The short version: This was one of the top three worst runs I’ve participated in. This ranking is due to the weather conditions and nothing against the organizers.
As a runner in South Texas, my range of running weather conditions is limited. But to get to my worst weather list I have to believe I or another participant has a very real risk of needing an ambulance.
I should mention even before the race began, the bus driver who took other runners and myself to Schlitterbahn said he thought it was a very unsafe route. He said the rising sun could blind drivers, causing them to hit runners on the causeway. He added he would not let his children participate in this run. Noted.
It was very warm already in the morning. I didn’t wear shorts and knew that was stupid.
Runners started at Schlitterbahn, headed south to the Jetties, and then circled back toward Schlitterbahn to get to the causeway. Two people in front of me who were walking (yes, they were walkers and still ahead of me) didn’t even make it to the causeway. When we were passing Schlitterbahn, they just walked back to Schlitterbahn.
It wasn’t even 30 minutes into the run, and walkers were quitting. They must’ve known what was to come. I just thought it was hot.
The water stations before the causeway were a bit congested, but I knew I should grab some water. I got two cups - one to drink and one to toss on my head. It has to be really hot for me to toss water on my head. (My $$ headphones fall apart with a drop of water.) I still didn’t realize how bad the weather was.
I’m trudging up the two-mile causeway and then realization sets in. It’s very hot and humid. It’s like nature is draining you of all your energy and trying to force you to the ground but without using wind. My body did not like this at all. I realized I won’t finish the race unless I slow down. A lot. Actually, I just wanted to stop. I wanted to move to the side and sit down. Give nature this win, and I’ll keep my overall health.
But I didn’t. I thought water would help. I carry it with me, but it was already too warm to drink. And there wasn’t a water station on the causeway. I spilled a little of what I had on my head to see if that would help.
I can’t explain specifics of what I felt. But others told me about similar experiences. “I was starting to shiver.” Heat exhaustion. “I had to stop running. I wasn’t going to make it.”
It was the grace of God that let me make it to Port Isabel. Two people were standing at the corner with hoses. The people in front of me got their feet wet with the water.
“Their feet?!,” I thought. “Screw that.” I weakly motioned those heavenly people with hoses to just drench me from head to toe. It was beautiful and I wanted to stop, but I still had about a mile to go. I think I saw a few 10K runners who skipped that last part and just followed the 5K participants to the finish line.
I was too weak to give my usual thanks to the volunteers guiding runners for the rest of the route.
Eventually I finished. At the finish, the fire truck were there and the fire hose was ready for another shower of relief.
I didn’t look at my finish time. My goal for this run was just staying alive.
There’s a 5K I’ve participated in that covers part of a regular route I run. The last time or two I’ve signed up for this 5K, I just run there. I figure I can get in my long run, even if it’s just a 5K event. So when I get there, I’m already sweaty.
I’ve been sweaty. I have volunteer meetings after my long runs sometimes. I explain, “I can be on time and sweaty or late and clean.” But I do not recall being as stinky as I was when I got to this 5K.
I have a horrible sense of smell, so when even I caught of whim of myself…. dear God. How they must’ve suffered during that group photo.
For everyone’s safety, I wanted to distance myself from the other participants. But then they were giving away raspas, and obviously, I needed to get in line for that.
Stinkiness aside, this event is also memorable, because it’s not really a 5K. A coworker told me she measured it as a 4K. I think the organizers would just have to add another block to reach the 5K. But I’m tempted to recommend they market it as a 4K.
Possible Participant: Ugh, I don’t want to do a 5K.
Friend Convincing Him/Her to Sign Up: No, it’s a 4K. It’s shorter.
Possible Participant: A 4K? I can do that.
UPDATE: I needed this running shirt for another event about a week later and found it in the laundry hamper. I tossed it to someone and asked how bad does it smell. Let’s just say there was an immediate reaction. And then I realized what shirt it was and apologized.
Before I left for the Edinburg 10K, someone asked me a question. I don't remember the question, but I remember my reply. I said, "The only thing I know for sure is I'll return with the same medal they've given for the last two years."
Well, Edinburg made a liar out of me. They upgraded for their 35th anniversary. This one's a keeper. You can see it in the photos above.
Here are some quick highlights from the run:
So, in addition the new spiffy medal, I even had someone to take a photo of me at the event. (Thank you, Alan.) That rarely happens, because that requires, y'know, friends.
Great job on another 10K, Edinburg!
More of a chiller than sizzler
For another year, the South Texas Sizzler didn’t live up to its name. It was chilly. Or for a South Texas native as myself, really, really cold, like “Why am outside without a jacket” cold.
I have to tell you that little running buff I got at the San Antonio Rock ’n’ Roll expo once again proved very helpful.
I feel like Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat when I wear it. But that’s really just a bonus.
This was my first run after not being able to complete the half at the McAllen Marathon.
Short version about what caused that: I had an ear infection.
You know what’s not a good combination. Dizzy spells and running.
The South Texas Sizzler is special to me. Years ago, it was the first running event I ran the whole way. Of course, unknown to me, the 1 Mile Fun Run was actually a kids’ run.
In my defense, it was not labeled as such at the time. Three or four other adults who also lined up for the start were as confused as I was. Yes, I was tempted to just stay close to a child to make it seem like I was with them. But that could come off as creepy.
That year, as I finished my mile, I thought, “Well, at least, no one I know is here to see me run with children.” And then I heard, “Go Malena!” and saw a camera pointed at me. So that happened.
I was nervous about running this year, since I did still get a dizzy spell every now and then. But Tony Forina, MC extraordinaire at the event, assured me before the race, “No one dies today.”
I didn’t retain my title of last finisher, but I was close. The route changed this year (or maybe last year, I missed that one). It gave me chance to finally check out the 25th Street Hike and Bike Trail. It’s a nice trail, but I’m not sure what the lighting is when it’s dark, so I hadn’t tried to use it before.
My workplace was one of the sponsors, so I was joined at the event with coworkers. Some of them I saw returning to their cars as I tried to finish the run. The route got a little confusing at the end with lots of finishers wandering about, but there was someone there to guide me to the last part.
Along with the cool palm-tree medal, I was looking forward to the raffle giveaways. But the cold go to me, I couldn’t stay for that part. Note to self: Leave extra layers of clothing in the car.
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.