So the Astoria 5k put on by the Federation of Italian Americans Organization (FIAO) of Queens has come and gone. It was one hell of race that felt like it took place in hell. It was mix of hazy, hot and humid icky-ness. I think I left my body in air conditioning back at my house, because the heat did me in fairly quickly.
I was pretty pumped about this race. I was really familiar with the race course, had a sweet new hand held water bottle to prevent me from choking on water from the water stop and was running with people near and dear to me. What more could a novice runner ask for? Cooler temps, perhaps. No humidity, maybe.
I really don’t know where to start with this race recap. I guess the beginning is always a good place to start so here goes it.
The race was sponsored by FIAO to help fight drug abuse. The starting line was a mere five blocks from my house. I was super excited to run this race because it was so local and because I would be running with Kim, the Husband and my Brother-in-law. Sunday funday, folks! Bib pick up was before the race and was pretty organized. We took pictures and clowned around for a bit. And that’s pretty much where it all goes down hill. Figuratively. I wouldn’t have minded an actual down hill race. It was an out and back with parts of the course running along side the East River. There were a few minor inclines but the heat made them seem like mini Mount Everests. Our spectators for this race were the following brave souls: my Dad, his wife, my son, my sister in law and my nephew. Top notch cheer crew in the house!
It was a hazy, hot, and humid (triple H, y’all!) start with temps in the low 80’s at 9 AM. Just the right temperature for me to melt down spectacularly. My one highlight of this race was that I didn’t chafe. I’m counting that as an accomplishment right along side with resisting the urge to find a park bench to pass out on.
Here’s the down and dirty. I fell apart pretty quickly. I just could not push through the heat and humidity and I let it get to me. Sweat and/or sunscreen was boring a hole in my eyes for the majority of the race. I started off at the same pace with the BiL and The Husband. I swear to God, I took my eyes off the road for a second and lost Kim. That girl is quick! Then the BiL started pulling away, and the next thing I knew, I was staring at The Husband’s back. And then he was gone. And so it begins.
I took lots of walk breaks that I did not want to take in the first place. I let my mind beat the crap out of me and swore for a good majority of the race that I would never ever ever run anywhere ever. EVERRRRRRRR. This includes running to catch the ice cream truck. Yep, I was pretty much ready to hang up my Asics. In fact, I was going to throw my Asics into the freaking East River, but then I decided that they are just too pretty and special to me so instead I figured throwing my water bottle into the river would be better. Ahh, whatever. I decided to hang on to that because I was kinda thirsty. And nauseous.
Fast forward past the mental warfare raging in my head to the part where Kim came out on a white horse, wearing a cape (maybe I was hallucinating about the cape and horse part) and ran the last part of the race with me. She took my water bottle that now felt like I was holding a brick and coached me the rest of the way. She told me to keep focusing on the finish line (and I swear I hate being nearsighted because I can never focus on the finish line!) and telling me how the fam was cheering me on. I responded with huge, ugly sounding sobs. I was just so happy to see her and have her run it in with me. She so wisely instructed me to take off my visor after I finished and I instantly felt so much cooler. Why didn’t I think to do that oh, I don’t know, around mile one? Derp.
Official time hasn’t been posted yet, but I can officially tell you that it wasn’t very good. It was slower that my last race and I was annoyed with myself. Annoyed that I just let myself unravel. I did win a nice parting prize consisting of a heat rash on my chin and forehead. It’s always nice to start the work week looking like a teenager that just hit puberty.
But let’s stop this pity party so I can praise Kim, BiL and the Husband. They did awesome! Especially in this nasty weather. I’m proud of them in ways they will probably never really know and they help keep me determined. I’m still chasing the race I can be proud of. Maybe it will happen despite my never ever running again declaration. Maybe I should throw that into the East River.
The only thing that ran slower than me was the raffle they held after the race in which I won nothing. Seriously, it was like over 10 prizes and no one in my group won a darn thing. Oh well.
Let’s focus on the highlights:
My running cohorts.
Our cheer team. Props to them for standing out in yucky NYC humidity and smiling through it.
Watermelon, bagels, bananas, and grapes provided by the race coordinators. Nice job on the spread, FIAO!
Hearing my family tell me that my son was clapping for me as I crossed the finish line. The cutest 14 mth old, ever.
Seeing my Husband on the back part of the out and back as I was making my way to the turnaround. The Husband saved some of his water from the water stop and threw it up in the air so that it rained precious little water drops on me as we passed. True love.
The guy who turned around as I slowed down to tell me that there was a gas station up ahead if I was running out of gas. Hardy har har har.
Kim pushing me. She sees what I consider to be my limitations and setbacks and she laughs at them. She pulls me out of my pity party and always makes me feel like I just climbed a mountain bare foot.
So will there be another race in my future. Probably. : )