What was I thinking signing up for a race in south Alabama in June? Apparently I momentarily forgot how freakin’ hot and humid it gets down here. But I can do anything for 3 miles, right? Especially with the promise of post-race margaritas.
Packet pick-up did not bode well for this race. The local race production company had not delivered the bibs or the final registration list. Neither Mark nor I appeared on the list they did have, but they did have a swag bag for me. That’s right, a SWAG BAG for a local 5K with less than 100 participants. Pretty cool. But by the time I got there, 7 whole minutes after packet pickup opened, they had run out of my size t shirt. Did I mention I was the 4th person in line? Not sure what was going on there.
Since my effort to pick up our bibs the day before was foiled, we still had to get to the race early to get our bibs, and hold our breathe they’ed actually have bibs for us. Spoiler – bib pickup wasn’t an issue!
We got there a few minutes early and picked up our bibs. Man, it was hot. It was 77 degrees with 96% humidity when we got out of the car! Via is a senior citizen’s activity center, and they had the building open so people could wait in the A/C and use real bathrooms! Score!
We walked about a quarter mile to the start. I’d looked at the course ahead of time and saw we were running through pancake flat Midtown Mobile neighborhoods with old growth oaks and lots of shade, so my race plan involved running for a mile then walking a minute, repeat 3 times and BAM – under 40 minutes. I did not take into account the extreme weather. I didn’t make it through running the first mile without some walking. Mark had a better plan to run 10 minutes/ walk 1, but the heat even got to him.
I did love the course. Some rough pavement (because the city cannot afford to keep its roads paved), but nice and flat and mostly shady, with lovely older homes and great people who left their sprinklers on for us. One family even sat out with his hose to shower the runners. That was much needed.
I walked probably a quarter of the race. My legs felt great for the first two miles, but it was just so hot. All the runners I chatted with commented on the heat and how much slower they were because of it. Even though I did PR (by one whole minute!), I was disappointed, because I knew I had more in me. And I won’t lie – the promise of a margarita did get me through the second half of the race.
The Via folks did a great job, from the goody bags and luau theme to having a water stop every mile and a water gun tunnel at the finish. It would be an awesome race if they’ed move it back a few weeks. The after party was really awesome. They had all the usual goodies, the promised margaritas, cake and locally made ice cream. Could this be the new chocolate milk for recovery?
|The Margarita Lady|
Based on this race, I know I have a sub-40 minute 5K in me right now. Unfortunately, this will have to wait until sometime this fall, since race season around here has pretty much shut down for the summer. At least I have something to look forward to in the fall! And my new rule is no more summer races!
43:14 (1 minute PR!)
Women 35-39: 8/10
photos courtesy of Via Health, Fitness, and Enrichment Center