Saturday evening I met up with my brother-in-law, Ben, and his girlfriend, Sorelly, for the Firefly Run 5k. The race takes place after the sun goes down, and everyone wears lights and glow in the dark paint. I guess we weren’t the only ones who thought that sounded like a good idea; there were 7,000 runners there!
After arriving at my last race a little late, I decided to get to this one super early. It was a good thing, too – I parked in the wrong place! (Apparently I have yet to master the skill of map-reading.) I followed the throngs of people and found my way to the actual race site and met up with Ben and Sorelly. We spent some time stretching, talking about race strategy, and gawking over how many people were there.
Ben and Sorelly had bought a ton of light-up goodies at Target before the race and they were nice enough to share a few with me. Sorelly even painted her shirt with glow-in-the-dark paint!
With 15 minutes to the start, we pushed our way toward the middle of the crowd. The race started a little late. (I think they were waiting for it to get really dark.) Eventually the DJ led a 10 second count down, and the racers were off!
Mile 1: 9:26
I spent the majority of the first mile dodging other runners. It was so crowded and there were walkers all over the place. Let me say that I have nothing against people who walk races. I’ve walked my fair share, and my mom walks races. I think that walkers should start toward the back or stay to the right. I guess it’s not really a big deal, but it made for a lot of weaving.
Ben, Sorelly, and I had talked about staying together, but after we crossed the start, I never saw them. They said they tried to stay with me, but I’m sure my bobbing and weaving made that pretty tough.
Mile 2: 8:39
After I passed the half way point, I was able to get in my groove and run at a comfortable pace. I was really scared that I’d trip over something (it was dark!), so I spent the majority of the time looking down. I have an irrational fear of billy pots, and those bad boys were everywhere! Talk about nerve-wracking.
The water station was during this mile and it was a major cluster of crazy. I don’t take water during 5k’s, so my plan was to stay in the middle of the road to avoid the crowds. Alas, the water tables were staggered on both sides of the road. Meaning that there was a water table on the right, and then 100 feet down the road there was one on the left, and so on. That meant that people zig-zagged across the road to get water. People like me, trying to stay out of things by staying in the middle, were right in the thick of things.
Mile 3: 8:20
I could tell that my body was getting tired during the third mile, but I wouldn’t let myself let up. That’s the nice thing about a 5k: it’s over before you know it. I just kept my eyes out for billy pots, and I kept on running hard.
Last .2: 6:52
I don’t know how I managed to run that fast for the last portion of the race. I guess it was the competitive spirit in me. I ran my fanny off and then, it was over! I was given a bottle of water, which I needed. It was so humid out! I bypassed all the vendors and freebies to head back to the meeting spot my peeps and I had picked out before the race. I don’t have the greatest night vision, so I was really worried about not finding them. I stood in that spot staring around for about 10 minutes before Ben appeared. Not long after, Sorelly found us, too. It seemed like everyone had a fun race. After trading stories, we decided we were ready to roll.
- 3.2 mile finish time: 27:43
- Average pace: 8:40
I’ve mentioned before that Ben had a double lung transplant less than a year ago. I was really curious how he’d feel after a race. He said that he felt fine. He experienced no pain or wheezing or coughing. He was able to breathe easily the entire time. How cool is that?!
We went to Blue Mesa Grill for some post-run dinner. It was so good! (I’m kind of biased; almost anything I eat after a run tastes good to me!) We had a great time guzzling water, snacking on chips, and laughing it up. I had a great time hanging out with them! My new mission: get Ben and Sorelly to run more races with me!*