Last night I did the 6th Annual Defend Your Friend 5K benefiting the Capital Area Humane Society's Cruelty Investigation Unit. It is the only non-profit law enforcement agency in Franklin county. Which means if you are cruel to an animal, they will tase you. OK, so that might not be true. They will shoot you. OK, so that might not be true either, just wishful thinking. It is beyond me how anyone can look sideways at an animal, let alone hurt them. (though in full disclosure I must admit that earlier in the evening I chased a cat through the kitchen when I found that little a-hole taking a nap ON the kitchen table. That's just gross. I might be a cat lady but I'm not THAT cat lady.) End tangent.
This was my 3rd year participating but unfortunately The Pilot was working and couldn't join me this time (crew scheduling must HATE animals so they should be tased.) but I'm glad I could still support the Humane Society which is where our little furballs were adopted from. The location of the race moved this year which was sort of a bummer. The previous location was only a couple miles from home. It is also flat. And y'all know how I hate hills of any size. The new course had a couple steep, but short hills that I was not enjoying. One fun thing about the change in venue was that it was just outside of downtown Columbus and there were some great views of the city:
Something else I wasn't enjoying? It was 90+ degrees. And there was an air quality alert in effect. Swell. My asthmatic lungs felt clunky before the race even started. I went into the race wanting a PR but realized I would have to abandon those plans if I didn't tolerate the heat and poor air quality. I decided I'd give it my best and if I got into trouble, I'd slow down or stop. I survived....
This is what it looks like when someone sucks at 5Ks. While I wish I could say this was the elevation chart, it is not. This is my pace. All over the place.
Look at me start off too fast. Look at it go down when I got shin splints. Look at it going down more when I couldn't catch my breath. Look at it going down more when I thought I was going to lose my dinner. "Oh wait, maybe I won't puke....I'll run. Nope, I feel sick. I'll walk..."
Look at when the shin splints went away. Look at when I realized that if I kept moving I could barely hang onto a PR. Look at it when I thought the finish line was further than I thought and I thought my PR was slipping away.
I will say that I don't think the graph is entirely accurate. I know I slowed way down to walk at a few points but I really don't think I went
under 16 minute miles. We went through a wooded section for awhile and
most likely temporarily lost my Garmin signal. That's my story and I'm
sticking with it.
Here's another view of what went down. Why is is that during a 1/2 marathon I can be so damn steady? My splits are usually within 20-40 seconds mile after mile. And then there is this 5k madness. I really should stick to long and slow. I think that is what this turtle was made for.
So that 41:43 Garmin time? Official chip time was 41:42 and that is a new 5K PR for me! I was pretty excited to pull that out despite the crazy heat. I was literally shaking when I crossed the finish line. I think the only reason I didn't hyperventilate at the finish was because this guy was waiting at the finish line and I was chatting with him and his puppy. I sort of wanted to puke too but thought that it might be rude to throw up on the dog. The Humane Society agents might have tased me.
I didn't take my phone with me (which I regret but I probably wouldn't have PR'd if I took it) but there were two really fun parts of the race. First, while waiting for the start, they had baby pools filled with water and ice for the dogs to play in. There was a big Border Collie mix who went running to dive into the pool and then proceeded to spin around in circles in the pool. He was SO excited to play in that water. He just kept spinning around in the water, chasing and eating the ice cubes. Cuteness overload. He then rolled around in the dirt and ended up covered in mud. His owner just looked at him and shook her head. He then proceeded to shake water/mud all over the place. Cute....from afar.
The other best part was playing leap frog with a chihuahua. I'm not kidding. This dog must have been practicing the Galloway run/walk method. His owner was smart enough to realize it was hot and that the little dog wasn't going to be running the entire 3.1 miles. I mean his legs were 3 inches long! So he'd run a little, pass me and then walk a little and I'd pass them. Then then passed me again....except this time the owner was running but carrying the little dog. It was pretty cute.
I realize that a 41:42 5K isn't earth shattering. It's still slow but it's still a PR for me. I also realize that when you are a back of the packer, you have to have a sense of humor. Getting passed by a chihuahua with 3 inch legs is one of those times when you have to have a sense of humor. I got passed by A LOT of dogs. The jingling of the dog collar was deafening for the first 1/4 mile. I also got passed by a heavily pregnant woman. And a jog stroller. It's all good. I had fun. I PR'd. I supported an organization that does amazing things in my community. :)