32:08, a PR for me. I was amazed and not really sure I had made a PR, because I was certainly not expecting to. There was no large clock, so I had no idea what my official time was. I kept hearing 5k left and 10k right, and there were 2 lines to take our race bibs, since it wasn't chip timed. I saw Ashley in the right lane and worried that I was in the wrong line, so I jumper over to her line. Apparently there were two 5k lines and I should have stayed where I was, because my official time now shows as 1 minute faster than my watch time. So, I'm going with my watch time, which should be more accurate and still a PR.
The last race of the year turned out great! As I look back on the year, I am amazed that I finished 9 events. I started the year off with my first race post-baby with the Mermaid Run. My worst time ever, running in cold and wind, but I finished and went on to do 8 other events. I'm thankful to all of my friends who joined me on so many of these runs and to my family for being supportive and watching the girls so I could get my run on!
Next up is the Brazen NY's Run!