A friend told me about a "Twilight" 5k race literally 2 blocks from my apartment. "Seriously?! I'm in." I had already raced two 10ks over the last 3 weeks, with one being a 4 minute PR, so I wasn't expecting to knock this out of the park or anything. Furthermore, my good pal and training partner, Beth, whom you've all heard about, said, "Let's run this one together--we can tempo it and it will be a good gauge of our fitness." I said, "Sure! Sounds good." I didn't think twice about it, and the day of the race, jogged over from my apartment to register. I wasn't nervous, because, "We were just going to tempo it, right??!" Beth and I even were super cheesy and matched for the race ;)
We lined up for the race actually in a parking garage. Of course, if you're a gps wearer you immediately know what this means. The "Oh shoot. Garmin's bout to lose satellites!" moment. And yep, it did. We said we would start the race off at a comfortable 6:45 pace, and just try to work down from there, shaving hopefully 5-10 seconds off per mile. Honestly, at the time, that's where I felt my fitness was and what a good tempo effort would be. I didn't even do the math or calculate in my head what the final time for a 5k at that pace would be, but going into this race, my current 5k PR was 19:23 on a course about 15 seconds short. You can imagine my shock when we rounded the corner for the finish line and saw this . . .
I don't know what it was about that night, but the miles clicked by. Beth and I settled into the first/second place positions overall for both male and female (it was a small race, but I'm not complaining! ;) ), and because my watch lost satellite, I honestly had no idea our pace. I saw Beth look down at her watch a few times, but in her sneaky manner, she never said anything. The course was a little hilly, too, but you know those races when everything comes together and even the hills don't seem to phase you? That was that night for me. When we ran under the bridge you see below, and were about 100 meters from the finish line, I grabbed Beth's hand so we could finish together hand-in-hand. That was the deal. Besides, it was my last race in Jackson, before making the big move to Memphis. It was sentimental for us.
We worked together that last sprint to the finish. It reminded me of all those early mornings running a lot of miles together. That night was a good night in our neighborhood. Her hubz and kiddos were at mile two right at the corner of her house cheering "Go Mommy and Katie!", and my fiance was at the finish-line with our running friend Tiffany (in the blue shirt below) yelling loud, too. Guess what else? We didn't even realize we won $75 until the end! That was just the icing. A fun summer night with fun people, indeed.