I did it. I ran my 5k on Saturday, and according to the big clock at the finish line I did it in exactly 30 minutes, down to the second. It was not easy. In fact, that was one of the harder things I've ever made myself do. It started with a full half mile up fairly steep up-hill running, and I don't think I managed to catch my breath once during the whole race. By the time the third up-hill section came around all I wanted to do was walk for a bit, but I knew that if I started walking I wouldn't be able to start running again. So I pushed on.
My friend made it in at 36 minutes. She was very disappointed with herself, but determined that the next 5k she runs (next weekend at Pioneer Park) will be better. I didn't realize how many other people would be there that I knew. So many runners, and of course orchestra members who were playing the Symphony on their radios and cheering us all on. In case you've never heard of a Beat Beethoven race, the whole point is to run the 5k in less time than it takes the Symphony to be played. The start of the race, of course, was conducted by Dr. Z, the Symphony's conductor. He stood on a ladder and gave us a big downbeat to start. Depending on the recording used, on the orchestra and the conductor, there could be a difference in minutes for how much time you have. Some, I've heard, are as slow as 34 minutes and others are only around 29 minutes. Our recording (played on the radio) was one that the Fairbanks Symphony (including me) made last year. So we had 31 minutes to "beat" the music. Also, there was of course someone dressed as Beethoven. I was trailing him for most of the race, but he held back at the end so that he could cross the finish line right as the music ended. Passing him was a great feeling, although I'm kind of sad that I didn't do something like steal his tophat.
At the end of the race, talking with a couple of friends, one woman did mention that her friend asked her, "Why do you run? It's not like there are dinosaurs anymore. We don't have to run." I answered, "Is she nuts? We need to be ready for the zombie apocalypse!" That got me a high-five.
Did I rest for the remainder of the weekend? Of course not! I did my 15 mile bike loop for the first time this year, weeks earlier than I was able to do it last year. Aside from water and mud, the trail was completely clear. No ice, no snow. I'm looking forward to getting to bike every weekend from now until the snow comes again in the autumn.