So, Saturday came and I was feeling skeptical about whether I should attempt a 5K that night. The fact that it was for a good cause won me over and we headed to Joplin. Decided on a grilled cheese & cranberry limeaide from Sonic as the perfect pre-race dinner. We got to race start around an hour early and registered then chatted up with friends until start time. There seemed to be great attendance for a first annual event. Everyone was stoked about doing a night run. We were all outfitted with glow in the dark arm bands in either pink, purple, or yellow. The course was lined with luminaries. It was still humid, but tolerable by the 8:30pm race start. After prayer and the National Anthem the 10K racers were started followed shortly by the 5K racers. I picked a place near the back and fielded more questions on whether I planned to walk or run and how far along I was. (My answer was "whatever my body feels like doing" & of course "33 weeks" - per the title). We got going and I realized the hard packed gravel was treating my belly a little more gently than the pavement. I felt good and proceeded to unintentionally 'pick-off' people. I grabbed a swig of water at the 1ish mile mark to make sure I stayed hydrated. As I left that water station I started seeing the top 5K runners on their way back. I yelled 'good job' to them all & chatted with people I passed to make sure I was staying within my 'able to have a conversation' zone. I made it to the 1-1/2 mile turn around, then grabbed another swig of water at the 2ish mile mark. Heading back in was surreal - pitch dark on a tree lined trail with only luminaries on the sides and lots of swinging circles of glowing light (our glow in the dark arm bands) then into the lights of the finish line. It was a pretty impressive finish line for a 5K, but at night it was even more awesome. With the music and the announcer and the fans it felt more like finishing a marathon. My time was 31:30 - the best pace and best run I've had in weeks. I felt like I could keep going, but was also happy it was over so I could have a bathroom break! I downed two bottles of water, an orange, and a snocone as we watched the rest of the 5K finishers and the 10K finishers come in (the winner of that race came in right behind me!).
The highlights of the night were all of the positive words about continuing to run I received (sometimes people outside of the running community don't understand the desire to continue running into pregnancy) and seeing such a great event in Joplin so soon after all the destruction. This race was the first of a 3 race night time series. The next race is called A Midsummer Night's 5K & 10K run on July 9 then the Blue Moon 5K & 10K on August 13. I think even if I have to walk it, I would like to get back out there on July 9 (baby permitting of course). Time will tell. :-)