Don’t Call It A Comeback!

Posted: May 22, 2010 in running
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Whew!  It’s been a while since I have written about my running exploits!  But after taking some time off to let my right foot, you know, actually heal instead of stubbornly running through the pain, I have been able to start running again (pain-free, woohoo!).  And today I finally got back into the racing game, running the Run For Wishes 5k at Alabama Adventure.  It feels so great to be back!

Today was also a little more special because this was the first race that I have done with my running buddy, Lael (who has also come off a break).  It was really neat to have somebody to talk to during the race and share the experience with.  It was also great for motivation (and today, she was doing most of the motivating!).  She could have had a faster time today, and I told her if she wanted to take off that she could.  But she said that we started the race together and we were going to finish the race together.  I was very appreciative of that!

All in all, I think it went well.  The first mile was at 9 minutes or so.  The second mile was slower, pretty much because of me.  There was a pretty decent hill on that stretch (I didn’t really expect hills for this race 🙂 ).  But I think we picked it up pretty nicely on the final 1.1 miles to finish under 30 minutes (29:06 is what I had on the watch).  I was drained!  The temperature was probably around 75, which sounds really nice.  But add a relative humidity of 80% and it is not ideal running weather, at least not for me (but this is Alabama, it is going to get worse before it gets better!).

This race has a lot of positives going for it.  First, and most importantly, it is for a great cause, The Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Second, participants get free admission to Alabama Adventure, a local amusement park, for the entire day.  Not only that, but anyone who signs up for the “Family Fun Run” also gets free admission to the park, and the fee for that run is only $10! (Lael was able to bring her husband and very energetic 3 year-old daughter to take advantage of that.  I know they are all having a blast today!)  The food spread wasn’t too bad.  They had plenty of fruit, some plain bagels, glazed donuts, some snack size bags of cookies, and plain biscuits (though I would have preferred some breakfast meat on the biscuits!).

I don’t have any real complaints.  I did think the water stops were a bit oddly placed, with the first stop only about a half a mile into the run.  Not that big of a deal on a race that’s only 5k though.  The park doesn’t open until 10:30am, which leaves a lot of downtime between the race and when people can actually start doing stuff in the park.  Not sure what can be done about that though, since running the race later would also mean running it in hotter weather, and I was plenty hot as it was!  One thing I think the race organizers could do a better job of is publicizing the fact that all race entrants get free admission into the park, particularly for “Family Fun Run” entrants.  A $10 fee is an outstanding deal to get into the park (I think it is normally $35 per person plus $10 for parking).  I think they could get a lot more participants to enter and bring the whole family if they publicized that fact (I only knew because I e-mailed the race organizer).  But all of that is minor!

Next up for me is the XTERRA race at Oak Mountain Park on June 12th.  I apparently suffered from temporary insanity and signed up for a 10k race out there.  The course from what I am told will be brutal.  I will be walking a lot of that, and I am fully prepared to finish dead last in my age group.  But I am just going to enjoy the race atmosphere.  And not get hurt.  That last one is very important.  That’s because entry forms have been submitted, fees have been paid, and accommodations have been arranged for the first half marathon Lael and I will be participating in.  We are officially in the Running For The Bay half marathon at Apalachicola, FL on October 23rd!  It’s going to be, as Lael likes to say, perfect!

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