A few summers ago, during my first season of races, I participated in the Lincolnshire 4th of July 5K. I ended up with the 4th of July off from work this year, so I decided that I needed to sign up for it. It's a beautiful race that leads runners through the beautiful, tree-lined village streets. This race also happens to go right past my mother-in-law's house, a fun little perk. We drove there early in the morning, I picked up my packet, and went back to the house for a little bit before heading down to Spring Lake Park.
Going into the race, I was feeling strong. I had the advantage of knowing the course and I felt comfortable with my surroundings. The weather was also fairly decent that morning, not nearly as hot and humid as the first time I ran it. I got a steady start, trying to pace myself and not run too fast. I settled into a rhythm relatively quickly and got in the zone. I knew the only person I was really up against, competing against, was myself, and that helped me to keep a consistent speed and not run too fast.
My mother-in-law's house is after the halfway point, and both she and my sweet husband were waiting outside on the corner, cheering me on. I had passed the water station at the previous corner, so seeing them helped give me an extra boost of energy for the last mile or so. Though I was starting to feel a little tired near the end, I pushed myself to keep the energy up. It felt so much different, so much better, than the first time I ran the 5K. Having slightly milder weather helped, for sure, but I knew that I could also attribute the difference to the strength and endurance that I had gained in the few years between my first 4th of July 5K and the one I was currently running.
I ended up crossing the finish line back down by the park in 35:38. Though I wished I could have finished a few seconds faster, I was also pretty satisfied with my time. Overall, I was (and am) faster than in the past, and that alone was reason to be proud! I grabbed a few bottles of water and made my way over where my husband and mother-in-law were waiting. I am always so grateful to have such a willing cheering squad in my husband and family, and this race was no exception. The Lincolnshire 4th of July 5K is a fun, well-organized race in a beautiful area, and I look forward to hopefully running it again next year!