I ran the Armadillo Dash 5K yesterday - this was the fifth time I've done the Dash (one half marathon and four 5Ks). This race is practically in my backyard - the start line is about one mile from my house. The race started out small, but has grown over the years (this was the ninth year), and they even had a big sponsor this year - St. Joseph healthcare. Everything seemed to go really well - the race started on time, parking was easy (of course, we got there really early to avoid any snafus), and for the first time ever, they gave medals to the 5K finishers! I tell you what, had they done this back in 2010, when I ran this race for the first time as a newbie runner/racer, I would have been thrilled beyond anything. Now? Hey, it's cool - I'll take a medal, of course - but the thrill wasn't quite the same. That said, I think it's funny that this year I've earned two 5K medals already, which is a first (and second, haha) for me!
So, the race. First, let's talk about the weather. It was pretty gross. Cold, wet, foggy, and a little windy. Thankfully, the predicted thunderstorms didn't happen, but we woke up to misty fog...and did I mention it was cold? It was 38 degrees, but it felt like 32. And I was supposed to wear my Beef Team shirt for the race, which stressed me out because any other time, I'd have dressed according to the weather, but it's hard to do with that shirt (to get credit you have to run so it can be seen, which means you can't wear a jacket over it). I layered it over a long-sleeved shirt, wore my standard double pair of gloves (next winter, I swear I'm going to spring for the Brooks Utopia 3-in-1 mittens), and I broke out my Elmer Fudd hat - you know it's cold when I'm wearing that ugly thing! Jeff, Julia, CC and I did an easy warm up run of about half a mile; after that, I shed my jacket and left it in the car before lining up to race.
So, the race. Remember those times when I've had a bout of unreasonable race anxiety? Well, that happened once again. I think it was a combination of many issues - the weather, not wearing the clothes that I preferred, and my nerves about trying to run the entire race for the first time in years. I was not in a great place to start, and even though everything was fine, I just couldn't get it together. Julia and I ran a pretty steady pace - it's a little uphill for the first part (not terrible, but still, a slope), but we ran the entire first mile, then took our standard minute walking break (which I think we cut short because there was an older runner man just in front of us who was stripping off his upper layers, and let's just say that when he got down to bare skin, we booked it ahead of him so we didn't have to see that). We were doing OK with running, but in my head I kept hearing "I can't do this" over and over. I tried to play it cool, but apparently my breathing gave me away because Julia noticed and tried to get me to calm down. Sighhhhhhhh. I frustrate myself. Anyway, we ran the second mile, took another one minute walk break, then ran the last mile. That one was mostly downhill, and it was our fastest, but still, this was the slowest I've run 3 miles in four weeks. Jeff met us as we turned into the park for the finish and ran with us for most of the last bit. Cary got a picture of Julia and I as we approached the finish line:
Please ignore the little girl who is smoking us - as Cary put it, "wait 20 years, honey - it won't be that easy" (LOL).
Finish time: Chip - 41:56; Garmin - 42:03 (13:14/mile).
mile 1 - 13:22
mile 2 - 13:33
mile 3 - 13:08
mile .19 - 2:00
We got our medals, picked up a breakfast taco, bypassed the cold beer (well, I would have done that regardless, but it definitely didn't sound appealing in that weather), and went to get our traditional post-race picture with Dan (formerly of the running store; he was the announcer for this race and did a great job):
It's always fun to see friends at these local races!
Then we posed for a couple of pictures before jumping into our warm cars:
I knitted Julia a coordinating Sugarpine Rasta hat - somehow I just knew we'd be freezing afterward (we were) and a wool hat would come in handy.
Jeff and I:
Jeff ran his best 5K ever - he finished in 27:07 (that's an 8:45 mile!) and placed second in his age group. Unfortunately, we were freezing and didn't realize that he'd done so well, so we didn't stick around for the awards ceremony. There's a trophy for him, if we can still get it!
Cary got a great shot of Jeff coming up to the finish line:
He ran so fast and still looks strong at the end!
We ended up going to Blue Baker for hot coffee and our usual breakfast (those breakfast tacos proved to be cold and dry), and I tried to bolster myself up after a disappointing performance. It was just one race, but it's disheartening to let this stupid anxiety get the best of me yet again.
Lest this recap end on a low note, here's a few more pictures:
We got actual swag at packet pickup! It seems like most races have gone to virtual swag (if anything), so it was fun to get this bag of goodies.
The race shirt is a really pretty blue - I couldn't capture the color with my camera for some reason. March 2nd is Texas Independence Day, so it was fitting that the shirt had an image of the "Come and Take It" flag on it (along with a fierce armadillo). They also handed out mini Texas state flags, which was a first for me to get after a race!
Sweet 5K medal