September 5K: This honestly won’t be that exciting but maybe you’d like to read it anyway

31:45. Well, I think that’s what I got. I’ll get to why I’m not completely sure in a sec.

Race 9 is in the books, and now I get a bit of a rest before the October run.

I’m afraid I don’t have any rants for today. I mean, I could try, but I would have to make something up. All in all, it was an ok day.

But I will start making my excuses now.

Excuses

I was out of it today, and I’ve been out of it the past few days.

The mess started Wednesday. As I was finishing up work, I was tired. I didn’t think much of it. Went home and ate supper and realized I was getting a mild headache. Hoped that was the worst of it and that it’d go away before I woke up.

Nope. Not even close.

I woke up in middle of the night with a headache in full swing and some nausea to boot. I took Tylenol (only thing I had I could take on a empty stomach), put a wet rag over my eyes, and went to sleep.

Woke up Thursday and the headache was gone. But as I was getting ready, the headache started creeping back.

I’ve been trying to back off sodas, but that was out the window. I was doing whatever I could to keep the headache at bay. My morning at work started with a Dr. Pepper. After lunch, I had another. Throughout the day, it was just sort of a lingering ache, and the nausea was coming back.

It finally hit me that I might be either dehydrated or undernourished. Neither is very common for me (I can eat an obscene amount of food without realizing it, and I’m usually very good about drinking water during the day), but I guess my increased activity level exceeded what I was fueling myself with.

Luckily the headache never fully came back, but I spent Friday bingeing on food and guzzling water because I wasn’t playing around with a headache the day before a 5K.

This morning I felt mostly fine, but I was still drained from the week. In the future, I guess I’ll be more careful about my dietary habits the week of a race.

But I digress. Let’s get to what you party people came here for.

The Rest of the Story

There really aren’t a whole lot of interesting things to say about the race, but I’ll do my best.

We’ll start with the organization. It was meh. Nothing great, nothing terrible.

The 5K was done in conjunction with an arts festival, which is really just code for small-town carnival. There were the arts vendors you’d expect, but there was also a wide assortment of food meant to cause diabetes, as well as child-friendly attractions, like those little barrel-wagon trains.

This caused an issue. My June race was a similar event, but the directions then took me around the festival and allowed me to park near the race.

Not this time.

This time, the directions took me to nowhere. I was worried I wouldn’t find the race at all because it’s not a town I’m familiar with.

Luckily, I found the event (turns out it was the same basic location of the last time I ran there). Unluckily, I parked on the far side of the festival. The 5K was set up on the other side, and there were no signs telling me where to go. I had to talk to strangers to find registration. I hate talking to strangers.

Parking also wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, despite being 7:30. This race was more well-attended than the one I ran in that town in April. There were also more folks out and about for the festival. I lucked out to even get my spot. I would have had to park at some rando’s house if I didn’t get my spot.

Registration was relatively quick, though it wasn’t set up terribly well. As someone waiting in line said, they usually have different spots set up for names A-H, etc., but it was just a scrum to get to the front.

This is where the funny really starts. I didn’t take a picture while I had it on driving home, but the shirt was an XL. I never wear XL. XL for me is basically size tent.

How did I end up with a tent instead of a t-shirt? Well, it’s because I forgot to circle the size on the form, and then some friends did me a favor and dropped the form off for me (again, the race was in a different town than where I live, and I don’t trust the postal service; I also was slightly concerned someone would enact the lamest scam ever and host a fake 5K). They got asked my shirt size and had to guess. And now I have a tent. I really shouldn’t complain, though. It’s one of those über-thick shirts that I’m not fond of and don’t wear if I can avoid it, and I also plan to get a t-shirt quilt made of all my race shirts from the Super Awesome Year of the 5K, so all that really matters is that I got a shirt.

And a t-shirt was all I got. I’m not complaining about not getting more race swag (though I like my random flyers for dental offices and insurance agents). I’m complaining about not getting a bib. Third time this year that’s happened. Instead, they use clickers and paper handouts to track the finishes, so I was stuck seeing my own time. Unfortunately, I was too tired to even pay full attention to the big clock. The last number I remembered seeing was 31:20, and then based on the distance left, 31:30-31:45 seemed about right.

