Second year that J&A Racing has put on another great race. So far I have done both years and hope to be one of those awesome runners stating each decade they’ve done them all. I plan to make the Crab and the Wicked my claim to fame. And any other race they start I’ll also do just because they are putting it on. That is what got me hooked on the Crab. One of my running buddies said, ‘hey let’s do the Crawling Crab’. I was like nah. They said ‘J&A is doing it’. I said well alright then and signed up.
The weekend started out as each race weekend does with the expo. I just love these things. I may not buy a lot but I think it is more about the atmosphere. I’m surrounded by runners all excited and anxious about the upcoming day. I just love to walk around, to just be there. It’s hard to explain the feeling that always comes over me once I walk through the threshold but it wouldn’t be a race weekend without it.
This expo was small but again, only year two. I remember how small the Wicked was the first two years and now it is a pretty decent size so I know this one will grow also. It’s a great race in a nice location and vendors would be crazy to pass up the opportunity.
That evening it was a relatively decent dinner of jasmine rice, chopped veggies, diced chicken breast and a cream of asparagus sauce. Yummy carbs. Then hit the sack around 9:00PM.
The alarm was set for 4:30AM the next day. We planned to leave around 5:45 with a few others in tow and I like having the ability to walk around, eat something and just wake myself fully. Of course race mornings I am like a jack in the box and jump up ready to take on the world. It always surprises me how quick I fall asleep the night before. Hope I did not just jinx that.
So 5:45 we all leave, a three car train, and take the trip up for where we will all spend the next few hours with a group of a like minded individuals. This year we actually had more runners than spectators. It’s taken a little while for our running group to grow but it has steadied out and we have a blast.
One of the best things which I know all you runners will agree with me was that there were short potty lines. At the Rock N Roll in September I was in the potty corral for almost an hour, missed my start and entered a corral 10 behind my bid. This weekend, in and out twice in a blink of an eye. What does that all really mean? Relaxed racing.
I did the 5K again this year as it is just fun. Face it, we need the fun races to mix in with our distance medals. We all started in corral 6 which was first for the short race. It only took me a minute or two to get around the slower folks in front and then it was open road for the rest of the race. Oh that was awesomeness in an asphalt package. This will be a great race next year to work toward a PR. I was in no shape this year still coming back from a serious injury to hit 25 minutes or less. But I didn’t care. Like I said, fun in the sun on the run and were done.
This course is very flat and speedy. It was better this year as we did not have to go down the street that was dangerously broken. I really enjoyed this run. Before I knew it Xena (my Garmin) beeped to tell me 1 mile down.
I was still hitting an 8:45 pace at the half way mark but then things started to go down hill, or should I say up hill as I struggled. It did get a little warm for me and I slowed regardless of the mental and physical fight I tried to put up. I’m not sure what my ending pace was but I know it was slow enough to drop my time by a lot. I didn’t want to discourage myself by constantly looking down which may have hurt me. I just felt like I put it all out there. I was empty when I crossed the mat even though I was recovered by the time I came around the end of the shuttle.
This is where there is a slight comparison issue. Xena told me I actually did 3.28 miles in 29:17. But the email I received actually read stats as follows:
3.1 in 29:27
Over all place: 262 out of 1452
Age group: 19 out of 170
Gender: 113 out of 977
Not being in my normal 5K shape I’m really not going to complain but it does give me fuel to get back and push harder toward a 23 minute 5K so I can compete again in my age group.
Anyway, we all had a blast. We headed inside as a group of ‘sweaty happy people in the world’ and danced the afternoon away with drinks and soup to a band who could play absolutely anything, and did.
And for anyone who did it last year and had the parking lot issue, this year there was no issue. Last year it took us 2 1/2 hours to leave because the opening of the lot we had to park in was part of the course. That didn’t work so well but this year it was all cleared up and a cinch to leave once we were done shaking our booties.
Now I look forward to my favorite race, the Wicked, just a couple more weeks away. I will not get a PR on this one either but it cannot always be about the speed. This one is about the ‘OMGosh is he really wearing that???’ costumes.