One of my goals for 2016 is to race at least once a month, except maybe during the dead heat of summer. So to get started right, I signed up for the Pirate Dash 5K a couple of Saturdays ago. I had 3 miles planned for that day anyway, and I knew the course would be kind of hilly, so I planned to take it easy and save my harder efforts for my long Sunday run.
While the rest of the country woke up to this
south Alabama was just dealing with temps in the 20’s and a hella lot of wind. I thought we would freeze to death waiting for the gun to go off. About 200 of us huddled at the line, along with a couple of strollers and more dogs than I’ve ever seen in one race, a creepy pirate and the Chic-Fil-A cow.
This 5K benefited the town’s schools, so there were quite a few kids too. Having dealt with the dangers of kid runners and their inclination to stop directly in front of me after 100 yards, I decided to hang to the back of the pack and let that mess clear on out.
We got one major downhill (and the lone water stop?) in the first mile. Did I mention it was cold? I couldn’t feel my face until mile 2, and my butt was frozen the entire time.
Things started to get tough in Mile 2, as they are prone to do. After our nice little downhill we started going the other way. And not in the nice, rolling up and down sort of hills. No. Up, up, up we’d go, turn the corner, and go up, up, up some more. 32 feet of elevation gain may not sound like much, but I’ll remind you that I’m a flatlander. But I put my head down, kept my feet moving, and wished there was one more water station.
Mile 3 had one more monster uphill, but there were a couple of downhills, and I knew I could hold onto things until the finish. Besides, my legs were just getting warmed up. Before long, there was the finish, but first, lets take a selfie!
The hat keeps my head warm, but its really not my best look.
And, a couple of yards later, the finish! I felt pretty good about the effort. And I should, because when I looked at the data later, it turns out this was a 5K stand alone PR by about 30 seconds. Had I not stopped for the #pirateselfie, it would’ve been almost a minute. If I had realized, I would’ve pushed a little harder. Oh well, its still a PR!
And then I refueled. Because, Mardi Gras.