Chick-Fil-A Connect Race Series : Our first 5K together....

It all started with these ladies...

Kellie, Leah, Kandess and Rebekah. They have become such dear friends of mine here in Huntsville. (This was a photo from a crochet class - yep! finally took a class!) The girls wanted to start training for 5Ks, the first one being the Cotton Row in downtown. They raced and conquered, while JD and I were in Chattanooga celebrating our 2 year anniversary. 

Once I started training with the girls, JD decided he wanted to start running with me so he could be prepared for the 5Ks too. JD and I have been wanting to jog a little on the local mountain here. What better time to start than now? JD jogs the entire trail (3.5 miles) but I try my best to jog fully to the first mile marker. :) His training and endurance encourages me to push harder.

While training one day, we ran past this massive nest. Tracker jackers, anyone?

On that day, we got lost and stumbled upon this breathtaking view!! Fortunately, we found our car a few minutes later. 

Then the BIG DAY!! Our first 5K we would run together... the Chick-fil-A Connect Race Series this past Saturday in Decatur.

Note the hardcore guy who is running with a hiking backpack...

Runner #4209: JD
Runner #4210: Whitney 
These dri-fit shirts are awesome.

Leah and I got to snag a photo with the girl Chick-fil-A cow! Oh yeah! 

The gun was fired and we took off. We hit the first mile marker and JD looks over at me, "Ok. One mile. Let's pick up the pace." I shake my head, "Nope. Nope. I'm just going to keep on at this pace. My only goal for this race is simply to jog the entire thing without walking." And I did! Fortunately, a little girl named Gloria with a "Runnin 4 Chikin Nuggitz" T-shirt ran beside me when I started giving out towards the end. 

"And here comes JD Todd crossing the finish line," said the announcer. "Man. He's got a NICE head of hair!!" Haha - he gets that compliment a lot but that must've been one of the best ones! His time was 32:57. Incredible. :)

Gloria and I round the corner towards the finish line. "Surely Whit will finish before that little girl," said JD to his buddy Davy.

Around that time, Gloria looked like she was about to give in. "It's sooo hot!!!" she said. But I encouraged her saying, "Alright sister, it's time. We have to finish strong here! Ready? Go!" 

Gosh. Bad idea. She took off!!! Left me in the dust. She must've beaten me by several seconds! Haha!

But I finished. Right behind a man in the 80+ category. Well done, ole' man. Well. Done. 

I finished with a time of 36:09. It's not that great, but at least I completed my goal successfully by not stopping (well, with the exception of the one stop at the water cooler). Plus I got to witness the site of my sweet husband cheering me on at the finish line. I can't ask for a better experience than that!

Post-race card load up with free Chick-fil-A biscuits... 

Leah finished with a time of 32:34! She also ran it without stopping! She did a fantastic job. :)


And here's JD and Davy waiting for the results... Davy finished with a time of 19:56, taking a medal away with pride. He smoked us all.

JD and I may just run a few more 5Ks but we will definitely continue training on the mountain. It's glorious up there! Training has been a fun thing to do in our marriage and it allows us a new way to challenge each other. On the mountain, trees lift their arms in praise to the Father and creation declares His name. Plus, it kind of feels like we're in the Hunger Games up there. That will make a person sprint...