I am a whole week late in telling you all about my second 5k. My second 5k that was so blazingly, meltingly hot that I almost didn’t do it.
The instructions for the race were basically “go down to Goodale Park and there it is.” For those unfamiliar with Goodale Park here in Columbus, it isn’t too hard to get around, but it can be really easy to never find what you’re looking for on weekends like Pride and Comfest when there are a million booths and people everywhere. There was one Comfest when I completely missed one of the few things I went for because I couldn’t find it. Maybe I just have a problem finding things.
At any rate, I got to the park super early because I figured parking would be awful (it wasn’t!) and it could take awhile to find the race start (which it did). I figured I’d start at one end of the park and work my way to the other. They never published the race route, so no help there. Since I got there super early and it didn’t take the entire time to find the start, I was glad to run into a friend who hung out with me while I waited.
So the official temperature at 7pm when the race started was 88 degrees. 88 degrees. I have actually never run when it was that hot and for a good portion of the wait debated not doing it.
I did it. Slowly and sweatily.
Despite my firm belief that finishing is the most important part, I still fear being last. With such a small race (less than 200 participants), I was worried I’d be the slowest, not knowing how my ankle would hold up, etc. Someday I’m going to be last on purpose to get over the fear, but this 5k was not for that. I was pleasantly surprised both by the number of walkers and by the camaraderie that the heat built. By the time I hit the water stop at the halfway point, it seemed like everyone was kind of taking their time. I even had a nice chat with a pregnant race volunteer, who was really encouraging and so impressive to be out in the heat. Another woman and I sort of passed and re-passed each other for most of the last half and that was actually pretty encouraging to stay with it. The last quarter of a mile was maybe the hardest just because the heat was taking it’s toll and in order to get to the finish, you had to run down the street packed with hot food trucks on both sides. Worst idea ever.
I finished in 44:09 with a 14:15/mile pace. I missed a PR by about 20 seconds. I actually consider that a reasonable accomplishment considering the heat, my troubled ankle, etc.
The friend who had met me earlier was also at the finish line. Pretty awesome of him to hang out and wait for me. I grabbed my post-run goodies of bananas and water and we sat down in the shade. For a loooong time. Ha.
The good news about the race (besides finishing), is that my ankle wasn’t killing me right after. It took a couple of days.