I borrowed Homer’s toaster so that I can take us back in time for race recaps of yesteryear. Or would it be yestermonth, since it’s only from October?
Either way, please refrain from sneezing on any residents of the destination time or stepping on ANYTHING. I’m going to have do a few more time traveling posts and I don’t want to go ruining the space-time continuum.
We have traveled to October 12 for the 3rd Annual For Paws & Wright Naturals Family 5K. This was the second year that me, Jay, and the X-man bundled up to take on this low-key race. A friend of ours organizes it and invited us to do it last year. When it came up again, I signed us up as soon as I could.
This run benefits For Paws of Ulster in its quest to build a dog park for local dogs(and maybe even their people) to socialize off-leash. Since moving back ‘upstate’ from NYC, I am still flabbergasted that there are very few dog parks around. Back in Brooklyn and Manhattan, you couldn’t go to a park and not find a fenced-in spot for the dogs to play.
Anyway, this year got to be a quest to maintain the dog park because, as of September, the dog park was open for business! Woohoo!
The day was foggy and cold. The entire drive to New Paltz felt like we were in the opening scenes of a horror movie where 5 college students pile into the car to head to one of their uncle’s cabin in the woods for relaxing weekend and then end up getting possessed by Candarian demons. Once we got there, though, it warmed up and the fog lifted. Phew… something about running in a rural location when the atmosphere reeks of Evil Dead is just not encouraging.
We had to walk a little bit to get from the parking area to the race start. As we approached the start, I began to see signs for the brand new dog park and it made me sooo happy!
We picked up our race bibs and other swag at the registration table. It was a pretty good haul, too. We got this reusable tote bag
filled with all sorts of coupons, pens, clips, etc from local establishments that sponsored the event. It also contained our shirts:
The bags got tossed into the bottom of the BOB and all three of us chowed down on Honey Stinger Waffles (X loves the kids’ ones.)
The race started and we took off. I went out WAY too fast (which seems to be a worsening problem with me.) I did the first half mile in 4:17. My pumped up pace was probably also due to the fact that the first mile and a quarter of the course is more or less all down hill. I had my intervals set for 90:30 run/walk, but ended up skipping a lot of the walks.
The course is an out-and-back with a water station just before the turnaround, so you can snag a water each way, if needed. It was well marked and volunteers are all over the place. The course is also well marked for passing cars. The road wasn’t closed to traffic, but with all the signage, a driver would have to be blind to not realize a race was going on and they should slow down.
I felt really great at the turnaround, but then that fabulous downhill run slowly but surely became an uphill slog for me. All momentum was lost and my lungs gave up on their one and only purpose in life. You can see the downward spiral on on MapMyRun
By the time I made the turn back up into the park, I was walking more than running because I could not breath without coughing (and of course I left the inhaler in the car because I didn’t think I’d need it for a 5K.) I kept moving and paced myself along with another runner that I had been leapfrogging with throughout the race. I’d slow down, she’s pass me, I’d speed back up and pass her, repeat. It turned out to be a really good pattern for both of us because we crossed the finish line 30 seconds apart from each other. I finished in 30:12- 3 minutes faster than last year’s race! My unintentional leapfrog buddy told me later that she was using me as a pacer and wound up finishing 4 minutes faster than her last 5K!
Bonus: My friend that helped organize the race made BAGELS and COOKIES for post-race refreshment!! Nom nom nom
Extra bonus: A pretty damned good photographer was there and actually got decent shots of me. That rarely happens.
Everybody have their hands on the toaster? We’re heading back to the present.