Jingle in July, Blonde Style
The Bald and I ran the Jingle in July 5k Run/Walk, benefitting the Arthritis Foundation, this morning. It was a very small race – perhaps the smallest race I’ve ever ran – with just under 900 participants.
The race took place at a subsurface business park nearby. I ran an underground course in North Kansas City about 6 years ago, so the idea of running in approximately 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of July on a fairly flat, fast course was very appealing.
The Bald tells me it’s psychological, but I know I run faster when wearing my Newton Motion shoes. If I was going to set a PR, it was going to happen on today’s flat course; naturally, the Newtons were my weapon of choice.
The race started at 9 AM, but we arrived approximately an hour and a half before the gun because parking at the complex was limited. After the traffic debacle at Hospital Hill, we have vowed to always arrive in plenty of time as to avoid extra, unwelcome pre-race stress.
It’s important to mention that I have a fear of port-a-potties and suffer from small bladder syndrome (self-diagnosis, natch). I felt the need to pee about an hour before the race started (yes, I went before we left the house), but figured I’d wait until it became an emergency. The flaw in that plan was that as the start grew near, so did the line for the bathroom. This was one of the few times I wished I was a guy so I could go outside and find a bush somewhere. So my options were: possibly miss the start of the race with an empty bladder, or focus on the race and try to forget about having to pee altogether. I chose the latter.
The race started a minute late because someone had registered at the last minute (boo for race-day registration), and I was not happy. I had to pee and I just wanted to start the race. I knew the faster I ran, the sooner I could finish and go to the bathroom.
Within the first 10 steps, I knew I was in trouble. I had doubts that my bladder would hold tight the entire race, let alone 1k. And it didn’t help that I kept seeing things that increased the sense of urgency – like a sign that read “No Spills.” I thought, “Heh…we’ll see about that.”
I chose to listen to a 185 BPM podcast because when I focus on keeping with the beat, my cadence is much higher (obviously). I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I kept hearing the Spanish word for bathroom, “bano…bano….bano” the entire time.
As I stated previously, the course was supposed to be fairly flat and fast…and it was. Two loops around the complex. What the race organizers failed to advertise was the one extremely steep hill (outside, in the heat) in the middle of the course, meaning we had to run it again just before the finish. The Bald and I are used to running hills, so it was not as scary as it looked…just unexpected.
The course inside also was not the advertised 68F. I’m sure there were a few spots along the course in that temperature range, but it was still warm overall. One particular area had hot air blowing through a vent; definitely above 68F.
Despite the course quirks and my at-capacity bladder, I managed to run in a fairly decent time. I feel like I could have run faster. A book I read recently stated that if you don’t feel like you’re going to die at the end of a 5k, then you didn’t run fast enough. I believe this to be true. I mean, it’s only 3.1 miles – you should be going balls to the wall!
The beauty of running a small race is that, if you’re a decent runner, then you will place well. My official time was 25:18 (8:10/mile). I placed 2/24 in my age group, 19/234 all females, and 59/358 overall.
There’s always things you could’ve/should’ve/would’ve done differently, but I am fairly pleased with my result. The one female in my age group that beat me had at least 50 seconds on my per mile pace. I know that even if I had run faster, I would not have caught her. Perhaps next time I will. 🙂