Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gainesville Fisher House 5k

On Friday before Veteran’s Day, I hopped over to Lloyd Clarke Sports and picked up my race packet for the Gainesville Fisher House 5k. I got a tech tee in this packet and it felt like a really nice one! I thought I took a photo of it, but I guess I didn't...

Anyway, on Monday, I took hubby to work, then came back and got dressed for the race before taking the child to school (yep, while dressed in my running gear!). 

I drove over to the University of FL and found the parking lot. When I pulled in, there was a Vet asking what I was there for, and then directed me towards where to park. Already, I'm liking this!

I find a good spot (plenty of room to get out!) and got my gear together. Water - check. Spibelt - check. BondiBand - check.  I headed towards the front and there was so much action!  The best part was being greeted by this:

Lots of booths set up with ROTC, Army, Navy, etc.  Probably about 15 Potties, including a Trailer Potty, just for women.  I quickly realized that I needed to use a potty, so at first I got in the Women's line, but that was taking forever (only 2 potties), so I skipped over to the general line and was in and out within a few minutes.  

I continued to mill around and check out the pre-race festivities.There was a great selection for breakfast, including coffee, water, Luna bars, Clif Bars and bagels. I grabbed a Clif bar, but stuck it in my belt for later. 

Soon enough, we were called to start lining up.  The wheelchairs were put at the front, of course, since they were taking off first, along with the hand bikes.  We all said the Pledge of Allegiance and then they were off!  Then the gun went off again for the rest of us and we took off, too.  There was a lot of support for us as we left, lots of clapping, it was great! But distracting, since I forgot to start my Garmin until like 5 minutes later!

 This guy was walking with the Wounded Warrior Project flag - he carried it the entire time!

I was honestly amazed by how many elderly veterans were walking!  I kept pace with two people pretty much the entire time - this gentleman, and the lady with the cute dog (who stopped to pee on everything!)

Mile 2 - Ahead of my Gator Gallop pace!

Wounded Warrior Flag Bearer
 It was a great race! Everyone was in great spirits and friendly toward each other. Veterans were thanking other Veterans along the course, and there were signs up along the course thanking the Veterans as well.

I made great time and ended up crossing the line with a chip time of 48:53.  Gah, I really wanted to beat my Susie's Run time (48:47) but I was over by SIX SECONDS!!!  So bummed about that!

Pics or it didn't happen!
I stuck around to see other finishers come in and saw this group, pushing a wheelchair with a dummy in it. No, not a stupid person, but an actual dummy. My guess is that it represented someone she lost, but I never got a chance to talk to her.

I continued to walk around the post-race area, which was also the pre-race area, so nothing was new, but I spotted a tent - I FOUND JEFF GALLOWAY!!!!!! I felt like a stalker, just staring at him.  I gathered my courage (why was I nervous?) and went over to talk to him. I was still out of breath, but I told him how I'm using his run/walk/run method to train for the Princess and asked so shyly if I could get a photo with him.  I gave my iPod to another person in the tent and he took our photo - this is the best one (the other 5 have his thumb over the lens!)

While at his tent, I signed up for a local Jeff Galloway training group, thinking that would give me a kick in the pants!

I continued to hang around - I like to watch the awards because the winners bust their asses and deserve some applause for that.

The crowd waiting for awards
The Army (Reserves, I think) had set up a Chin Up competition, and I just had to stop and watch this guy. It's not the best photo, but this double-amputee got picked up out of his chair and did like 45 chin-ups!  Damn, bro!

 Jeff got up to give a little speech and then the awards were given out.  If I recall, the winning overall time was like 15 minutes? What the hell! I can't imagine going that fast...

On my way back towards my car, I stopped at the Gator Domino's truck, who was serving up free pizza and parmesan bites.  I am now addicted to those parmesan bites and could eat eight tons of them. Thanks Freddie Webbe!

 When I got home, I plugged in my Garmin and downloaded my info.

Hold the phone, folks!!!  If I use my pace time to figure out the entire 3.1 miles, my 5k time would have been 48:29!!!!  That would be 18 SECONDS faster than my Susie's time.  New PR!!!!!!  Woo hoo!!!! Also, I pulled the results later - there were a total of 501 racers who crossed the finish line and I beat 102 of them. I beat 20% of the racers. I beat 29 men and 73 women. I came in 18th out of 24 in my age group, too!  Compared to where I started, these are great stats!

All in all, this was a GREAT RACE and I totally look forward to doing it again next year!!! Such a difference between this run and the Gator Gallop, only a few days ago....