Saturday’s Krazy Kow 5k marks several firsts for me in my running career:
First #1 – Running a race that starts late in the day. Hello, 5 p.m. on Memorial Day Weekend in SC = HOT!!
First #2 – Completing two runs in one day! I had to think hard to remember if I have done this before and concluded that I definitely haven’t. Based on how stiff my legs were to start in the second run, after only 4.25 easy morning miles, it is absolutely something I will be doing more often as I prepare for Hood-to-Coast.
First #3 – Running a short race “just for fun”.
I started Saturday morning with a nice easy run with my friend, Char, and her husband, Jesse. During the run we enjoyed checking out all of the hot air balloons that were launching for Freedom Weekend Aloft.
You really can’t help but smile when you see a sky full of colorful hot air balloons.
The original plan was to run 5-6 miles, but we ended up only get 4.25 miles at 8:39 min/mile because we were trying to finish in time to get to 9 a.m. Master’s Swim.
After running, swimming and then snacking, I took a solid 2-hour nap. It was the kind where you wake up and don’t know what day it is or why you are waking up. It was fantastic!
Shortly after I woke up, I was dressed, packed and headed out to the race. I parked at the hospital parking lot a few miles from the start and ran over the park. It was blazing hot (90*) and the sun was beating down.
Knowing I was running in the evening, I tried to watch what I ate all day and didn’t really eat a full meal, but I think the 1/2 a cup of leftover DQ Confetti Cake ice cream was probably not the best idea. (duh) I was very glad at that point that I wasn’t “racing” and just running for fun with friends!
Shortly after I got to the park, Char and Jenni showed up and we spent the next 1/2 hour taking pictures with every cow we could find 🙂
This cow was actually part of the fun run obstacle course. He was the “Cow Tippin'” station. This is South Carolina, remember 🙂
Char may be only slightly obsessed with cows 🙂 (notice her vest and her Ironman cow visor?) – yes, my friend is a bada$$ Ironman!
Finally we found all the cows so we decided it was time to get a little warm-up in for Char and Jenni. We ran almost a mile, giving me a total of 2.65 miles before the race.
FINALLY it was time to start. We lined up at the very front, only because it was obvious that many of the walkers also decided to make their way to the front.
Right before the start, I asked Jenni what our strategy was for the race. In addition to this being her first race back since 3 hip surgeries, she was also fighting a cold, but I know Jenni is a tough cookie, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Afterall, she WAS a 20:02 5k’er in college! Jenni basically said, let’s just run and see how it goes. Good plan 🙂
The beginning of the race is downhill, so we took off at about a 7:00 min mile. (Jenni tells us later that this was really dumb – oops!) We were quickly reeled in by the hills that we hit after 1/2 mile point and finished the first mile in 7:59.
I could tell the heat and hills were getting to Jenni pretty quickly, as she slowed after that first mile. We just tried to keep a few steps ahead of her and cheer her on. The hills continued, and there was NO shade coverage. I was SO glad at that point that I wasn’t racing. We cheered on the lead runners as we passed and yelled for the top 3 women.
The next 2 miles seemed to take forever! I always forget how long 3 miles seems in a 5k. Jenni was hurting and having a hard time breathing, but she pushed on, maintaining about a 9:15 pace. Finally, we got close to the finish and I sprinted ahead so I could get pictures of Jenni and Char at the finish.
There was a big crowd of people cheering at the finish chute and it was really fun!
Our official finish time was 28:15. (9:07 min/mile avg)
We raided the hospitality tent, but skipped the burgers and brownies and somehow ended up only with water!
It was a great time and I would definitely run this for fun again. I think I would have a hard time racing at that time of day, but it was a good lesson for me in what (not) to eat and how my body reacts to running at this time a day.
Out tickets got us into the Jake Owen concert that evening, so after a bar-b-que and showers at Char’s house, we enjoyed a fun concert!
And I discovered a new love…NOT Jake Owen (although he is pretty sexy).
Try it. Over ice. And please don’t tell me you don’t like it.