All in all, I finished 969 out of 1191 people.  Not the most prestigious of placements I’ll grant you but hey, I finished ahead of 200 people!  I also looked up last year’s stats and, had I gotten this time last year, I’d have placed 909 instead of 969… what a different a year makes!  My average pace works out to 13:58 per mile.  Not my best time by far but considering the ginormous hills and the amount of unexpected (and most definitely slow) walking, I’ll take it.

My overall thoughts?  The experience is something I’ll never forget.  It moved me beyond belief (even as I struggled up the hills) and showed me something very important:  I didn’t feel as though people were staring at me or judging me.  I have issues with public exercising and I have to admit to being afraid of this very thing when I signed up for a 5K.  However, toward the back of the line (where my pace put me), there were people of all abilities.  There were walkers who could out pace me any day even if I were running my best.  There were people who were there for a fun walk with friends.  There were people hoping to jog the whole thing without stopping – just – like – me.  There were people who ran intervals so fast they buzzed past me and then walked so slow I’d catch up and we ended up at the same pace.

So I guess what I’m saying is…. If you’ve ever wanted to participate in a 5k, don’t hesitate…. do it.  There will be someone else there doing nearly the same thing as you.

This isn’t to say I wasn’t intimidated by the people at the front of the race.  I was.  Some of them were even sort of show offs and I did hear one person comment “there are still people just finishing” not long after I finished.  Ignore them.  I would say 98% of the people there don’t feel that way.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about my future goals but for today I’ll leave you with a photo..

My sister and I, after the 5k.  We’re all smiles NOW that we don’t have to run up any more ridiculous hills.

And now I leave you with this.  These photos were taken 54 weeks apart (I couldn’t bring myself to say it had just been a year when it had been a year and 2 weeks..)  We’re even wearing nearly the same colors as before.

And that, my friends, is the difference a year (and one 5k) can make!