Saturday, March 26, 2011

We Survived the Rumpshaker 5K!!

After extensive training (OK, it was really just a couple of weeks), today was the day that we'd been waiting for: the 3rd Annual Rumpshaker 5K!!! Our obsession with the Rumpshaker began when Jackie told me about it a couple of months ago.

"Do you want to do the Rumpshaker?" she asked.

"With a name like that? Of course!" I said. "I want a t-shirt that says 'Rumpshaker'!"

We really buckled down with training when we joined Snap fitness earlier this month. Earlier this week, we both did a practice 5K on the treadmill to get an idea of how long it would take us to finish. I clocked in at 45 minutes, and Jackie finished in just over an hour.

I was totally prepared for it to take us longer to run the real race. The practice 5K was, I thought, our "best case scenario" for getting an estimate about our time. It was inside... in air conditioning... with plenty of water.

This morning when our alarms went off at 5:30, Jackie and I looked at each other, and we both said, "This is the dumbest thing we've ever done." Who in their right mind gets up at the butt-crack of dawn on a go running??? Well, it turns out that there were a lot of us that do it!

We met up with Jackie's parents and brother and headed to Sloss. Traffic was pretty backed up when we got close to the race site. Jackie and Diana set out on one last potty break before the race, while Jeff, Matt, and I waited to park the truck.

Once we were finally parked, we set out to find the girls...only to realize that we had no clue where they were. We searched and waited, but all we saw were a sea of people (most of which were wearing Rumpshaker t-shirts, just like us). As we were looking, they announced that it was about time to start the race. The three of us decided that, since Jackie and Diana would have to go to the starting line, we should go there to find them. Amazingly, out of the thousands of people there to shake their rumps, we found them on the way to the start line. We also caught up with Jackie's aunt and cousin, Patti and Samantha.
Before we started shakin' our rumps!

At the starting line, there was some guy from a local gym their to lead us in a warm up. Then they announced that the race would be delayed a bit because of last minute traffic issues (and a train was blocking part of the course).

Finally the horn blew, and we were off!! Jeff and Matt were in front of me. I quickly got separated from them in the crowd, but could still see them. (Jackie and the others were behind me somewhere. Once we started, I never looked back.) It took all of about 30 seconds for me to realize that my wearing my iPod clipped on my hip was going to drive me crazy, so I decided just to run with it in my hand.

When we reached the first turn in the course, I saw that we had to run across a bridge... and it looked pretty steep. I cranked up my iPod and kept on truckin'. I watched the road as we were crossing the bridge (one, so being up high wouldn't freak me out, and two, because I didn't want to step in a pothole or crack).
OK, it wasn't as steep at this bridge...but it felt like it was!

Back on solid ground, I looked up and saw Jeff ahead of me, but Matt was nowhere to be found. I assumed that he had run on ahead. Eventually, I lost Jeff in the crowd. We kept going... and going... and going...

and going...

I began to think that I'd missed the first mile marker because I knew I'd run at least a mile. I kept looking for the water station, which was set up at 1.5 miles. I was getting a wee bit thirsty. I kept on jogging...

That's when I saw it: the one mile marker. Seriously?! Had it really only been a mile?? It was at this point that I was wondering what I'd gotten myself into.

Finally, I spotted the water station. I eased off of my blistering pace...and by "blistering pace" I mean "slow and steady jog"... and grabbed a cup of water from one of the volunteers. I gulped it down...perhaps a little too quickly.

I was feeling good as we reached the next turn, but I had no idea what my pace was because I'd forgotten to start my timer when I crossed the start line. When I finally reached the second mile marker, the volunteer called out a time of 24 minutes and some seconds. That's when I realized that I was not only doing pretty good... I was actually doing better than I did during the practice 5K!!

I had told myself before the race started that I would take a brief walking break at the 2-mile mark, but I was feeling pumped, so I just kept jogging.

At one point, I could feel myself starting to slow down, and that's when my genius iPod started playing Robert Randolph and the Family Band's "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That"--one of my favorite cardio songs EVER!!! I matched my pace to the music and pressed on!

Rounding the final turn, I was feeling great... and that's when my knee started to bug me. It wasn't hurting bad, but it was like my knee was saying, "Ok, wrap this up. I'm getting a little tired."

Eventually, I could see the finish line...way off in the distance. I wanted to break out running as fast as I could, but I knew I needed to hold back a bit longer. Tortoise and the Hare, I kept thinking to myself. Slow and steady wins the race.

I felt like The Flash!
When I hit the 3-mile point, I suddenly got a burst of speed. My iPod also started playing Missy Elliot's "Shake Your Pom Pom" (yet another great cardio song)! It was like the finish line was drawing closer. With just .2 miles to go, I went wide open! I gave it everything I had left.

Nothing felt as satisfying as stomping on the rubber mat at the finish line. Unofficially, my time was 37 minutes and some change, but it will actually be a little better because it was counting from the moment the race started, not when I crossed the starting line.

Matt crossed a few minutes later, and then Sam, Diana, Jackie, and Patti finished! We were a happy (tired) bunch!

Patti and Jackie finish!

After getting some high-quality H2O, we headed to see the main event (at least for us): the inflatable colon!!! Inside the colon, we met a colon cancer survivor, and we saw examples of colon cancer. And of course, we had our pictures taken.
The colon!!!

I touched the polyp.
Having finally visited the colon, we left to go eat. (Gotta replenish our carbs!)

On the way to eat, we all agreed that we had a great time and that we want to do more races together! We're really excited about the Birmingham Zoo 5K Run in May!!! Hope to see you there!

And while none of us won a prized "Golden Toilet," hopefully, we can truly be in the running (no pun intended) for one next year .
I'm going to get one of these one day!!!

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