Hot. Temperatures were in the mid to upper 80s. Humid. Throw in some of those dew points near 70. And of course race time is at 6:30 in the evening, so it's been like this all day.
Sounds like great running conditions.
I probably shouldn't be surprised since it's been hot and humid the last three year's I've done the Scheel's Sunset 5K. This year was no different.
I stayed indoors in the air conditioning most of the day, trying to stay cool. My friend Jess was also running the race and she came over before the race and we headed over to the park about an hour before it was supposed to start. We also met up with my sister-in-law and my 8-year-old niece, who was going to be running her first 5K ever.
We picked up our stuff, pinned on our numbers and just standing there? It was brutally hot. This was going to be a fun one.
Eventually it was time to head to the starting line. Listened to the national anthem and it was go time. They messed around with the course this year, sending us up the steep hill first before making the first loop through the neighborhood. I felt pretty decent the first mile, even though it felt like I was running incredibly slow. I ended up clocking a 10:05 for the first mile.
Then the heat started to get to me. I felt myself starting to slow down a bit. Took full advantage of the woman standing at the end of her driveway spraying runners with her hose. Walked through the water stop and started the second loop.
Finished up the second mile in 10:32. Kept running. Thought the woman with the hose disappeared, but she was still there. Ran through the water. Took another walk break. Glanced down at my watch and knew it wasn't going to be an amazing time. So I made the decision then not to kill myself.
Kept running. Finally made it to the last little uphill section before the finish line. Mean race organizers who put the uphill climb in the last 0.1 mile of a 5K. Crossed the finish line in 33 minutes flat. Not my best. Not my worst.
Got my chip taken off, grabbed a bottle of water and headed back along the course to find my sister-in-law and niece. Went about three-tenths of a mile before I saw them. She was taking a bit of a walk break herself. I tried to talk to her, but her Mom told me she was "past the talking stage." OK.
We decided to start running again and said we should try to pass a group of three adults who were walking in front of us. That's all it took to make the 8-year-old sprint away like she just saw a ghost. Yeah, there was going to be no more sprinting for me.
So I jogged to catch up with her - she wasn't thrilled with the late race hill either - and eventually saw her cross the finish line in 39 minutes and some odd seconds. Was proud of her
My friend Jess and I stuck around the park for a bit to catch some of the band that was playing and eventually headed home once the mosquitoes started eating us alive. And let me tell you, it never felt so good to step in the shower and wash all the grime off.