At 6:30 am I crawled out of a warm bed, walked half asleep to the bathroom and wondered why I was getting up so early on a Saturday morning! Eyes still half closed I rummaged around for my running capri's, still annoyed with the guy at Run On that convinced me to NOT buy long pants. I contemplated wearing a long sleeve shirt and wished I had a white long sleeved shirt to wear under my race day shirt, no such luck, so tank it is. I found my purple fleece which went with my Dash for the Beads race tee and found my other necessary running gear; watch, hat, headband, "stuff" waistband holder and race number. I headed out the door and was automatically annoyed again with the Run On guy, it was FREEZING outside. BRRRR. Goodness, what was I thinking wanting to run? It is too cold to run, should have stayed in bed. Thank goodness my friend Jessica wanted to run or I might have just called it a day after I walked outside.
The Dash for the Beads 5K run benefited the Bishop Arts District. The proceeds from the event went to the Light Up Bishop Arts Project where, as it was explained, the group wants to wrap trees along the streets with lights all year round to help beautify the area. The Bishop Arts District is an eclectic area with unique shops and a flavorful group of people milling around. It had some wonderful old buildings with funky businesses that look like they have been there forever. It reminded me a lot of South Congress in Austin.
This was the first time for this event, it was pretty cool to be part of the inaugural run. Plus, I liked that it was outside of my normal running area. I typically train (when I train) and end up running racing in the same general area- it gets a little boring. This race gave me a good opportunity to run some where new and get out of my comfort zone.
There was a costume aspect to the run, which I did not participate in, but plenty of other people did! It was great, there was Pooh, a chicken, lots of jesters, Jersey Shore look-a-likes, ladies in pink tutu's and other crazy costumes. I have a hard enough time running as it is, I don't need a costume to add to the mix. I did wear some Mardi Gras beads which swung around and made a lot of noise as a ran. I'm not sure if they were more of a distraction or annoyance during the run.
As we stood around waiting for the run to start, the announcer lady asks, "How many Oak Cliffers are there?" Lots of people raised their hands. "Those of you from here know about our hills," she says. HILLS? Jessica and I both look at each other and at the same time say, "Hills? No one said anything about hills." We crack up laughing. I hate hills. I haven't run hills in a long time so the idea of running hills today did not excite me. But heck, I was already there, so I made the most of it. I think to myself, "It is only a 5k, I'll be done soon enough."
The chicken is apparently the guide, he is on a bike and is suppose to lead us around the route. Of course, I am slow so I only saw the chicken for a second before people ran in front of me. Jessica and I started together and quickly she got farther and farther away from me. I saw her from behind for a few blocks before the masses rushed ahead and covered the distance between us. It wasn't but a few minutes into the run when my shins started to tighten and I knew it was going to be a hard race. I made it to mile 1 at 11:40 and knew I needed to pick up the pace but just couldn't. My shins were really hurting and all I could think about was how it was only a 5k race and I didn't need to push myself to the point of hurting myself, if I had to walk, well, I was going to walk.
About 1.5 miles in there was a turn around and I saw Jessica, waved, then started up the hill. I couldn't do it, or more accurately, I didn't want to do it so I walked. My shins felt like they did when I ran my marathon last year and my feet just fell flat to the ground, my legs were so tight, they barely bent. I did a walk run pace through 2 more hills and made it to Bishop Ave. I knew I was close, Bishop and Davis was were we started so all I had to do was run down Bishop and I would be done. Thank goodness Bishop was relatively flat. I turned up the tunes and just kept running. I looked down at my watch and the time was 34 minutes. I estimated I had at least 3 - 4 minutes of running left. I started to feel irritated with myself for being so out of shape but quickly talked myself out of that bad thought. I am not in bad shape, I am just not in running shape.
I was next to 2 of the Jersey Shore look-a-likes and felt the need to beat them to the finish so I picked it up a little and just kept running. Then up ahead I saw a street light. "Is that Davis?" I can't tell. I squint to look at the street sign but I was too far away from it, I couldn't tell if there were 5, 6, or 7 letters on the sign. UGH, I think to myself, "what if I have to run PAST the street light? MUST find out if that is DAVIS!" I kept running and finally I could see the sign, yes it is Davis! YEA! I picked up my speed, I did it! I was almost there...I run around the corner, wave at the photographer and ease into the finish. My watch said 37 minutes. Not my best time but I consoled myself with the fact that I am not trying to win, or even, beat my times (apparently). If I was, I would actually run once or twice before a race!
Winner of the Pet Costume Contest:
Other pics from Dash for the Beads