I love the organization that this race benefited. Eastern North Carolina Stop Human Trafficking Now is a local group that works to raise awareness for human trafficking and to rescue girls and boys who are victims of it. I had no idea that North Carolina's human trafficking rates put us in the top TEN in the country. There have been people arrested in my own county for using young girls as prostitutes. I believe in this mission and was happy to be able to run for a great cause. I'm already thinking of ways that I could be more involved with their organization.
The race was at our local downtown park and was very similar to the Dash for Cash 5k route that I have ran twice in the past--except it was backwards. I really haven't been running much at ALL but I wasn't worried about the race. I was hoping to make it in less than 35 minutes but I knew it was a hilly course so I wasn't expecting much better than that.
We had a sweet little cheering section.
The first mile went pretty well. I had set my pace on my Garmin for 11:20 minutes/mile and I stayed pretty consistent with that for the first two miles. Annagrace and her friend, Maleah, were a just ahead of me for the first two miles. (Her other friend, Olivia, was further ahead of them and we didn't see her again until the end of the race.) I caught up with them and ended up passing them at about 2.5 miles. My neck was KILLING me. I haven't had that stupid neck pain in awhile and I was not happy about having it back!
There was one final hill at the end and I ran super fast down it and then just ran out of energy for the final push uphill at the end. Had I known that I was a mere twenty two seconds behind the second and third place for my age group I would have kicked it into high gear and finished a little stronger. But I got lazy and slacked off the last half a mile and ended up in fourth place for my age group (out of 11). I was 58 overall (out of about 105) and my official time was 36:17.
Annagrace and Maleah finished just behind me. All three girls ended up medaling! Olivia in first, Annagrace in second and Maleah in third (one second separated them!). I was so proud of them (and Michelle) for running their first 5K and they were so excited to hear their names called and to get their medals!
On the way home, Annagrace said, "When is our next race?" It was like music to my ears. I love that she loves running and that she is so good at it! I'm so looking forward to our race in December when that crazy little blue eyed girl in the photo above will be running her first 5K! She is getting excited about it (although some days she hates training)!
I may make mistakes and I may get sidetracked on my healthy journey but somehow I'm managing to influence and inspire my children and that makes me very happy and reminds me of why I started this journey.
Now if I can get Annagrace to stop baking cakes and "forcing" me to eat it. ;)