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Friday, July 8, 2016

Four on the Fourth. Why not?

I said I wanted to race more this year, and that includes races that I already know will be terrible. Like the Greek Fest 5k with the flu, for recent example. So even though Four on the Fourth was on a Monday, and I had just started running again on Wednesday, and since that time had run 37 miles on very, very, very sore and tired legs, I showed up to "race" anyway. But I knew I would be slow from the get-go.

This fun race is in Covington, so it's marginally cooler than our blistering New Orleans weather (it's "only" 97 now, but tells me that the humidity is 60% with a dew point of 76%, and if you add in the UV index, you get a heat warning!). The course has a lot of shade, too, although they've been moving the course around and it was less shaded this time (last year they moved it a good quarter mile short...).
I noticed that the new fast running teams showed up, so I lined up several rows behind them. The race starts with fireworks (cute)! And we were off. Slowly. I just had nothing, right from the start. There were girls around me whom I usually pass, but I was nowhere near them today. My legs felt like lead. Right at the start of mile two, I got a side stitch! Now that is when you know you haven't been running enough. I haven't gotten a side stitch in a race in many years. I was running around 6:50's for the first two miles, but I slowed pathetically in mile three - my slowest mile - and trundled in to the finish somewhere in the 27:50's. Boo.
But the morning got better. I decided to try my skill at the beer mile! No, I didn't run the whole thing: I'd regret that. Instead, I joined a relay. We decided to do it very last minute, so I ended up going first because the other girls were still tying their shoes. I lined up at the table and the guy next to me said, "Uh, you probably want to be back there," pointing to the back of the table. I was like, "Excuse me?" And he said, "Like, we're running this direction, so you should be over there (pointing behind him)." As if! I mean, like the four feet of table would make a difference? Was he seriously telling me to move behind him and get out of his way? I said, "You think I should line up behind you, in other words? Ha. NO."

And, while he certainly drank his beer much faster than I did, I was super gratified to blow his doors off in the quarter mile, and our team beat his, too. In fact, our team ran a solid 8:20 mile, pretty good for four girls who don't like beer.

The beer mile was fun. But best part of the race was the swag - American flag shorts rather than T-shirts, and liberal door prizes: this year we came home with a free entry to the Louisiana Marathon! David won it... Should I steal it from him?

Hope you all had a very happy Independence Day!