We had a very busy, but very wonderful weekend. We saw Rick Springfield in concert Saturday night at a park in Clearwater. We were worried about the weather, since the forecast called for thunderstorms, hail and flooding but we had a perfect window of calm weather to see Rick, then the rain started again literally moments after got in our car to head home after the show. As usual, Rick ventured out in the audience and shook as many hands as he could while singing. My friend of over 25 years, Dianne, got to (in her words) "assess the muscle tone of Rick's kidney area" when he paused in front of her and my husband got a handshake from Rick. I didn't have any "Rick contact" this time, but I've had it in the past (his obliques! I touched his obliques when he was in the crowd at a previous concert and I've also touched his shoulder with the beautiful Celtic cross tattoo....we Rick fans are a funny lot)so it was ok. Rick closed with my favorite song of his "Christina" so I was hyped! It was funny, there were two of my co-workers there and I think I shocked them a little with my frenzied singing, dancing and yelling at Rick. Heck, they saw me climbing over rows of rickety folding chairs to get to Rick- I bet they didn't expect that of their normally mild mannered school librarian! :) The morning after the Rick show, we got up at 5AM to head back to Clearwater for the Iron Girl 5K. The race started at 7:30, but to get a parking space we had to arrive quite early. It was very nicely organized, even with nearly 4,000 women running (between the 5K and the half marathon)things went quite smoothly. The race that I ran had 2,534 women running in it and it was REALLY packed tight for the first 3/4 of a mile, but then it opened up pretty well. It was so crowded that I couldn't get my pace any better than a 12 minute mile until the crowd stretched out a bit. Once I finished the first mile (at just under 12 minutes)I was able to speed up a bit, but at that point I knew that my goal was just to finish and not worry about a new personal best with the slow start that I had. As it turns out, I finished only 23 seconds short of a PR- if it hadn't been for that slow start I'd have totally made it! I wish I'd looked at my Nike+GPS more often during the race, I'd have picked up the pace if I'd known it was looking like a new PR. Even so, the experience of the race was so much fun that just finishing really was good enough. My time was 33:41, with an average pace of 10:52 per mile. The race featured a huge, steep bridge that was definitely challenging, but I had preview run it with my friend Amy several days earlier so I knew what to expect. I ended up finishing a few seconds before Amy, then she hung out with my husband and I for a while afterwards so that was nice. There were lots of people lining the course with signs, my favorite ones were bright purple and said "Ladies, you kick asphalt!" At the end, we got wonderful finisher medals- mine is already hanging in a place on honor in my home. I got the official results from the race today, here are my stats:
Division place: 77/316 (so, I placed 77th among the 316 women from 40-44 years old in the race)
Overall place: 564/2534 (I placed 564th among the 2534 women who completed the 5K- I'm math impaired, but I believe that's in the top 20%- I am *thrilled* with that result.)
Now I'm thinking about trying a half marathon in December....I found one that says that it "welcomes walkers", so I'd have the option of doing run/walk intervals if my gas tank runs dry on running. We'll see. Either way, I will be doing the Iron Girl again next year, it was a wonderful experience.