Because it’s just not a proper holiday if it doesn’t start off with a race in extreme weather conditions….
After a bit of last minute peer pressure, yesterday I signed up to run the Let Freedom Run 5K out in Fairfax, VA with my friend Jenn. The start/finish is a mile from Jenn’s front door and it’s just too hard to turn down anything so convenient. Plus, Jenn is not normally into running, and I can’t miss an opportunity to brainwash new folks into the cult.
The last couple weeks have been unbearably HOT HOT HOT in the Disco, and this morning was no exception. Even though when we left Jenn’s house to walk over it was a bit overcast and only about 83, by the time we lined up the clouds had moved off and it was pushing 90.
Luckily, Jenn was also game to get dolled up in rad red, white, and blue costume-y hair accessories! Almost makes up for the heat index. Here we are sweating up a storm…before even making it to the start line:
I have very little recollection of the race itself. It was a nice course, rolling hills but nothing too drastic. The course is through a suburban area that isn’t too heavily traveled on a Saturday morning. They only closed one lane of traffic on a four lane road, but there was no problem with traffic congestion at all. Also, the race was small enough that even though there were folks of many abilities, I didn’t feel like I was caught up behind walkers, strollers, etc. for the first 1/2 mile, which was nice. (Although I will note that in the first mile, a guy passed me on an uphill pushing a double stroller and probably clocking about a 7:30 pace….jerk. :p)
Mostly, I spent the race trying not melt into a disgusting overheated puddle. I do *NOT* handle heat well. My long runs over the last few weeks have been at an incredibly slow pace, and I don’t seem to be acclimating very quickly. I also haven’t managed pacing in the heat. My body still wants to go my normal pace, so I tend to take off and then hit a wall a certain way into every run. Then I’m spent and have to slow down a ton and take several walk breaks just to make through my planned run.
Obviously something important to work on: pacey pacey in these severe heat conditions!
So, I had to take this race as it came. I took off way too fast. I ended up having to walk a couple of the steeper hill crests and was overall just very uneven pace-wise throughout.
My final time: 26:50, which is an 8:28 pace. Almost 3 full minutes over my 5K PR, which is a pretty huge amount for such a short distance. But then again, that PR was set at about 45 degrees cooler, so….it’s actually probably about right.
The rest of the day saw some relaxation, quality time with the foam roller, and then venturing out for 4th BBQ fun. In this town, such gatherings around this time of year often involve crabby crabs! It was Hubz’ first time ever cleaning his own crab meat or eating them in any non-cake non-stuffed in fried things form, so I had to capture the moment on film.
The whole meaty goodness thing (not to mention the tossing of crab parts all over) tested my vegetarian resolve a bit, but I held pretty strong. Ok, I had some crab meat, but steered clear of the burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, wings, guilt, and heart disease. I did not steer clear of the delicious IPA on tap. I also made a pretty delightful little cole slaw. It was low fat and tangy, just the way I like it. It seemed to be a hit, so maybe if I ever get around to trying to be a food bloggerish person I will share it.
Hubz bailed early to make it back across town before the Capitol 4th/tourist traffic got too crazy. So we were home to hear the fireworks out our window and watch them from the comfort of our comfy air conditioned couch.
Happy Independence Day, folks!
Are you a fan of holiday morning races?
What are your 4th of July traditions?