ketchup, er catch up.

I finished the 5K. The results aren’t posted anywhere yet, so I can’t give you my official time, but I made it in 38 minutes and some seconds, and without walking. The heat was apparently really bad (though I didn’t really notice because I would have been sweating anyway). The t-shirt is a prized possession now, and minus the cotton-poly blend in the fabric is actually a favorable design and color. Woo hoo for navy blue!

The run itself was exhilarating; probably a combination of the crowd running and the crowd cheering. Unbeknownst to me, a handful of camp folks were there to cheer me on (I had announced my intentions to run a 5K in a devo about training in Godliness as it compares to training for a race, referring also to Hebrews 12:1-2 that addresses a cloud of witnesses and mentions running a race)…they did so at the first major corner, which inspired some running near me to cheer for me as well (which may have made me blush, though you probably wouldn’t have been able to tell). They were also towards the end, which was sweet. I was also really happy to see another counselor running–she started with me, which was fun. We crossed the start-line together (which was about a block away from where we started because of the mass).

Somewhere along 6th street (on the inclined bridge) I was running next to a guy in his 40s or so who commented to me about the incline. We talked for about 3/4 of a mile and it turns out he’s from Indianola. This was his third 5K. After talking with him, he told me he thought I’d make it in under 40 minutes, something he hadn’t done yet. He thought he might have except for going a little too hard in training the previous week and hurting his back. We stuck together until just before the turn around point, where my pace continued and his might have slowed. I didn’t catch his name, but I know he has a daughter in high school and about where he lives, so maybe I’ll run into him again.

The water stops were hilarious. I read up on a blog about the tendencies of newbies to clog and congest the water tables and also some tips to look and act as one more experienced (including squeezing the cup from the top to get rid of excess water and make it easier to drink on the go)…I skipped the first one altogether, as I wasn’t really thirsty (11 glasses of water between 2 and 6:45 that day). The second one that came along I decided to go ahead and try it. I made eye contact with my volunteer (never go to the tables, the website said, though I think that was for the sake of time), grabbed a glass, squeezed it and proceeded to basically breathe in the water…causing me to choke the flavor of my pre-race oatmeal for the next increment. I grabbed water at the turn around point and did it again. Dang, right? I was slightly concerned that those around me were going to think that I was coughing to suggest they get out of my way, but no one said anything (or moved, for that matter). Perhaps they were too tired.

Several people warned me about starting too fast, and I think I did pretty well at picking a good pace. I passed plenty of people who’d passed me in the beginning by about halfway. Let me tell you, the tortoise feels pretty good about finishing slow and steady if it’s anything like me. Surprisingly, some of the folks who ran and walked ended up with a similar pace overall. One gal with kind of crazy hair (too short for a pony tail, so lots of little ones) ended up passing me several times and then I’d pass her when she walked. I think I ended up finishing before her, but it was because I had enough energy at the end to really go for it.

Folks have been asking if I’ll do it again. You bet. I’d love to do the Race for the Cure in October, but it falls on All State audition day for the Des Moines race. I might have to find another (living history farms? Although I’m not sure I want to run in the great outdoors in November…) before winter sets in. I’ll probably keep this up. The act of running isn’t so great that I want to do a marathon (someone needs to question me if I ever decide to do that…that would be an indication of a flipped switch or a divine act), but the race itself is pretty fun. Midnight Madness 2012 can probably count on me for next year…maybe I’ll even go to the after-festivities (spaghetti, ice cream, music, etc.).

Speaking of music, tonight was the penultimate Bluegrass Tuesday on the Square/courthouse lawn in Indianola. What is WRONG with me? Why haven’t I gone to that before now? It was awesome. Let me set the scene…Lawnchairs. Lots of them. A few kettle corn and ice cream vendors set up. A rented stage. A bus in the background that Dailey and Vincent (a bluegrass band from Nashville) came in. Small town folks…and not just from this town. Most people wearing bluegrass t-shirts of some variety (so corny, but so great). Most people smarter than I because they had long sleeves on (it was chilly!). Grown men wiping away tears during ballads (that sounded more like country tunes than Bluegrass, but what do I know?). The audience claps for every crescendo and any tune they recognize. The emcee is particularly interested in the states of origin of the audience, so he gave prizes to specific state citizens (Minnesota, Alabama, possibly Florida).

For the first time, sitting among the group of people enjoying free (well, free-will donation, as it turns out) bluegrass music, I felt like a part of my heart was “won” by this community. It seems to draw people together…and though it’s kind of a similar demographic for the most part (you know, retired folks and their grandchildren), there were a handful of young families scattered throughout. It was sweet to behold.

I should probably make an effort to go to bed; the temperature today was awesome, so I look forward to sleeping pretty well with the windows open. Thanks for your 5K supporting :).

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