We got to the race early so the guys decided they would run next door and take a quick spin on the go-karts. Probably a good idea to keep distracted. I was a little nervous - I always am when it comes to doing new things :) My poor husband's go-kart ran out of gas. They brought a new one out on the course for him but by the time he was back in action he had no hope of catching up with our nephew (in the green car).
After go-karting we returned to the race start area, stretched and took our pre-race pictures. This race was a foam run. I'd never seen that before. The foam maker was at the beginning of the race and then we came through again at the end. Some people went around, but I figured I might as well get the whole experience.
Our group - my nephew's friend, my nephew, my husband and my sister. Does anyone else notice that our 15 year old nephew is taller than my husband? Our nephew is a wrestler and my husband is a black belt in Jiu Jitsu and Tae Kwon Do, so as you can imagine there are plenty of impromptu wrestling events in our living rooms.
Time to line up. There were probably about a hundred people running this race. The atmosphere was pretty laid back. My race plan was to just walk as fast as I could the whole race. I've been walking 3+ miles a day so I wanted to challenge myself with speed. My husband's plan was pretty similar except for the walking part.
And off we go. Once again I am racing as a walker and it takes no time to be at the back of the pack of runners :) It really didn't bother me as long as I wasn't the very last person.
The foam part was kind of weird. I couldn't help but slow down to go through it. There is something quite disconcerting about walking through something and not being able to see your feet.
We had all decided that we would run or walk our own race. That worked well for everyone because no one felt obliged to stay with someone and not get their best time. I was the "slow" one in our group I occupied myself by targeting random strangers and trying to pass them. There were lots of people who ran/walked the race. I would try to catch them when they took a walking break. I noticed that people would run for a bit, but their recovery walk looked slower than they might normally walk.
I knew I was giving maximum effort. And maybe more than I'd ever felt before was the total exertion of racing. I was breathing hard and even got a stitch in my side and shoulder that thankfully didn't last too long. I didn't know if I could keep up the pace the whole race.
My goal going into the race was to finish under a 14:30 pace. I figured the excitement of the race and the competition would help me do better than a 15 minute pace (which I'd been struggling with in my morning walks). My "unofficial" race results according to my Garmin watch.
I was shocked to see an UNDER 14 minute mile!! The course made a loop and then there was a part that you went out on and came back the same way. That made me happy because then I saw my husband running towards me. I have to say when I glanced at my watch I couldn't believe it. Judging from the distance, he appeared to be on pace to finish in about 25 minutes. His goal had been to finish under 30 minutes. His final time was about 24:30 (still waiting for them to post official results). His fastest mile was 7:25 - that is crazy fast!
Obviously we were both incredibly happy with our races..and maybe a bit relieved that it was over :)
My sister ran a great race too even though she was fighting a sore foot. I know she finished before me, but she had a bit of a timing malfunction so we are waiting for the official results to be posted to know her time.
With the dash behind us it was time for the splash part of the evening. After the race they had a private party at the water park for the racers and their guests. I am not sure how many people there ended up being - maybe a couple hundred at most. There was a buffet catered by one of our favorite restaurants. The food they served was actually food we had never tried at the restaurant - fried chicken, mostaccioli, salad, bread and green beans. It was all very tasty. They also had a DJ playing fun music.
The guys went straight to the Flow Rider. It was a crazy boogie board ride. My husband loved it. It was great because with so few people in the park they got to ride it over and over without having to wait in a long line. Towards the end of the evening my nephew and his friend were the only ones riding it. Did I ride it?? Yes, much to my surprise I did. I confess I was a bit terrified, but it was fun. Are there pictures of me on it? No, there are not :)
We also had a ton of fun riding the slides over and over. That meant lots of trips up these stairs -quite a feat for tired legs. Again, I was surprised how good I felt. I was exhausted yet energized.
I asked the lifeguard at the top of the slides if she would get a picture of me on the slide. So here I am in all my swimsuit-in-public glory. See the circles in the pool below. They are like lily pads that you have to walk across using the rope to assist you. That rope proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have ZERO upper body strength. I fell off the very first lily pad. My husband was the only one in our group to make it all they way across. He just won't give up!
This was about as far as my husband made it up the climbing wall. I knew this was not a challenge for me so I just enjoyed the warm pool's effect on my tired muscles.
Probably the biggest potential hurdle of the evening ended up being a bit anti-climatic for me. I have NEVER been okay with being in a swimsuit in public. Obviously to enjoy the water park that had to happen. I knew there would be time when we were eating or relaxing that I would want a little something more on than my suit. I was happy to find this cover-up. I actually felt cute in it - husband's compliments really helped :) The rest of the time I just found the place in me that said "I am doing my best to be healthy and I am going to have fun." And in time I will look even better in a swimsuit.
It was a super fun evening. The race was tough but we all felt very accomplished. I think that feeling carried over into the after party. We all were ready to celebrate and just have fun. We have already started making plans for some more races. We might even make some "team" t-shirts.
They had to close the park to get us out of there. I think we were one of the first to arrive for the race and one of the last to leave the after party.