Monday, May 5, 2014

Race the Bar 5k Recap (AKA: A Personal Worst!)

Do you remember a few weeks back, when I was all braggy about running in Florida in February/March? Sunny mornings around a lake with a light breeze off the water have turned, cruelly, into humid stretches of time where I am humbly reminded of my own limitations.

You guys, I see these gazelle-like creatures, men and women alike, who prance on my running route with compression socks, a soft glow of perspiration at their brow. It's beautiful. It's also a harsh reminder that I am not them. I am currently running in the thinnest, smallest items of clothing I can without offending anyone (shirt stays on, people). I dare not step outside without some awful visor or wide-brimmed hat. When I hop in the shower after a run, my face is a deep crimson that causes my husband to voice his concern for my general well-being.

Have I mentioned this is what happens after my easy runs, with a few walk breaks thrown in? Yeah. It's humbling.

Now, I'm not complaining. It's beautiful here, I'm not training for anything, and if "it's too sunny when I run" is my biggest thing to complain about, then obviously life is pretty freaking good.

I'm just creating a valid excuse to set the scene for my 5k recap, a race I did last weekend called Race the Bar. I didn't sign up for the race, because it was on a Saturday night and I knew I wasn't "race-ready" by any stretch of the imagination, but I had nothing to do that night and it was a mile away from home via my normal running route, so I showed up, got my shirt and warmed up.

Post Race: Pics or it didn't happen

It was 92 degrees at the race start at 6pm, but the course is fortunately 50% shaded and almost completely flat. Just to clarify, 92 degrees Fahrenheit. I wasn't gunning for a PR, of course, but somehow I assumed that if I wanted it badly enough, I could magically pull some great time out of my ass.

Spoiler! I did no such thing.

Although the results were posted up at the finish line a few minutes after I crossed, I've already forgotten the exact time. My Garmin says it was 29:49, so let's go with that. I distinctly remember being relived that the clock at the finish hadn't yet hit 30 minutes.  That translates to a 9:35 pace, which is almost a minute slower, per mile, than my marathon PR. (If you're not a runner, I'd just like to clarify that as a general rule, that should not happen. There is no one who should ever, ever have a 5k pace slower than their marathon pace. I just thought you should know that.)

However, there were upsides to this soul-crushing race.

1) I think the heat forced a lot of people to stay home or take it easy, because I managed to take first in my age group.  I feel obligated to also mention that there were only three women in my age group.

2) I didn't walk! Normally not something to be super proud of during a 5k race,  but I trudged on and refused to stop out of stubbornness.

3) My $30 entry fee went to a good cause - Florida Rural Legal Services.

4) I got a baseline! I plan to run several more 5ks, all really close to my house, this summer. So, the time to beat it 29:49. My plan to is not run in direct sunlight at 6pm. Seems like a solid plan so far.


  1. Haha, I had a similar 5k experience this weekend (although I had no good excuse for my poor time). It does suck, but at least you have a starting point for improvement! :) And you got back into racing, which is always fun.

    1. Lies! I just read your 5k recap, and you kicked ass!

  2. Running in heat and humidity is horrible period! I give you lots of credit for getting out there and running it because I probably would have stayed home. You know you have it in you so don't worry about it!

  3. Haha, I grew up close to where I'm guessing you are, and man, I could not WAIT to move away from that humidity. We are going back to visit in AUGUST, and I must have amnesia because I want to register for a 5k the weekend we're there.

    Congratulations, heat is a miserable beast!!

  4. I just had a race like this but opposite conditions. Freezing cold, running into 40mph wind for 80% of the race, sleet in the face that hurt really badly. Worst 5k time since I started running 3 years ago. It happens. Be happy you got out there and did it. Not every day will be perfect :-/

  5. Hahaha! This made me laugh... "Race the Bar... and we'll help you set it low for the rest of your racing season."

  6. Ah the's my enemy here....but with humidity it is the worst. Here in the summer months I never chase the PRs and I stop running half marathons after first week of June until October usually.

  7. Now that you are in FL you MUST consider running the Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville. It's in March. It is THE BEST race ever.

    1. I'd love to! I've seen how much you loved it on FB! Plus, my dad lives near Jacksonville, so it would simple enough, logistically.

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  9. The heat really gets to me! I have a tough time running in it and would so much prefer the cold. Great job! 1st in your AG is something to be proud of :)

  10. Um, 92 at the start. That is essentially running in a freaking sauna. Be proud that you finished without crying as I surely would have!

  11. i would be dying of thirst during the whole 5k with that type of humidity. every 5k I run I feel like death because my body hasn't realized yet that I can't go out as fast as I think I can and I spend the last 2.1 miles rebelling / wheezing / hating life

  12. 5km are the devil's work. 5km in 33 C (my brain does not do F)? I would collapse in histrionic heap approximately two minutes after starting. In fact, I think I did throw some kind of tantrum when I tried to run in Savannah at 5pm in September. So I say way to go!

  13. Maybe because I lived in NC the past 18 yrs and now Im living in Kansas where we had the worse winter I've experienced, but I don't think i'll ever complain again about how hot it is outside. :) still it sucks a little bit. I thought you had stopped blogging! So glad you are back!

  14. I hear ya! I ran my first 5k ever in South Florida in July. The temperature was 93 with a "feels like" of 105. Your time was much better than mine! ;)

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  19. Runners World has a good article on how to know your real time when you run in high humidity and high heat. I read it after my first horrific summer half marathon and I was feeling very down in the dumps. Good to know that had the weather been more optimum, I'd have been on target with my race pace. Weather happens.