As promised, here's a bonus post for today due to the rain cancellation of the Race Chaska event. Enjoy!
Wichita, KS Dog-N-Jog 5K (3.1 miles)
Average Pace 9:17/mile
Back in April, the whole fam-dam-ly drove down to Wichita, Kansas in honor of my "cousin's" wedding (technically he's my 2nd cousin, but due to an age gap, he's more like a cousin to me).
Wow, 9 hours in a Jetta with only 1 stop for gas and fast food (gross). That sure was fun. Hour 7 was particularly enjoyable when hubby missed an exit while I was yelling the whole time "Get over, there's room, there's room!".
Yes, we drove in silence for about an hour after that. A wee bit too much together time, me thinks. LOL!
Anyhow, hubby and I eventually made amends. Then, sure enough, we rolled into the parking lot of our temporary home and unloaded from the car. Best Western, here we come!
Admittedly, with all the travel 1 day before gun time, I didn't exactly set myself up for success on this race. Although I've finally broke through on my training and achieved a sub 28 minute 5K pace the week before, I was simply exhausted after my long trip in the car and not being able to sleep in my own bed. To make matters worse, I didn't exactly have the diet of a champion pre-race day (perhaps Dave and Wendy will disagree, but my statement still stands).
So, race day comes. The buzzer goes off and out of bed I go.
I'd like to add here that I drove across the way from the hotel to pick up some bananas, my preferred pre-race meal. My only option at 6am was a 24 hour Wal-Mart. I'll sum that up by saying you haven't lived until you've shopped at the Wichita Wal-Mart at 6am.
Two questions arose out of that visit:
(1) Who shops for shoes at Wal-Mart, as a family, at 6am?
(2) Why is everyone staring at me - haven't they seen someone wearing spandex who actually uses it to work out?
Since I knew my family was going to be looking for something to do pre-wedding, I had extended an invitation to them to join in on the racing fun as well. I actually had a few takers - my brother in law, sister in law (who sat the race out due to a broken toe) and another one of my cousins took their place at the finish line to cheer us runners on:
As the name of this race hints, there were two types of competitors in this race. Humans... and dogs! I've never participated in a race that allowed animals before, so lining up at the start line was hysterical. Dogs were chasing each other around, yipping, and rolling in the grass. I even got a chuckle seeing a wiener dog at the start - imagine those little legs traveling over 3 miles, LOL! I wondered if the owner would end up carrying the wiener by the halfway point.
All the sudden, when it was time to get serious and await the gun, I couldn't tell who was more anxious to get a better time - the humans or the dogs! This part wasn't exactly organized, though, and all the sudden the gun went of with no warning. Ok, here we go, I guess!
The course was quite nice. We ran the long loop around Sedgwick County Park, passing through some wooded areas, around various small ponds, and I think I saw a playground or two on the far side of the course.
Despite being travel weary, and the cold winds making my muscles feel tight, I was keeping a pretty good pace. My Nike+ told me when I hit mile 1, and I couldn't believe it had passed by so quick, until... that damn wiener dog passed me. WHAT! I couldn't believe it! Those little legs were going a million miles an hour!
My nemesis, the wiener:
Around mile 2 my muscles started to burn. I was temped to let my pace drop down, but I was so determined to PR that I couldn't do it. I pushed myself as hard as I could given the circumstances and kept going.
Somewhere along the course I lost my brother and soon to be sister in law, who are dedicated runners. I enjoyed racing them, although they both kicked my ass.
**I was slightly less humiliated by my wiener beating when I found out my brother got passed by 'em, too. And yes, I just said weiner beating.
As I pulled into the finish, I realized I had used up all my steam on course and couldn't manage my usual superman sprint through the finish gate. But when I saw 29:XX on the clock, I was happy enough. And I got a few good chuckles in as I watched dogs confusedly run up to the finish line after me. They weren't quite sure what to think of the ticker-tape flags, and often ran under them instead of between them and towards the finish gate. One dog even excitedly bounded past the finish and jumped into a kiddie swimming pool filled with bottled water (I think he must have thought he earned a post-race swim). Super cute!
As we watched the post 30 minute runners drift in, we eagerly awaited one last family member. Although she started at the back of the group and I didn't even see her cross the start, I'm so proud of my sister who ran, too - she's been training really hard for the last 6-8 months to become a runner, and she finally got to run her first 5K!
As she came into the finish, we debated hanging around for the post race celebration. But, breakfast hunger pains got the best of us and we cut out. Besides, we had to go back to the hotel and freshen up. After all, we had a wedding to go to!
And that's how race bib # 23 ended up in my collection. It's a generic one, so it just reads "RoadID, #265". But generic or not, I raced a 5K PR at this one, and that's something I can be proud of.
Here's to another race soon, but maybe without the wiener!