Saturday, July 6, 2013

First 5K is Over (Pic Heavy and Long)

Quick recap:

Race: Alien Chase 5K run
Place: Roswell, NM
Time: 50:04 (not sure of "official" time--this is what RunKeeper said)
Prize: None
1st 5K completed: Priceless!

Hanging out with local wild life before the race kicks off!

Until they decided to chase me!

Photo op with my mailbox likeness.

Hugs from the kids before running. (The big one was home sick in bed.)

Was that I gunshot? Time to run? False alarm.

And we wait some more.

Time to run! (Except for all the walkers in front of me!

Let's play "Where's R2?"


One the way back to the finish line, the kids came out to join me!

Almost there!

Losing my escort but I can see the end!

Almost there!

Passing my photographer (hubby)!

On to the finish line (it was a long run to the finish line!)

Keep going! Almost there!

The timekeepers. (I actually stopped running about 6 feet short, but then sprinted when I realized they were the time keepers.

Getting my place (#319 overall----out of about 600 total)

My thoughts:
I'm glad it's over!  It was a long day. (I took a 2 hour nap when I got home!)

I paid attention to the tips that were shared a couple of weeks ago. 

I picked up my packet yesterday. There wasn't really any "swag", but I got my t-shirt and my bib.

I also compared last year's results and was pretty sure I would not be the last person in.  (My time this year would have put at about 90th out of 120 women running the 5K.)

I started out in the middle/back of the pack.

I set my pace and didn't worry about what anyone was doing.

I made a point of thanking every volunteer: handing out water, directing us when to turn for the 5K, and blocking traffic when we crossed the road.

Random thoughts:

While it seemed like the race was fairly well organized, it felt a little too casual. (Not sure what word I'm looking for.)  I knew the race started at the convention center, but I didn't really know where it actually started.  Someone was talking to the front of the crowd before the race started, but those of us in the middle (much less the back) couldn't even hear him. (We could see his hands moving.)  Afterwards, nobody told us where to go for the awards. Eventually, I figured out it was inside the convention center (I got there just as they started calling them.)

I realize the cause was the local Humane Society, but I found dogs (especially large ones) to be a bit bothersome on the course.

Same for strollers.  
Edited to add: The strollers were really only a problem at the very beginning of the race.  All races (walking and running) started together, so it was congested. I got stuck behind a few.  After the first couple of minutes, it wasn't bad.

It was kind of lonely running without a group. There were several "teams" of people who knew each other (family, work, etc.)  They didn't necessarily stay together, but they had people to cheer them on.  I only knew a few people who participated, and I wasn't near any of them during the run. (We did wave as we passed each other.)

I was very disappointed with the costume contest.  I sat for over an hour as they called off 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each division (under 10, 11-15, 15-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70+); and each race (5K run, 5K walk, 10K run, and 10K walk); and each gender (male and female).  That is a total of 80 divisions (x 3 places).

I didn't expect to win my division.  I wasn't even too disappointed that I didn't win a door prize (although there were a ton of them).  But after they finished the door prizes, the announcer said, "Go away now!". I was still waiting for the costume contest.  As the crowd thinned, I stepped toward the prize area.  He (I have not idea who he was) saw me and said, "Oh yeah, the costume contest." He turned around and asked someone.  Then he pointed sort of toward me.  I gestured, "Me?"  Nope. The person behind me.  She had already one for her division.  And she won a door prize.  And she won the costume contest.

After the very long morning with little sleep (I went to bed at 9 o'clock, but I just could not sleep very well.), and the emotions of 6 months of preparation, I was crushed.  With tears streaming down my face, I headed to the car when my family waited.  I was embarrassed about my reaction.  Judging from the reactions I got, people loved my costume. (Some even asked for pictures).  But I was so overwhelmed with all of the emotions of the day.  And sometimes, you just have to cry.  So I did.


  1. Congratulations Julie! You did well on your race. What a great accomplishment! Sorry that you didn't win a costume prize, I think you got ripped off. From your photos, I didn't see that many other costumes, where are these 80 winners. Sheesh! Do you have plans for any races in the near future?

  2. I'll confess, I teared up a bit reading this. I know how hard you trained, what you've had to overcome, the incredible strength and will you showed in achieving this milestone--you ROCK, Julie!

  3. Julie, sounds like an emotional day. Keep in mind that you did great and that we & your family are proud of you for showing us that it can be done with grace and cheer. You inspire me to enter my own first 5K (I'll wait until fall when it cools down a bit, though). I'm proud of you!

  4. PS: I should add that you know me as Plexgut.

  5. I am so proud of you, Julie. I am sorry you were hurt and disappointed at the end of the day. Your costume was fantastic. As for the strollers and such, I think that's a common issue with all family-friendly races. Seb has done the Gate River Run (I think the most popular 10k anywhere?), several half-marathons, and several 5ks. I've done one 5k (walking more than running) on the beach. The crowds and confusion seem to be a common theme. Seb would like to do a full marathon but said one of the ones here (where he did the half but they also had the full) had staff breaking down water tables and such before the full marathoners were finished with the race, they ran out of finisher medals, etc. Craziness.

    Regardless... YOU DID IT! That is absolutely AMAZING! Think about Julie from last December. I don't think you'd even recognize her anymore. She is certainly not the woman who looks back at you in the mirror anymore. You are fitter, stronger, healthier, and should be so very proud of yourself! Keep up the good work!

  6. Way to go Julie! I am super, super proud of you! I hope you feel so pumped. YOU DID IT!!!

  7. Congrats Julie! Fantastic job. It's a great feeling crossing the finish line on your first run!

  8. What an accomplishment! You should feel so proud of yourself!

  9. You did so good with that race, and the picture of you coming in toward the finish line, with the big smile on your face? That's what it's all about! Big, big congrats on ROCKING your first 5K!!!

    P.S. I have been at races where they've had 75 runners and 70 doorprizes...guess who never wins? Yep, that would be me. The costume contest sounds like the person who pushed for it wasn't there to see it through which is too bad...every race is different and how good it is depends on the race director and volunteers. I've done races where, upon finishing, I would have signed up for next year's race in a heartbeat, and I've also done races where it was "never again" thing.

  10. Congratulations!! What an accomplishment! All those "prizes" make it a little overwhelming. I hardly ever stay behind for the naming of the prizes. And it seems like they would have had a panel of judges for the costumes. It doesn't sound very organized, but really, you're there to run and that is what you did! Be proud of yourself! As for Swag...I have found very little swag comes with a 5K. Depends on the race, for sure. I would have thought you'd gotten something cool in Roswell, though.
    I hate strollers, too! They need to be in the BACK. The 10K we did, they told them to be on the right side of the road. Always have to weave through something. Sounds like a great time and I know your emotions were more a reaction to your accomplishment than anything else. Be proud, Julie! You're a rock star!!

  11. Congratulations!! You did it!! I am in training for my first 5K in 3 weeks. Eeek! You are an inspiration!!

  12. woohoo!!! Congrats on your 1st 5k! That is awesome!

  13. Way to go Julie!! I just completed my 1st 5K too! It was a blast!


Thanks for your support on this journey. Please be nice (to me and to other commenters).