The day before.
Totally unprepared. The race was at 9am and we agreed to get there at 8:25 to get our bibs and T-shirt (the sign-in desk allegedly closes at 8:30). At almost 2 in the morning I finally googled "what to do before a 5K", and of course most of the advices were too little too late for me. Some called for two good nights of sleep before the race (not gonna happen), others had more sensible advices such as laying out everything you want to bring the next day so you don't scramble on the morning of. And lots of random things on eating and drinking that made me think they were writing about prepping for a marathon rather than a 5K. Maybe I should've included "first 5K for beginners" when I performed my search. In the end I decided to stop wasting time and go to bed. It's just a 5K and I wasn't trying to make a world record or anything.
The morning of.
Naturally I didn't get a lot of sleep. I set my alarm at 6:30, to give me an hour of snooze-button hitting, and an hour to get ready. I think I didn't get out of my bed until almost 8 and had to scram to get out of the door by 8:20. My friend called at 8 and told me she was going to leave at 8:05, but I think it was her gentle way of trying to see if I was up yet.
I decided to don a short sleeve since the temperature was going to be around mid-50s (and I was going to be running). The sun was shining which was really pretty and made it warmer. There was almost no one on the street this early in the morning. I brought my camera. And I was running late. Apparently it took more than 5 minutes to get to the Business School, where registration and start line was. It ended up taking me almost 12 minutes and I had to jog twice along the way so I don't panic. There was a long drive way that connects the college green/main street to the business school, and as I turned onto it I could see people and hear music and I thought, oh no, I'm late, and started to jog. I stopped about mid way and decided it was too much work and I was going to safely get my bib. At that point I was kind of in despair, I thought I could never complete a 5K in a sensible time if I was already tired running down half a drive way.
Before the race.
Got my bib, got my T-shirt, checked my T-shirt at the bag check. I didn't realize that the sensor chip was embedded in the bib and it was tiny. Got to marvel at the technology these days. Everything could be so crude and simplified and yet so effective.
- Guy with stroller. A young father was pushing a running stroller during the whole 5K. Only one with a stroller too. Afterwards I saw the baby, the cutest baby girl ever!
- 10K dude who passed us. I realized after the race that he was much older than I expected. I thought he was a young man or something. But he's definitely middle-aged. Later learned on the results page that he's 44. Crazy people.
- Tutu girls. Only people at the race who you can call "dressed up". One had black tutu and the other purple. I think they had some Mardi Gras beads too.
- Veterans with an American flag. As we first turned away from the driveway I looked back and thought I saw someone carrying an American flag on a pole. I thought I just went temporarily crazy and mixed the street light pole and some other flag together. After the turn around we saw them coming our way and I said my loudest and longest sentence during the race: "I knew I wasn't crazy when I saw the flag earlier!" There were three men in camouflage uniform carrying those 50lb camouflage military bags, one carrying a pole with the flag. Two red shirt volunteers were walking with them, one sipping coffee. We saw them again as I was leaving the race. They were jogging back for the finish line. The two volunteers were gone, so it was just the three of them. They looked like they were running the same speed as me but man, they looked awesome.
- "For Sale by Owner." There were numerous signs, arrows, people holding signs, and chalk drawings that guide the runners along the course. One of which was a little sign that had a print out of the race logo and an arrow taped on. But from the back it was a generic "For Sale by Owner" sign you can probably buy anywhere. You could only see the arrow as you are coming back from the course, which wasn't the normal way we take to go home. So twice today all we saw was "For Sale by Owner" and we had no idea what it was, until we realized what was on the other side. Still didn't stop us from joking that that college was going to be for sale.
- Parents! Apparently this is our school's First Year parents weekend. I don't understand why schools like to schedule parents weekends so closed to events when parents and students are going to unite anyway. Our graduation was about a month way. In college our parents weekend was a week before fall break. Silly. But there were a ton of adults on campus today, most were wearing name tags, which was why I was wondering if there was a conference going on (which there are quite a few during the summer). And all the adults look very hoity-toity, like they are way too important to be on this campus right now. Whatever. Many were staring because I was still in my gym cloths, orange running cap, carrying another T-shirt and holding my bib. Who knows what they were thinking when these were combined with a fat girl who was wearing a "everybody loves an asian..." T-shirt.
- Dinosaur boy. There's this one guy, an undergrad I assume (although I've seen him for a few years now, so you never know), who likes to run around campus. He wasn't in the race today, but I saw him again today when I was walking him. He looks very fit and he runs regularly and fast, but instead of pulling his elbows back like so many people tell you to do in order to run well, his elbows swings from in front of him to right by his side. His forearms are bent 90 degrees, and his hands drop naturally. So when he runs his arms look like the arms of a T-rex. And that amuses me to no end.