Last night I ran the Lite Up the Nite 5k with Gina and Julia. Proceeds from the race benefit The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester and the theme was to dress in very bright colors (hence "lite up the nite"). A few weeks ago Gina and I went shopping for race outfits and we were really excited to wear them together.
The race didn't go exactly as planned. Work was really stressful yesterday, and I was happy to leave at 3:45 to run off the tension with a couple of my girlfriends. I plugged in my GPS with Julia's address so we could meet up and change into our ridiculous outfits together. The GPS showed an arrival time of 4:45, so I was actually going to be really early (we planned to meet at 5:30). I drove out of the parking lot at work and proceeded to sit in (what felt like) a parking lot on all of the back roads and highways up to Manchester. For three hours. I was pretty frustrated as I watched the time get closer and closer to 6:15 (race start time) and then pass it. Finally at 6:30 I pulled into the parking lot for the race. I ran over to speak with some people about getting my number, but the race director told me that I was too late. This was the cherry on my bad-day-sundae, but I tried to make the best of it. I was told that I could start the race from where I stood (which I later found out was 1 mile in) so I did - I needed a run more than ever at that point.
The course was mostly dirt paths winding through the woods, occasional strips of gravel, and fields of grass. It had been pouring all day, so everything was very slick. I charged into the race and quickly came upon very steep hills of dirt and gravel, which slowed me down a bit. After a mile or so I caught up with Gina on another hill. She'd warned me earlier in the day that the course looked tough but I'd ignored her. She was right though, I had a hard time catching my breath. The last 1/4 mile (ish) of the race we zig-zagged across a large grassy field, splashing with each step. Julia cheered me on as I finished and then we ran down to cheer for Gina as she came in.
|Me, Julia, Gina|
Prizes were given out for the best team outfits. Check out how awesome the winners looked! We're definitely wearing wigs next year!
Though the day was less than perfect and I missed the start of the race, I still ended up where I wanted to be, with Julia and Gina. We had a blast even though it was cold and rainy. We swapped our cold and muddy clothes for clean ones and went out for some cold beers and hot food.
We decided to go to Strange Brew since its a dark bar and we weren't really dressed nicely (or terribly clean). We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the Thursday night specials were $3 pints (any beer) and half off all appetizers! I started with a Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, Julia got a Sea Dog Blueberry and Gina got a Stella. We ordered a gigantic plate of chicken chili nachos, some chicken tenders, and a basket of fries. Way too much food, but it was nice to be able to sample some of everything (and the nachos there are the best).
|See that guy in the green shirt creeping into the picture? I went to college with him ha - I didn't even know he was sitting there until a little while later!|
After a second round of beers we were all exhausted and very full - all I wanted was a hot shower and my bed. The total bill for six beers and three appetizers was $30! Cheap girls night!
I can't wait to do this race again next year...and next time I will not be late!
This weekend I'm going away with my family to one of my favorite places on earth! Stay tuned...
And also a HUGE congratulations to Kathryn, who just (5 minutes ago!) found out that she got the new job she applied for. You're going to be amazing!