Being a runner is mentally tough at times. Being a runner who does races adds a whole new level of mental determination, especially when the alarm clock goes off at 5:45 a.m. Such was the case this Labor Day morning as we prepared to go run a 5K in Lake Charles, an hour drive away. Neither me nor my husband are early risers, so it’s tough to overcome the negative feelings associated with having to wake up before the sun. For races, though, knowing the positive experiences they generally turn out to be, it is worth it. We left the house at 6 a.m. and with little traffic, made it to the race site with plenty of time to pick up our packets and get bibs, timing chips, and sunscreen in place.
This was our first race in LC and I didn’t know what to expect with the racing scene. The race was smaller than most races we’ve done in BR and NOLA, but LC is smaller than those cities so I guess that’s no surprise. This was a photo posted on the running club’s Facebook of the start line:
The race course was an out and back mostly along the lake with a small jaunt into a side neighborhood and then a turnaround. It was very muggy and warm! The temperature wasn’t as high as it could have been, but the thickness of the air made it a little suffocating. I knew right away I wouldn’t be one of the top 20 females – even though I have gotten in several runs in the past two weeks, I am still getting back into running regularly after 6 weeks largely off of any activity.
We kept it under a 10-minute pace, which I was glad for, and even though at times it felt the race would never end, it actually did go by rather quickly. As we approached the finish line, I started to sprint, which resulted in me feeling like I was going to puke as soon as I crossed the line.
My chip time was 28:53, which would have been a great comeback for a 5K, but my Garmin said I had run 3.03 miles, so the course was apparently a little short. Oh well — it was still an overall good time. I felt so gross after finishing though that I didn’t take any pictures of me and husband. We dried off and drove to Panera for breakfast, my favorite meal.
Now I am finishing up my Labor Day weekend by continuing to binge on “Once Upon a Time” on Netflix. I watched season 1 in two days and am now starting season 2. I also did the first of two Fantasy Football drafts – so excited for this time of year. Cooler weather, football, running, my favorite holidays… September-December is the best!