Woodstock 2013

This time last year, I posted an entry about my very first race, the Woodstock 5K in Anniston. I was so immensely proud of myself for doing something so unlike Old Jennifer. Woodstock was the race that started it all; from that day, I was hooked. 

Since then, I've lost 30 pounds. I've been jogging three days a week consistently over the past twelve months, so my endurance and speed have improved drastically. I couldn't wait to give Woodstock another try. I couldn't wait to see my personal progress measured objectively in photographs and chip times, as well as subjectively through my own actual experience on and after the course. 

So, unsurprisingly, here are some side by side comparison photos!

Before the race:

After the race:

On the course, I felt so much more energy and stamina than last year. I could feel the difference in my lighter weight. I got winded a few times, but I never started wheezing. I didn't walk with jogging breaks, I jogged with walking breaks, and very few of them. Only about four times did I stop to catch my breath, and when I did, it only took a few seconds, then it was back to jogging. 

Last year, when I ran across the finish line, I nearly collapsed. I saw sparkling lights and stars. I felt my stomach churning, threatening to empty itself in the middle of the crowd. We had to leave quickly so I could sit down and recover. 

Not this year! Yeah, the finish line dizziness came again, but it only lasted a few seconds, then I was feeling awesome! I experienced no nausea. In fact, I was hungry enough to eat the free food.

That's when I met a personal goal of mine. It's a Woodstock tradition for the local Waffle House restaurant to set up a tent with a griddle, where they fry up free hashbrowns for the runners. I wanted some last year, but I was just too sick. But guess what???

I ATE FREE HASHBROWNS! Smothered and covered with onions and cheese. They were the best darn hashbrowns I'd ever eaten! I guess it says a lot about me that my proudest moment of race day was probably eating the hashbrowns...

I was also glad that Anna got to do the race this time. She's heard me talk about Woodstock over and over again throughout the past year, and I was excited for her to join in on the good times. She looked super cute in her pigtails and "Run" shirt!

And Jessica did the race again this year! She really impressed me, too. She ran the first mile nonstop, a first for her. I was pretty far behind her during that first mile, just watching her, totally astounded and proud of her determination. She was looking adorable as well! And fit!

So, the final rundown?

Last year's finishing time- 46:23.
This year's- 35:59. 

It didn't set or even meet a personal record, but that's well over 11 minutes faster than last year, with an average of less than 12 minutes per mile.

Last year's rankings: 
In my age group of 20-24: #51 of 54
Overall: #1118

This year's rankings:
In my age group of 20-24: #20 of 36
Overall: #685

That's a ridiculous jump in rankings! I mean, I'm clearly not gonna win any medals with numbers like that, but wow! As far as beating myself, I really did it! And that is all that matters.

Here's a great, very appropriate quote to end this post:


Jessica said...

You kicked SO much butt at Woodstock this year. After you passed me, I never even saw you again! I did good the first mile but someone almost had to drag me that second and SERIOUSLY the third mile.

I am sooo proud of you! And don't for one second be negative about not beating your other race times. Woodstock is full of hills and you REALLY beat last year's time. You are awesome!

Lacey said...

Yaaaaay!!! I am so happy for you. You are truly inspiring! Super sweet job beating your records, I didn't even run the race and I feel accomplished! Hahaha. Agree with Jessica, you are awesome!

P.S. Those hashbrowns look incredible, I would be stoked about that too :P

Jennifer said...

Aw, thank you, Jessica!!! You're awesome too. You shaved almost that much off of your own time, don't forget!

Jennifer said...

Thank you, Lacey! :)

After the Publix incident, I was wondering when I posted this if any of my readers know what Waffle House is. Or hashbrowns, even. We have a lot of foods in the South that other Americans don't eat, like grits or biscuits and gravy.