It was organized by Jackson Carter, who was one of the finalists on The Biggest Loser on Season 14. I actually watched that season… and I loved Jackson Carter. He was a Utah boy and from this area… so of course, I was already pre-disposed to cheer for him. But personality-wise, I liked him as well. So, when I saw the post for this 5k, the only ounce of "star-struck" I have in me went crazy. "Oh, my gosh! I could meet JACKSON CARTER!" Yeah, I know. It's pathetic. But I swear… I really don't get star- struck or celebrity crushes. This was my one exception.
I have had a 5k on my bucket list for awhile. Wanted to do one eventually. But I kinda wanted to be able to run it when I did for the first time. So, any other ad for a 5k… I would have ignored. "No… not now. Give me a few months. Then I'll be ready.'' But this was JACKSON CARTER!
Okay, stop judging me! The point is… I decided I was doing this. Even if I couldn't run it… I was doing it!
I invited my marathoner friend to join me… but as it turned out, he had other things he needed to do that day. My sister agreed to come along to be my cheering section though. And to take pictures.
I was a little unsure how this was going to go. I knew I could finish it. That wasn't the question. I do that length anyway on the treadmill 3 days a week. But everything I've ever heard says that open road is very different than the treadmill and usually slows people down. I've been doing a 2.0 incline on the treadmill, which they say will better prepare you for the natural inclines, plus wind resistance of the open road. The flat open road. But I notice on Sundays I can't keep the same pace on my walks around the neighborhood that I do on the treadmill. So I was worried how this was going to go. I could finish… but how long would it actually take me? My usual pace on the treadmill is 3.5 mph. Which is 17:08 minutes per mile. Doing the math, I figured it would take me 53 minutes assuming I could keep up that pace. A 3.0 mph pace would put me just barely over an hour. I figured I would be satisfied with anything less than an hour… but ideally, less than 55 minutes.
I felt very out of my element the morning of the race. I'm watching the people who are showing up and every last one of them appeared to be in better shape than me. And it seemed like they were all in groups… or at least had one other person with them. And it seemed like they were all friends of Jackson's. I felt very out of place. But I was there. As we got lined up, they asked the runners to line up in the front. The run/walkers were in the middle and the walkers were in the back. I went to the very back. There was a lady beside me that I made small talk with and I thought I ought to be able to stay up with her if nobody else.
When the race started, I took off. And I mean… I took off! From the very beginning, I just pushed it. There was no pacing myself. I just went! I was passing people right and left. I got up where I was more in the midst of the run/walkers. As long as they were walking, I could keep up with them, even pass them. But the second they started running again, then they passed me. And that's about where I stayed the entire course. I was behind all the runners, but ahead of all the walkers.
My wonderful sister took my phone and would drive ahead and find places along the course where she could stand by and wait for me so she could get pictures along the course. I was nearing the halfway point/turn around spot when I saw her for the first time.
Jackson Carter had started with the rest of us… but ran up ahead and stuck around at the turn around spot for awhile to keep encouraging everybody. My guess is that he waited until everybody had made it to the turn around spot, then he ran back so he was back at the finish line when the last people came across. As it was, I made it back to the finish before he did!
Once he was back, I was able to get a couple of pictures with him. I even got an autograph.
This wasn't a timed race. There were no prizes for first, second or third place. So, when I got back, the first thing I wanted to see was the time… how long had it taken me. Without a stop watch… and exact to-the-minute start time… we had to estimate about how long it took me. We figured it was somewhere between 48-43 minutes. I was satisfied! My sister told me I was awful close to a jog when she saw me.
Overall, it was pretty thrilling. One… to see that I could keep up the pace. And two… just being there and being part of it. It was kinda fun to me to see the flags at the start line. Of course they said start… but at the very top was the phrase "Get out and live." Which you may remember is what GOAL stands for in the title of this blog. It seems appropriate.
|Somewhere after half way.|
|Approaching the finish|