HOLY HADES, BATMAN!!!
Last night's 5k was basically just that…running through the fiery, blistering heat of a hot July evening….
They organizers advertised it as the "hottest" race in Kansas City, and they were NOT kidding! The 5th Annual Rock the Crossroads was a sweaty adventure through the downtown streets of the Crossroads arts and music district of downtown Kansas City.
Having reservations about running 3.1 miles on a hot, steamy July evening - I got totally sucked in by the bling:
That medal was WAY cool. I would walk across hot coals to get one. So - I signed up.
On Friday, Hubby went down to pick up our shirts and bibs, and I was impressed with those, as well, for the most part. The shirt itself is a very awesome tech shirt, but who was the brainiac who chose a BLACK shirt in July??!!
Yeah. That wasn't happening. Not to mention, it's TOTALLY uncool in the running world to wear your official shirt BEFORE you've earned it by completing the race.
Saturday was race day…I spent most of the day hydrating, as well as nursing Dear Daughter, who'd had nasal surgery a few days earlier. (She's recovering slowly - but doing better each day.) At 4:00 pm, Hubby and I headed to our nephew's 9th birthday party, where I skipped the baked beans (as a courtesy to my fellow runners later that evening), but hesitantly had a hamburger patty - worried about how this would settle on my stomach later. In the heat. EEP. Yeah. I'd pay for that later.
At 6:00 pm, we headed downtown, and sure enough - my stomach was feeling a bit queasy. I knew part of this was nerves, as I ALWAYS get this way before an official race - but I wondered how much was due to the hamburger. Maybe that wasn't so smart. You think?
This next photo is interesting. Have you EVER seen a totally empty Start Line/Finish Line thirty minutes before the gun?
Yeah, me, neither. This is because it was about 90 degrees outside - and even hotter in the sun. So, the 915 registered runners were standing in any shade we could find at this point. It was only about 5 minutes before the Official Start Time that we all reluctantly made our way over to the starting chute.
I was pretty far back in the chute, so I didn't officially cross the Starting Line until about a minute or so in…I started off strong, sticking pretty close to pace. At about 1.5 mile into the race, however, we were running up a hill…that seemed to go on forever. I ran…and I ran…and I ran…determined to conquer that damn hill no matter what it took.
That was stupid.
Powering up a mile-long hill…in 90+ degree heat…after eating a hamburger?
Just shoot me.
My legs starting cramping…my stomach started heaving a bit…and my head felt SO hot that I thought it was going to melt off my body. Seriously - I thought I was going to spontaneously combust, and I was SO. FREAKING HOT. that I thought about quitting. I seriously looked around to see if there was a medic near by. Ack.
With what few brain cells I had left that hadn't boiled away at this point, I decided that my ultimate goal was NOT to finish with a personal best time - but just to finish. Standing up. Even if that meant walking a bit.
So that's what I did. I walked. And would then run…a little. But walked some more.
Whew. Smartest decision I ever made.
By now, my Garmin was getting irritated with me, as it kept beeping in alarm: "BEHIND PACE!!!"
Yes. I know. If I ran at my usual pace, it would NOT have been pretty. So, I eventually just turned my Garmin off to shut it up. I didn't care about my pace at this point - I decided I would be happy with finishing in 40 minutes.
Run a bit. Walk a bit. Some times, the roads would be in the sun, and I felt like I was boiling from the inside out. Then we'd hit a cool, shady bit of road, and it was pure bliss. Oh, how we take shade for granted sometimes.
There were two water stops along the route, and I used both of them to dump a cup of water over my head - drenching myself in a refreshing shower of coolness and relief.
Before long, I turned the corner and saw the Finish Line up ahead - a welcome sight. Even better, I saw Hubby, waiting for me to cross. He'd already finished his run way earlier, doing it in 25.04. I hate him. Gah.
My official time was 38.38 - which was WAY better than what I was hoping for. Not my best time, but I blame the heat, and the fact that I had to walk so much.
Hubby finished in 25.05 - which garnered him 4th in his age division.
The good news: I didn't get sick. Although I certainly felt like it, at one point. I've learned the important thing in running is to listen to your BODY and not your ego. It's hard to do that sometimes, but it's definitely smart.
Would I do this race again? Probably. The course was pretty easy, other than that really long hill at the beginning. Most of it is downhill, which is wonderful.
I would skip the hamburger next time, though. Gah.