Kiwanis 4th of July 5k (July 4, 2012)

It was another hot, humid morning in Charlottesville. The race started at 7:30, which felt late to me, as I’ve been waking up around 5  most mornings lately.

As we were walking from our car to pick up our numbers, there were several hot air balloons floating overhead.

Registration/packet pick-up was quick and easy.

Kurt and I went for a short jog down to the lake while we were waiting for the start. Not even a mile warm-up and I was already quite sweaty standing at the starting line. I could tell from our warm-up that it wasn’t going to be a good run for me. My legs were heavy and I was feeling pretty exhausted.

My legs were heavy, but I still felt OK (not great, but not horrible either) when I hit the first mile in 7:49. For a hot, muggy day, that’s pretty much what I figured my first mile split would be, then I figured I would pick up the pace to about 7:30 for the last two miles.

That, however, is not what happened. There was a short out-and-back with water at the turnaround at about the halfway point. Going down the hill to the turnaround, I started to get a side stitch. Then, after pouring a (warm!?) cup of water on my face, I started running back up the hill. Slowly my side-stitch got better, but I started feeling more and more fatigued.

As I passed the second mile mark, the volunteer called out 16 something. I didn’t hear my exact time, but this is the point where I slowed down considerably. There was a short hill and I stopped halfway and walked to the top. More than a dozen people passed me.

I started jogging again. It felt like I was slogging through quicksand. More and more people passed me. When I could finally see the finish line, I tried to pick up the pace, but each time I did, I felt like I was going to vomit.

I crossed the finish line and was concentrating on trying not to puke, so I did not tear the number off of my bib. This seemed to annoy Mark Lorenzoni. After a volunteer had to tear my number off for me, he called out “Tear off your numbers!”.

After the race, there was plenty of ice-cold water, Propel, fresh fruit and bagels.

Several young ladies (I didn’t hear who they were) sang the National Anthem and a few other patriotic songs.

The race host was giving out door prizes. Just as I was taking this picture, he called my number.

I won a $25 dollar gift card to Belk. I told my husband it was my consolation prize for running such a horrible race. He didn’t seem to find that amusing, but winning the prize did make me feel a little better, so it worked just fine as a consolation prize.

I’m not sure why I’m running so slowly lately. It doesn’t make sense to me that I’m running 5ks slower than I’m used to running half marathons. I’ve been wondering if maybe my iron is low. Whatever it is, it’s frustrating.

My own disappointing performance aside, this was a very cool 4th of July event. There were many families running, and lots of patriotic attire.

Time: 26:24 (That is an 8:31 pace, which is 30 seconds slower than my fastest half marathon pace. I really shouldn’t be running 5ks slower than half marathon pace, even on a hot day.)

Splits: 7:49, 8:15, 9:23 (I would say that I did a bad job pacing myself, but there’s no reason why I shouldn’t have been able to keep up at least a 7:49 pace. I didn’t go out too fast.)

96th out of 246 finishers
30th out of 119 women
6th out of 20 in my age group

Course: B
The course follows the roads and trails in the Forest Lakes subdivision. I used to live there, so I enjoyed running in my old neighborhood.

Organization: B
It wasn’t very clear where we were supposed to park, and we ended up parking behind the shopping center. It wasn’t a big deal. I was happy that there were port-a-johns.

T-Shirt: D
Ugly and cotton, but I’m giving it a slightly higher grade than the T-shirt at the Charlottesville Sprint Triathlon, because it’s at least comfortable, so I can wear it to sleep in.

Finishers Medal/Schwag/Prizes: B
No finishers medal for 5ks. Each participant got a coupon for 20% off shoes and 15% off clothing at Ragged Mountain Running Shop. They gave out door prizes, which I thought was very cool. My grade for this category is not entirely fair, as I did not stay for the awards ceremony and don’t actually know what the prizes were.

Food: B
Oranges, bananas, watermelon and bagels. I’m pretty sure the Bagels were yesterday’s Bodos bagels, which are still much better than today’s grocery store bagels. The watermelon was sliced and packed in a cooler full of ice. It was absolutely the most perfect food for a hot 4th of July race.