Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Siren Freedom Five 5K 2017 (Off the Deep End)

Siren Freedom Five 5K (3.15 miles)
41:04 *PW - woot!
Average Pace 13:13/mile

So, it's official.  I'm off the deep end with my race day costuming ...


Yep, you guessed it.  It's 4th of July season and here I am again - recapping the Siren Freedom Five.  I guess after 5 years of running this race, what's another repeat, right?  I first participated in this race back in 2011, then began recapping it in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 (with a brief hiatus of non-running in 2012 due to basically just being a cheap ass).

For 2017, since I am in no kind of shape, I decided to make the most of my "run" by theming my costume to the max.  As you can see above, the night before I inflated about two dozen Lady Liberty torches (purchased at Oriental Trading Company).  I figured ... WTH.  I'm already dressing up like a doofus, and I know I'll have a stroller on race day to carry the torches ... so why not just toss out crap to spectators - right?!?  Right.

I think my brain is broken.

Anyway!  As per years previous, on the day prior to the race I marched into Siren's school near their downtown area and did packet pickup.  This race is always very well organized, so like every year, pickup was a quick in and out.  And even with two packets, it was still just as quick.


Yep.  TWO packets.  I finally talked my husband into race day shenanigans on 4th of July.  And I even got him to agree to this:

I know, I can't believe it either.  And obviously, you can see my husband was a HUGE fan of this ... can't you just see the joy oozing out of him in the above photo?  Heh.

I suppose posting these photos basically jumped me right into race day recapping, so I'm just going to go with it. 

On race morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see a forecast of mid 60s and slightly cloudy skies.  Since in years past, this race has been a humid cooker of a race that has left me wishing for a second water stop along the course, the cooler weather was a welcome relief. Even more so with my little boy along for the ride.

Since we did packet pickup the night before, our only worry for the morning was to arrive just before the 8am gun time, so we did just that.  With about 10 minutes left before we were to start, my husband and I rolled up to the start line ... and proceeded to twiddle our thumbs.  Apparently, unlike years past where there was a fairly entertaining announcer and music to help pass the time, in 2017 there was either very little announcing being done - OR - the sound system was turned down quite a bit.  And I know I wasn't crazy (at least on this particular point), because even my husband commented that he couldn't hear a thing.

Eh, no big loss.  The only thing that really mattered was when it came time to sing the national anthem, the crowd caught on and quieted quickly, and before you knew it ... it was time to go. 


Since we were running this race with a stroller, my husband and I opted to line up about halfway back in the crowd.  I was a little nervous about this, since Freedom Five participants aren't always very good about self seeding, and often walkers toe the line just behind elite runners.  But somehow, this year we were in luck as not a single walker blocked our way for the first portion of the race.  Hooray!

Like years past, our first half mile or so wound around the downtown neighborhoods of Siren, Wisconsin, with various spectators watching in town as we went.  Armed with my multitude of torches, I tried to spot kiddy spectators as I went, which helped pass the time as I sucked wind.

While I did kid patrol and tossed out torches, my husband passed his time by watching a couple running just ahead of us with a boston terrier on a leash.  I missed it, but apparently the dog (who ran at a fairly good clip for being so small, might I add) would run and run and run ... until he found a spot of shade in the grass, where he would then promptly belly flop down and force his owners to stop their run.

Watching this couple gave my husband a good chuckle.  I was kind of bummed to have missed the dog's antics.

The cool weather and the various things keeping us entertained really helped the course cruise by.  Before I knew it, we were well into mile two, and the halfway water stop was within line of site.  I told my husband the gig about where the water stop was, and we both agreed it might be good timing to just stop, take a walk break, get some water, and check on the kid.
In the map that follows, you can see, we held pretty true to that plan, slowing down just around the halfway point.

You can also see in this map, though, that our speed basically is all down hill after that stop. 

At first, it seemed like our brief water stop walk was going to be our only pause on the entire course.  We picked right back up and took off ... only to have our little boy start whining not even a quarter of a mile down the road.

Thinking he was thirsty, we offered him some water from his sippy cup and picked right back up to running ... only to have him start whining again.  Drat.

Hoping he'd get over it, we tried to keep running.  Then tried to stop and offer more water and keep running again.  No luck.

My little boy wanted out of the stroller. RIGHT NOW.

You can about imagine how much fun that was.  With around 0.6 of a mile left, my husband carried my 14 month old son, who now weighs over 30 pounds and wears 3T clothing btw, by hand. 

This basically explains our last full mile split:

Yeah.  Not exactly a speed optimizer, carrying a 30 pound kid.  No surprise there.

Funny enough, as we were about 1/3 of a mile away from the finish line, our favorite little dog and his running crew came up from behind us.  Apparently, we had passed them at some point in the race and had gotten a sizeable lead.  But as we slowed to walk with our son, we failed to keep the lead and they advanced ahead of us.

However, they failed to keep their lead ... because yet again, a shady and grassy area caught the dog's attention.  And this time, I guess doggy found the best shady spot on course because he had absolutely NO desire to get back up again. 


Well, well, well.  A doggy temper tantrum put my kid's whining fit in perspective.  Who'da thunk it?!

Not long after passing our doggy friend once again, the finisher's chute came into view.  At this point, for whatever reason, my husband took off ... still hand carrying our son.  I didn't quite realize what he had decided to do until I heard my son squealing with glee. 

Refusing to be left behind, I picked up the pace too, pushing the stroller as I went.  With the clock just flicking over to 41:00, we pulled up to the mat and I official tromped out my own personal worst on this course.  Huzzah!  I guess if you're going to make some sort of record at the course, may as well make it a memorably bad one, right?!

In the finisher's chute, we were handed a bottle of water while volunteers clipped our timing chips off our shoe.  Upon exiting the chute, the three of us wandered over to the snack table to have a look at the goods.  There, my husband and I had our second bottle of water, and I snagged a mini blueberry muffin and a banana to share with my son.  Though my husband chose not to eat, when realized there was orange juice, he went over for that instead.

With some basic refreshments down the gullet, my final mission post race was to hand out what was left of my torches.  Taking a meandering exit from the park, I was mostly successful in doing so, as I only had 4 left in the stroller once we got back to the car. 

Dang ... had I only found 4 more kids, I wouldn't be stuck storing these dumb things until next year.  Oh well.

After a brief ride home, and a quick shower, I proudly donned this year's shirt and called it a day.

A pretty sweet design this year, don't you think?!


And that's the story of how race bib #80 joined my collection - and even though I have no idea when the next one will be ... here's to another race soon!

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