This is the third year in a row that I have run this race. Last year, this was actually the first race recap I had ever written for my blog. I have come to the realization that I have a love-hate relationship with this race and mainly with the course itself.
Unlike last’s year crazy hot and humid weather, this year’s weather was definitely a lot cooler. I even saw people wearing long sleeve shirts. That was pushing it a little bit, but I won’t argue with the cooler temps. I arrived in Regent Square pretty early and headed over to pick up my packet. They offer packet pick up the 2 days leading up to the race, but my schedule just did not allow it. They make packet pick up pretty easy, so I wasn’t concerned with time.
After looking up my bib number, I ran into Kelsey, Charles and their friends Greg & Yusef who were visiting from out of town. It was actually Yusef and Greg’s firs 5k! The best part was that Greg has been training on the “hills” of Texas, so he was super prepared for this course <insert biggest sarcastic laugh ever>. Poor guy really had no idea what he got himself into.
Finally around 8:40am, I headed to the start line area. I ran into my friend Jill who was there with her dad and then found Kelsey and the guys. I really had no idea how this race would go. I knew I had a 10 mile run on Sunday to get through so I didn’t necessarily want to push it, but in the back of my mind I was also gunning for a course PR. But on this course? I never know what could happen.
One of the reasons why I do love this race is that within the first 3/4 of a mile, you pass by at least 5 entertainers. There were some kids out there jamming with their bands and it’s great to see such a community vibe. Although having the entertainment is great, this first 3/4 of a mile is also done on brick roads. I always feel like I am looking down and hesitate because I feel like I am going to fall flat on my face.
As we get off the brick road we head into the trails of Frick Park. They are wider packed trails and you don’t have to worry about trees or anything like that. As soon as you hit the trails there is a beer and champagne shot station. I’ve never taken one, but one of these years I really should!
Now we basically get into the worst mile ever. I feel like all mile 2 is go up, up some more and then just when you think it can’t go up anymore, it still goes up. As it heads out back to Braddock Avenue it also gets really tight on a sidewalk area. This half mile is just brutal because no one remembers race etiquette. I swear I did more zig zagging in this half mile than I did at the start of the race.
Finally back on the trails, there was more up. I was really pushing myself and around mile 2.25 just felt like I couldn’t get enough air in. I ended up walking for a minute. I was pissed at myself for this, but I knew it was smart to try and relax and catch my breath. I guess I just was pushing harder than I thought?
Finally we got to the top of the hill! Now what I do like about this race is the last mile or so. The pain of all that uphill is that wonderful downhill. This isn’t a gentle downhill though. It’s a long sometimes steep downhill. I love a good downhill so I pretty much let it rip open.
When I crossed the finish line I was even more pissed though for that short walking break. I missed a course PR by 6 seconds. I did end up finishing a lot faster than I thought I would, so I was happy with that at least. According to my garmin my splits were 9:25, 11:01 and 9:35. That second mile ALWAYS gets me!
There was a great post race party in the park afterwards and I got to meet up with some other twitter friends. This was the first year I stuck around to enjoy some of it. I grabbed a hot dog, passed on the beer (not sure I wanted beer from a bucket) and actually checked out some of the booths. This was also race #20 in the goal of 30. It’s great to be 2/3 of the way done with this journey!
I think the biggest adventure of the day though was when I got back to my car as it decided not to start! NOTHING! No sounds. Nothing! I called Kelsey about 12 thousand times but she wouldn’t pick up. I put in a call to Triple A and then actually went to some houses close by to see if anyone had jumper cables. No luck. Finally though a guy coming back to his car did but then the hood release wouldn’t work! Just then Kelsey finally called back and they would turn around the head back to rescue me. I felt super horrible as I know they had friends in town and were going to brunch, but I also knew it was 3 guys and her husband, Charles, would have jumper cables!
Soon enough they were back to me and attempting the rescue! Greg was able to get the hood open (apparently you had just to REALLLLLLLY pull on the latch?) and once we got the cars lined up, attempted the jump. BOOM! First try it was up and running again! Man, I am so lucky to have friends that will come rescue me! Just as they pulled away, Triple A was pulling up. Even though I was jumped and good to go, he said let’s do a test on the battery and starter. I let him do that since the battery was less than 10 months old. Thankfully everything passed! Finally, after almost 90 minutes of crazy, I was headed home. Race #20, you win.
Official Finish Time:
56/134 Females, 30-34
5/12, Athena Division