This past weekend I learned another valuable running tip!
Stick around for the awards ceremony even if you THINK you didn't place. Friday night just as I was finishing up work for the day my friend Bob sent me a text asking if I was interested in running a 5k on Saturday. My reply was simple, "DUH"! So on a whim I ran the River Run for Wellness 5k in Chillicothe the race has set some amazing time records as it is a super flat and fast 5k. Saturday was a beautiful morning for a run/race the weather was perfect for it however a late night and an unhealthy dinner didn't have me going into this 3.1 mile run with confidence. The River Run had a record turn out with just under 300 runners and walkers, this is a small race but growing each year. The River Run is also a "Grand Prix Race" for the Illinois Valley Striders. In addition I saw a ton of Team RC (Running Central) runners there as well. In other words this is a competitive run, I did NOT have a chance of place. Even if I had a proper dinner (I had pizza at 10pm) and adequate sleep (I had only 5 hours, I'm an 7 or more hour kinda gal) this is not a race for someone at my level to be competitive at. In fact the top finisher (19 year old male) ran a 5:14 and finished at 16:15 and the top female runner (and 43 years old) ran a 6:35 pace finishing at 20:24! My best 5k time (and one that did get me a first place medal) was in 24:15! I was running just for fun and to get me out of a long 10 mile run, not to be competitive.
So after the race I met up with Bob and Matty for some water a banana and decided to head back to Peoria so we could get our yard work done. Well the rain beat us and we still didn't get to mow our lawns so the big rush to get home was for nothing especally because I PLACED!!!! YES! ME! I GOT ANOTHER MEDAL! Well, kind of. A few hours after the race I saw the awards posting and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that I finished 3rd place in my age division. I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE STAYED! I am seriously heart broken because I won a medal and didn't stay so I didn't even get it! I don't even know how to go about seeing if I can still get the medal (or if they give them to 3rd place) but I'm pretty sure I can't. My heart sunk when I saw that. I was elated that I placed but I'm just heart sick because I earned a medal and I don't have it. :(
I've looked at all the stats of the top finishers and these are some serious runners. I've got some work to do if I want to do this race or others and stay competitive. I know they are small 5k's but I look back at what I have done in the past year and a half and its crazy. I went from overweight an active, to active and losing weight, to a healthy weight and fit (I lost about 30lbs) to a runner, to a long distance runner to now a competitive local runner. In the past 2 months I've done two 5k's and I've place and won an award in each race. Truly an accomplishment that I am beyond proud of however, I'm still sad I don't have the hardware to show for it!
PS: I have herd from a few other runners who have said that this has happend to them and their awards have shown up in the mail. I'm praying that happens, pray with me, but I don't want to get my hopes up!