I don’t normally invite people to join me for a run, and so far, July has been a reminder of why that is. I got stood up twice.
Person Who Must Not Me Named 1 said she couldn’t join me for the bike social but would join me for my long run the next day. When my alarm when off, I thought I had to get ready quick in case there’s a knock at the door that would wake up others.
I scrambled to get my water, reflection vest, watch, and other gear on. No knock on the door. No text. “Maybe she’s waiting for me in the front of ___,” I thought. No, she wasn’t.
I started my run, mentally planning other places we could meet if she called late. Yeah, there was no reason to do that. I never got a message. Actually, I still haven’t gotten one.
Person Who Must Not Be Named 2 asked if I was going to the Footworks July 4 Run/Walk. I hadn’t planned to, but it’s free and I just got invited, so sure.
I got there with just minutes to spare before the run started. No one was there to meet me, so I called. “We’re headed there now,” I was told. And then about a minute later, the run started. While running, I kept looking around to see if I just missed Person Who Must Not Be Named 2.
At the turnaround, I checked to see if Person Who Must Not Be Named 2 was just really behind. Nope. No one.
I phoned PWMNBN2 when I finished the run. I learned they were at a park walking. PWMNBN2 thought the race started half an hour after it actually started.
So that happened. Not actually showing up is one thing. But if anyone actually did keep a running date with me, I’d hit Issue 2 - mismatched paces.
Do you have a running buddy? Do you have a similar pace? If you don’t, does one person slow down for the other or do you all just meet up at the end?
The photos below are from the Footworks July 4th Run.
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.
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.