Now I may not have gotten a race bib for the race I ran, but I have another one hanging in its place with my other bibs.

Look, it's found its home. #ihaterunning #5k #beattheblerch

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I bought the virtual race kit for the Beat the Blerch series. It came with a whole host of goodies this week, including a bib and the shirt I ran in today.

Look what we got today. Side note, shirt change for Saturday #5k #ihaterunning

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And yes, those are cupcake mints at the top of the picture.

Best mints ever @theoatmeal

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Back to the bib. I almost wore it to the race just so I could say I wore it. I ended up not doing it for one reason: I thought I would have a bib for the race. 1) I didn’t know how the organizers would treat a rogue race bib. 2) I didn’t know where I would even put the thing.

Oh well.

The actual race was fine, and at the finish, they had drinks and bananas, so it wasn’t bad; it just wasn’t great either. That said, there was funnel cake from the festival vendors if I dared to make a truly stupid decision.

The Run

This won’t take too long, but I’ll give my poor man’s analysis.

It was a similar route to my April race in the same town, so I knew what I was in for, for the most part. The April race took a turn this one didn’t. I’m still a little curious how the math worked out for both being 3.1 miles when they started and finished around the same spot, but I don’t wear a GPS watch, so who knows.

The course was relatively level, with no big climbs, though there were slow grades up that just sort of dragged on. If I was a real runner, I wouldn’t think anything of the climbs. As a non-runner runner, they were enough to gas me when I got to them.

I was running slower than I have been (except maybe the June race) all year. Again, I wasn’t feeling it the past few days. I kept an easy pace (ironically, this crowd went out faster than most do, despite not being the best group of runners), and trudged my way to a 9:15 first mile (my first mile in April was 8:15, and I was holding myself back then). The second mile rolled out to about 19:15, before the sub-32 finish.

As usual, I found a group that I could sort of run with, with my usual walking meaning we would yo-yo for a while. I stayed with them for the bulk of the last 1-1.5 miles. I tried not to run too fast when I started running again, so maybe that helped. Again, who knows.

I did get one comment today (at least that I heard). One of the people I fell in with offered an “on the hop” as they passed. That said, they only said it once, and it couldn’t even be vaguely considered a heckling tone.

There was one odd part. There were a lot of people watching the race from their lawns on the course. You usually get some of that because the runs are always on Saturday mornings, so people don’t have much better to do (and the runners have the interesting effect of blocking residents’ abilities to drive away from their own homes). But this time, maybe because of the festival or maybe because of the relatively mild mornings that are following the hot summer, there were just a lot more people hanging out on their lawns watching a bunch of randos running from nothing in particular.

All in all, it was just a run. I’ve done better, but I’ve done much worse this year, so I’ll take it. Hopefully my new workout routine will pay dividends before the October race. If not, oh well. The goal is to finish, not to do well.

Post-Race Fueling

I can’t talk about being underfed and dehydrated without talking about post-race fueling. Last night, I weighed a shade under 190 when I went to bed. I didn’t weigh myself when I woke up, but I’m usually a couple of pounds lighter, so 187-188 would be a good guess. When I got back home after guzzling a 16-ounce Gatorade and a 20-ounce Coke, I checked in at 184.

It was time to start making bad decisions to get back where I was.

So far, I’ve added some Sonic (a bacon, egg, and cheese toaster, tator tots, and a Sprite) and the better part of a pizza.

And it continues

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There are still a four slices left, and those are getting cleared out as soon as this is posted.

I’ve also added a liter of water (I had a bottle prepped that went with me to the race but was pre-empted by the Coke and Gatorade), another 16 ounces of Gatorade, and then two or three more glasses of water.

Hopefully that’s enough. I don’t feel like making another trip to town.

But that’s that, and now we’re prepping to run from zombies in October.

-Q

#ihaterunning

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