Firecracker 5K race recap

I had no right to put any real ambition on this race, considering 1) my “training” has been pretty minimal and 2) the number of people who participate in this race make the course pretty congested for the first mile, which always slows down my times. But even so, I had a goal: to beat 29:59, which was my time in my most recent 5K in May. I had just sneaked in under 30 minutes in that one, and I wanted to do even better in this typically hotter, hillier, more crowded race.

I was fortunate to have Monday off of work, so I lounged around in the morning, drinking coffee and watching TV. I finally got out and went to the running store to pick up our race packets. I love this shade of blue:

FIRECRACKER 5K

Then I went to Target and couldn’t resist getting this really cute little number from the Champion section:

CHAMPION BRA

I like to buy things I don’t need!

After all that, I went “running” on the river path, and I actually ran for the most part, even used my Garmin for the first time in a long time! I ran most of 3 miles and then walked another mile for four miles total. I didn’t want to tire my legs too much the day before the 5K.

I saw this leaf on my run; I don’t know why I sometimes notice random things like this, but I wondered why the leaf had so many holes – eaten by a caterpillar? (“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle came to mind!)

leaf

The race began today at 8 a.m., so we headed out at 7:20. Although I like to get going super early (too early), my husband is not the same at all, so this was the best I could do! We’ve never had issues getting there or parking in the past (it starts at a mall, so definitely not a problem), so I wasn’t too worried.

before

The race is not chip-timed and the starting area is kind of a free-for-all, a mix of runners and walkers. If you don’t get in the very front, you’re kind of screwed. I started my Garmin when we got to the starting line about a minute after the fireworks went off to signal the beginning of the race, and I immediately expected to abandon my goal because of how many walkers I had to weave around for the first mile. Once we were finally able to really run, I found myself going too fast in an attempt to make up for lost time.

The weather was great for this race, very overcast and in the low ’80s. It was very humid, though, so I did sweat a lot. The spectators for this race always provide sprinklers for the runners to go through, and some were even squirting us with waterguns. Some little kids were throwing tiny water balloons at people, too. So I was quite drenched by the end!

At mile 2 I saw I just needed to get done in under 10 minutes and I’d make my goal, so I really sped it up. I got a terrible side stitch for the last half-mile, but I crossed the finish line well before my goal time. I also beat my husband 🙂

finish time

After the race, we staggered through the finish area, got some water and watermelon and a popsicle.

people

It was way too crowded and I was craving breakfast food, so we left and headed to a nearby restaurant for some eggs and bacon!

I was really happy to do so much better than my goal despite the very slow start. The weather really contributed to that being possible as well. I hope to improve again in the next 5K I do on July 15, but we will have to see how hot it is!

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