That's not to say I didn't even manage to have fun — before and after the race, I did enjoy myself. (And during the race, when a tiny dog who lived on the race route totally bandited it, I grinned.) So let's focus on that.
It was Annah's first 5K ever, though funnily enough she's done a half marathon, and it went great for her.
All of the advice she sought from me over the weekend was either right or not-wrong, because she ran the whole way and finished in about 42 minutes, much faster than her goal/prediction of 45:00.
I spotted her during the out-and-back course, as well as Cory and book clubber Stephanie, and she looked strong. She still looked good as she crossed the finish line — less smiley than in our pre-race selfie, but much more determined:
Pam and Marco fought through a flu bug to cheer on Annah (Cory and I had finished by the time they arrived), and Joel woke up obscenely early to drive back from a college-friend reunion weeked in Columbia, Mo., in time for Annah's big finish.
As we stood around enjoying the free beer afterwards, we happened to notice that 5K times had already been posted, so we meandered over to see what we'd officially done.
"What's that one next to my name mean?" Cory asked when we found his time. It means a trophy for finishing first in your age group, you speed demon! (23:14, and that includes the amount of time it took to get to the official start.)
|Race trophy and trophy girlfriend. Cory had a good Sunday.|
I finished in 26:22, walking probably six times and finishing almost a minute off my last year's time (not to mention how far away from my PR I was). There's nothing I can blame it on but myself, not weather or terrain or training-plan gaps: I was just incredibly mentally weak.
I could analyze it and point out the positives in my splits, and of course I did those things over post-race food and beer.
But it's long over now, and I'd rather remember my genuine happiness for those who did well, the sunshine and support at the afterparty, and the summery weather we kept soaking up on our post-race bike ride.