Last week I was determined to race. I had this strong desire to run a race every day and the only thing I could think about was running races and getting faster. I would have raced every day if I could, seriously. That desire has since passed. I still want to run races but I do not desire to run one daily anymore.
In my attempt to satisfy my desire to race I found the No Frills Just Thrills Summer Race Series at Cooper River Park, a prime South Jersey running location. Tuesday morning I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to make it to the race because of work and graduate school obligations but things worked out in my favor and I got done work at 5 which gave me two hours to get to the race by 7. I was annoyed because a drive that should have taken 25 minutes, at most, took over one hour due to rush hour, road work, and detours. I HATE highways, traffic, and feeling like I am going to die while trying to drive to my destination because I follow the traffic laws and other people don’t. On the way to the race I almost got into an accident 3 times because people are vicious drivers, but enough about that.
When I finally arrived it was about 6:30 so I quickly signed up and jogged 1 mile because that is all that I had time for. I was wearing a hot cotton tank top, which I regretted immediately after the race began because the heat and humidity in New Jersey has been brutal this past week. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything I normally bring to a race with me so I had to make due with what I had. I also didn’t have my garmin.
When the race started I was way in the back because I wasn’t aggressive enough to move up to the front. After a few minutes though I had managed to work my way up to the front part of the race. I had no idea if I was the first woman or not because there are always so many people running or walking around the river. It was difficult to tell who was in the race and who was just out for a run. I had no idea what my time was like because I didn’t have my garmin. I had my watch though and I knew that the race should take me no longer than 25 minutes on a hot day. This race was a 3.65 mile race, so a 5k plus an extra half mile (800m). When I saw my watch had hit 20 minutes I had an idea that the race was almost over but I felt so tired, sore, and just fatigued overall. It felt like I had been running for 3 hours! I finished in 24:47, about a 21 minute 5k which is slower than I have been running but considering the very hot temperature and how stressed I was before the race I was satisfied with it.
I later discovered that I was the first woman! I won a beer glass and the race director told me I can’t drink alcohol from it until I am 21. Since I am 27 I found this amusing and immediately told him how old I was. The shocked look on his face was priceless.
I plan to continue running the races in this summer series for fun!