August 9th...I have mentioned that date over and over in my posts in conjunction with running. I had planned to run at least three 5k's this year. The possible culmination (yeah, I'm already looking for another one...so it won't be the culmination) would be the Do-nut Alley Rally in my hometown of Hagerstown, MD. As soon as I heard about the fact that the local legendary do-nut shop sponsored a 5k I knew I wanted to run it.....I knew this months and months before I ever ran a step. So August 9th was the date that I was looking for...the day that I would run the do-nut alley rally.
I was worried the weeks building up to this 5k....I had this pesky pain caused by the plantars fasciitis that I had been diagnosed with a month earlier. I knew I wasn't going to run it to set any personal records...that was not my plan. My plan was to simply 'run' and finish. (seriously, I hadn't run more than 5 miles TOTAL in the previous 6 weeks). My foot wasn't/isn't better so I wasn't sure how it was going to work. Stupidly, I canned pickles the night before the race....so my foot took a beating with that! (yes, my foot ACHED after the hours of standing). The icing on the cake? The weather forecast was HORRIBLE! I was determined. This was NOT a race I was sitting out. Rain or shine....ache or pain...I was RUNNING!
Did it rain???? It rained on and off all day long. (this was an evening run). It looked clear when we made our way to the do-nut shop (yes, this was held outside of the local legendary do-nut shop!). I picked up my swag bag and got my timing chip. And then it started to rain. Yup, we were all huddled under umbrellas while we waited. Sherry and I were not to be deterred....wet or dry we were running! (pardon the crappy picture, I was dodging raindrops and of course my cell phone was in a baggie to protect it...so it wasn't exactly the best conditions for a picture!)
I even had time to take a picture of a tattoo that really intrigued Todd (it's a Beatles tattoo). Turns out the tattoo was on a gal that both Sherry and Paula went to school with. You can see that my shirt is already pretty wet and the run hasn't even started! (I think we may be running a mud run in a team with this gal!)
We moved up to the start line and waited for the gun to go off (well, really there was no gun....or maybe we were just talking and missed it!) One last picture and then we were off!
We started out and I cautioned Sherry to pace it. I reminded her that we did NOT have to keep pace with the people that had started out beside us. We needed to keep a pace that we comfortable with us. Within a half of block or so the crowd thinned out and we settled down into a comfortable pace. Ufortunately, we lost track of Paula and Alex after the first quarter of a mile. We kept a comfortable pace, using my HRM as a good guide to where we needed to be running to keep us from wearing ourselves out. At one point I was breathing heavy and Sherry threw my own words back at me and said "I hear you breathing, but are you dying?" She knew what my answer would be...that NO, I wasn't dying. So I KNEW what her response would be (the same thing I've been telling her) "then keep going!" The race course was actually ingenious. We weaved through some roads and then into a grave yard.....and we did at least 2 of the miles of this run inside the graveyard (no public roads to have to close..no cars no nuttin'). As we got to the graveyard I saw my brother and his family standing along side the road at the entrance gates. They cheered for Sherry and I! It was awesome! We waved and said hi and trucked on. No stopping for us! We weaved into the graveyard and pretty soon saw two more people on the side of the road. Mom and dad stood there cheering for me! As we ran by I introduced Sherry to mom and dad and they started cheering for her also. We ran on. Mom and dad moved to a different spot in the graveyard and they waited for us to run a mile or so and cheered for us as we finished up the loop through the graveyard. As we left the gates and reentered the public roads my brother, sister in law and there three kids were there cheering us on again! Motivated and knowing the end was in sight, we waved said hi and bye and kept going.
As we turned onto the final stretch before we turned onto the finish line I looked down for the first time and took note of the time. It was only 8:02. Uhhh the race started at 7:30 or thereabouts. So we were with less than a half mile from the end and we were at only 32 minutes. I chewed on that thought in my head and within a minute or two told Sherry about my thought that we just may have a chance to be under 40 minutes or at the very least she had a VERY good chance of setting personal record for herself. That was all that was said. We reached the final corner and turned onto the last stretch. I could see the finish line. It took me a few seconds to register that the time on the big clock was saying 39 and some change. I made one comment to Sherry. It was something along the lines of "Oh no, I refuse to cross the line over 40 minutes." I then instructed her to haul A$$ if she wanted to beat the 40 minute mark. Sherry took off like a bat out of hell and I followed along a few paces behind.
My official time was 39:23. I'm actually REALLY good with that time. I was running on a bum foot after not running for weeks. My PR for a 5k was the 38:20. So I only lost 1 minute and three seconds during the last month of hell. NOT bad. Yes, I had originally planned to run the Do-nut Alley Rally in 36 minutes or less...but life changed and I rolled with it!
Of course we had to take the obligatory post race picture!
After our picture taking extravaganza, we headed down the alley toward the do-nut shop (yes, the do-nut shop is in the alley....stop laughing, these donuts are HEAVENLY and well worth the trip down the alley!) . It was do-nut heaven festival. The smell of freshly cooked donuts wafted through the air (this is a normal scent in the alley). But the best part? About every 2-3 minutes the back door of the do-nut shop opened and out would come a person carrying trays of donuts. They walked through the crowds and we were able to simply grab a warm freshly baked do-nut as they walked by!
Why yes! I do believe I DID have a do-nut. I can not tell a lie. I chose a cream filled chocolate iced do-nut and boy oh boy did it ever taste GOOD!
I even have proof!!!!!!!! (although I don't have a picture of the chocolate do-nut that I took a huge bite out of before I gave it to Todd!)
Ahhh....so what's up next? Possibly the Muddy Mamma raising money for Girls Inc. Or maybe a 5k raising money for Habitat for Humanity. (both of those are in September). Hmmm, there is a breast cancer run in Early October. And let's not forget the specter of a turkey trot again. Choices choice choices!