Fishers Freedom Festival 5K
The last weekend in June is typically one of my favorite weekends in June because of the Fishers Freedom Festival. I LOVE festivals. I love the food, the vendors, and just meandering around with nothing to do. Last year, my husband and I participated in the 5K that kicks off the festival. It was fun and low-key.
Fast forward to June 2013. I had thought about running in the Freedom Festival 5K but then thought against it since I was running in the Hoosier Park 8K the week before and the Carmel Freedom 4.5 run the week after on the 4th of July. I figured I should give myself a week off to rest in between races.
My neighbor across the street has recently begun to start working out again and has been running around the neighborhood. He casually mentioned to my husband and I that he was interested in running a local 5K but his two boys don’t want to run with him because he’s too slow. Being the good-natured folks that we are, my husband and I offered to run the Freedom Festival 5K with him since it was practically in our backyard and it’s a smaller race. He seemed excited and agreed. So that night I signed us up for the race.
A week goes by and I ask my neighbor, “Hey, we signed up for the race. Have you?”
His reply, “Nah, not yet. But I will.” Okay…
I see him walking his dog later in the week. “Hey, have you signed up for the race yet?”
“Not yet. I need to get new running shoes. Then I will sign up.”
I’m starting to have a bad feeling about this. And so the conversation goes on, week after week, of me asking him if he has signed up yet and he will get to it later.
We are now 3 days from the race. “Hey, the race is on Saturday. Have you signed up for the race?”
“Oh man, those new shoes really messed up my knee and it’s all swollen now. I can’t run.”
I told him to rest up and that I would find him a new race soon. But that still meant I had to get up and run on Saturday anyway, after all, I did pay $12 to run in this thing.
Saturday morning arrives, my alarm goes off at 6:30AM (later than most of my races since it is so close), and I immediately want to throw my phone out of the window. After getting up at 5AM Monday-Friday, the last thing I want to do is get up at 6:30AM and run. But I do because I paid for it and I’m not about to throw $12 away. It’s a humid 71 degrees outside, weird for this time of year, and I’m not sure what to wear. I settle on capris and a tank and make my way towards the starting line.
As we were walking to the race, I kept telling myself that I was just going to run this for fun. It was going to be low-key. I wasn’t trying to place in my division. I just was going to run and have fun. Then we started to line up and all of these people were in front of me. I started feeling anxious. I looked at the hoards of strollers that were ahead of me. I couldn’t control the feeling that was creeping up on me, that I had to get around them, but it was too late to make my way to the front.
3, 2, 1… and we’re off. I immediately took off, weaving in, out, and around people. I was up on the sidewalk passing families and strollers. My only goal was to get out of this crowd. My husband was doing the same thing and we eventually met back up about half a mile into the race. We know this course well because we run it all the time. After about 1.5 miles, we finally broke away from the main pack and found our steady groove. Well – more like my husband’s steady groove. I was huffing and puffing trying to maintain a 7 minute 49 second pace and he looked like he was jogging.
We head up the hill and my husband informed me that once we round the corner, he’s going to take off for the last 1/4 mile. I said, “Go right ahead. I’ll be back here.” So when the time came, off he went and there I was still struggling not to die. Sometimes he really frustrates me because he never trains and he can still whoop my butt in any race we run in. It really isn’t fair.
I rounded the corner, put my head down, and headed to the finish line. With an official time of 25 minutes and 10 seconds and an average pace of 8 minutes and 6 seconds, I guess I’ll take it.