Then, the non-running members of the 5k teams started cheering all of us on as we ran through the stadium....Until the last person on their team finished, there was this one team that was helping me to count my laps--something that I'm incredibly thankful for. The girl that finished fourth from the end lost track, and they made her do one more lap just to make sure (which is why she was fourth from the end...she would have been done much earlier otherwise)! There were also a lot of mini-conversations going on, especially near the end of the race...the "how much further do you have to go?" conversations, as well as the "where are you from?" and "Why did you decide to run this race?" type of conversations. By the end of the race, I didn't feel like I had come to race on my own, as so many of the people there were willing to share their cheering with anyone that ran, not just for their friends or fellow relay team-members. In fact, as I was getting into my car, one of the ladies that I talked to during the race made a point to tell me that she hoped that I had a good time for my remaining stay in San Antonio before she got into her own car to drive away.
It is truly God's grace that I didn't bonk (for those of you who are non-runners, to bonk means that you basically burn all of your available energy and your body begins to shut down because of it--nausea, fuzzy-headedness, and possible passing out ensues). And, all week long, I have been eating things that my body isn't used to, so this morning, about lap three, the runners trots hit. At least my bowels were empty by the time I hit lap five, so I was able to avoid the bathrooms for the rest of the race. Because I didn't train like I should have, I ended up hurting myself--my right IT band seems to be injured, so my thigh and knee on that side hurts when I make them bear weight (I might have pulled my groin muscle as well to compensate for the IT band issues). I'm currently hobbling around like a little old lady here at the airport, and plan to go to the doctor some time tomorrow to get it checked out. The longer I am sedentary, the more it hurts, so I'm thinking that this will be especially important! My clock time was about 3:57:39, and considering that I had so many issues, I'm just glad that the time wasn't worse. I finished third from the end, but I finished. I will likely have to sit out from running for at least a week, and I'm sad about that, but I'm glad that I stayed for the race. A marathon is only 10.7 miles further, so as long as I can train well and stay healthy, I should be able to do so with flying colors come October.
|Me after the race. I'm soaking and tired and hurting, but very happy that I finished!|
I have to say that, the more I learn about and experience the running community, the more I'm glad that I'm a runner!