The big day had finally arrived!!! And yet, I spent the entire hour before trying to figure out if the event would be cancelled. Talk about awful luck.
Thursday evening, the night of the banquet, the whole city was being shut down left and right. I was sent home early from a training, major roads were closed, and I thought surely it would be cancelled. The weather was terrible, it was actively raining and sleeting, and the temperature was well below 32*. Everything was icing over, and I couldn't believe it. To say I was upset is an understatement.
Those of you that have kept up with me know how much earning my way into the banquet meant to me, and to end up winning first place for my age group as well?!?! NO! The banquet couldn't be cancelled!!!
I sent out texts, Facebook messages, smoke signals (not really) and everything else I could think of, but none of my friends knew if it would be taking place or not. Three of my fellow centex runners that received an invitation made the choice not to go, and at that point, I was debating not going as well, because I thought for sure it would be cancelled.
I talked to the boyfriend, and he wouldn't let me stay home. He said he knew how much it meant to me, and that we had to at least try. He truly is the best.
We left extra early, because we knew we'd have to drive super slow. We were honestly going 10 mph - if that - most of the way, and he still slid a bit in some icy spots. We made it safely thanks to his great, super cautious driving, and much to my surprise, the banquet was on!
Part of the opening speech included "You know you're a runner when…" jokes, and of course it included the fact that we had all driven in crazy conditions just to be there to accept our awards! The room was FULL of people, and I felt better knowing I wasn't the only crazy one that was willing to go out in awful conditions for the banquet. Runners are a crazy group of people!
I was so excited to be given my program, because my name was in it twice!
The first time (above) was for the age group winners, and the second time was at the bottom where it listed all the people that had been invited.
The banquet was so much fun, and I'm so glad we went. The room was decorated very nicely, and it was catered by an excellent restaurant. The portions were plentiful, and they even allowed you to go back for seconds! I didn't, but the boyfriend had a second chicken breast. :)
After a short speech (thankfully!) and a delicious dinner, they started with the awards. First they announced each person that ran at least 10 races for the participation award, and then they announced the age group winners. I had to go up to the podium twice! So exciting. I was so happy to hear them say my name correctly (that's not often the case!), and I was shocked to see the awards were engraved with my name on them!
It was such a fun night, and I'm so glad it wasn't cancelled. I had a great time with my handsome date. Without him, I would have stayed home and felt sorry for myself because of the poor weather conditions, but he didn't let me do that. I'm so lucky to have his support!
I can't wait to see what this year's race series holds for me. With speedy people moving in and out (I live in a major military community), people changing age groups, etc., I may not win my age group again, and that's ok. All I do know is that I'll do my very best to make this year even better than the last.
Rather than make my goal to win, because there are factors I can't control in that, I'll shoot for faster race times. That is something I can control. Depending on my competition, that may or may not lead to more points. I'd love to end this year's series with even more points than I did last year, but if some speed demons move into my age group, that may not happen. Either way, I will do better! Last year it took me until November 9th to get my sub 30 (29:52), and I WILL get it much sooner this year. In fact, I'll be even faster! Maybe at some point I'll break my PR of 28:55. All I do know is that while I'm proud of all I did last year, I'm excited to accomplish even more this year!