Fiancé and I woke up BRIGHT and early on Saturday (early for me is anything before 8am) and made the drive down to Birmingham to take part in the Birmingham Chocolate 5k, a NR Racing event for the Autism Society. More info here!
When we arrived, it became very clear that it would not be a very large race. I was immediately excited because it meant that there was a CHANCE for me to actually do well and maybe even beat some people! Fiance and I got our bibs and ran back to the car to keep warm. Although the weather is pretty “warm” here, I have somewhat acclimated myself to the temperatures and a 35 degree morning felt a little chilly. We pinned ourselves up and waited until the last possible minute to get to the start line.
Then it was time to start! We positioned ourselves near the front to get a better shot at doing well. We learned our lesson from the Zoo Run and didn’t want to get clogged or slowed down. I did the same thing I ALWAYS do at a race–looked around at all the sharply dressed men and women and started to doubt myself. I picked out about 4 women in snazzy, flashy gear and told Fiance that they were all going to beat me. He told me to just RUN and do my best. Which I did!
The race was a two-lap short course around the Hoover Stadium, just south of Birmingham. The website had listed the course as a flat, fast course. It was fast… but there were some hills. Not enough to completely kill me, but I did get slowed down. But the best part… CHOCOLATE every 1/2 mile or so! The participants were given Ghirardelli chocolate squares. After the first pit stop, I wanted to focus on the run and not the chocolate, so I had Fiance pick up my chocolates for me. Totally a great plan!
(Here’s us in the end with some of the goodies–I do NOT recommend the Choco-ola, ew)
My goal for the race was a sub -27:00 5k. I knew that having Fiance pace me, I would do a lot better than if I was by myself… and it definitely helped. I didn’t really bother to check my garmin–I just followed him closely and tried to keep up. And it paid off! My chip time was messed up, but I took Fiance’s score–we crossed together. I finished with a 25:20!!! WAY better than expected. I ended up being the 3rd place for all females and 1st place for my age group… But there weren’t any awards given for this race. Womp. Womp. But… I feel GREAT knowing how well I did!
Fiance and I post-race: