Independence Day Weekend, Part One

I'll be taking two looks at this past holiday weekend. Part One will be a recap of the eventful runs of the weekend. Part Two will be meandering on subjects non-running related.

A few days before heading down to South Florida to visit the family for a sun drenched holiday weekend Jess convinced me to run the Weston Independence Day 5K with her and Viv. A nice little blogging friends meet and race (vs. a meet and greet). Little did I know that Weston is the land of PRs! It's true: they were giving them away like water! I PR'd by default since it was my first 5K (yes, my first), but Jess managed to shave 20 seconds off her 5K best and Viv did some trimming around the ol' 5K hedge too.

I was actually sitting next to Jess and Viv for about 10 minutes before I realized it was them. Once we finally found each other we all chatted for a bit before heading over to the starting line.

I mentioned to Jess and Viv that I was discovering all the peculiarities of 5Ks this morning, but I had three major ones. First off, there are so many kids. The place was just crawling with them. Jess informed me that they are also called "hurdles" and that I should be careful around them because they are know to stop without warning in the middle of the road.

Second, the race felt so casual. The mood in the air was one of "good morning, it's turning out to be a splendid day, let's have 5K." By comparison, a marathon starting line feels like a funeral.

Third, there are a lot of casual runners in a 5K. Once again, I'm used to the months of preparation that Marathoners and Half-Marathoners have under their belt. I'm used to three miles being a warm-up. I'm not used to seeing people throw up before the one mile mark or walking before the three mile mark--yet I saw both during this race.

I crossed the finish line in a palindromic 23:32, a pace of 7:40 per mile. Whoa, not too shabby for someone who’s used to racing at an 8:30+ pace. I'm sure I left something on the table for my next 5K because by the time the race sarted the sun was high and beating down hard. If it was any longer it would have been torture.

Jess finished a few minutes after me and Viv and Shane showed up a few minutes after her. However, Viv and Shane managed to find the free food tent before meeting back at Starbucks and were holding the food of the gods: cranberry bagels. I think any bagel would have been tasty after the race, but there is something particularly delicious about cranberries baked into a circle of doughy goodness.

My other Independence Day weekend run was the very next morning. It was my first long run in preparation for my autumn double header: The Maple Leaf Half-Marathon and The Breakers Marathon. I woke up at 6:10 in order to start running before the sun got too intense. I was on the Hollywood beach boardwalk by 6:30, just in time to see the blood orange sun crawl out of the ocean. Fortunately, there were lots of clouds to keep me covered—but I knew in no time the mercury would hit 90 and the faint sea breezes would provide very little relief.

I headed south along the boardwalk. All the restaurants and bars that were exploding onto the boardwalk the night before were empty and closed. The stark contrast made the scene feel a little post-apocalyptic.

I crossed over the Intercoastal waterway onto Hollywood Boulevard and went to Young Circle and back to A1A (for those of you familiar with Hollywood). On the way back I started getting a rumble in my stomach...and not the good kind. I made it over the bridge back to the beach and knew that I couldn’t go much further without a bathroom break. I started thinking of what bathroom I could possibly use at 7:15 in the morning: there wasn’t a Starbucks for miles, all the restaurants were closed, and I would get lost in a hotel before I could find the public bathroom. I finally had to stop and walk the rest of the way to the amphitheatre (about mile 5.5). It was a bit further than I wanted to walk, but I knew there was an open bathroom there because I passed it on the way down the boardwalk.

I did my business and got back on with the run—which was much easier to do than I anticipated. I went up A1A to Sheridan Boulevard, hung a left, and did a repeat of two bridges as the sun emerged from the clouds and cranked up the heat from “uncomfortable” to “fry cooker." My shorts were soaking wet and sticking to my legs. My shirt felt like a mop. Then my remaining good earphone gave out. Kaput. Dead. I had sweated them to death. They served me well, but daaaaaamn they didn’t even last five months.

I finished the run staying just under a 9:00 pace--which is exactly what I wanted. And then I topped it all off with a dip in the ocean right afterward. The water was cool and calm (both rare for July in Miami) and I was able to just float for about 10 minutes. Every workout should end like this!

Then the bad news. I got out of the water, collected my shoes, shirt, iPod, and rather moist phone, and went to the shower to get the sand off me before going inside the hotel. After rinsing off I noticed that even the inserts in my shoes were sweaty--and that never happens. So I decided to check on my phone. I had been on several sweaty runs with my phone before so I wasn't concerned about carrying it in my pocket for the whole run.

What a mistake. What a BIG mistake.

Turns out that I sweated my phone to death. I turned it on and it started dialing all these crazy numbers. The screen turned black and I could see the drops of dew that had formed behind the screen. It was a goner. Monday morning I had to go to the Sprint store to buy a new one (yea for the new toy, boo for having to pay for it).


Marcy said...

Dude you've never done a 5k before? That amazes me for some reason LOL I guess with all the HM/M's you've done I thought you would have done one LOL Sweet time for your first and especially in that weather. Dude, I'd be looking at a 40 min finish down there LOL

Nitmos said...

It's funny you say that. the only time I'VE seen anyone throw up was at a 5k and 15k too. Never at a marathon. Pass out? Yes, but not vomit.

Nice job.

BTW, the phone wouldn't dry out and work? That's happened to me before but come back online within a day or two.

SJ Goody said...

Go Breakers Marathon!! Newport is awesome! I am doing that in relay fashion this year.

The Laminator said...

Nice race and run combo. Who knew you could sweat both earphones and a cell phone to death.

Jess said...

Yeah, I still can't believe you'd never done a 5K before. When you started running, you just decided to go all the way, not start with the little races, huh?

Nice job though, and again, it was great to meet you!

Ted said...

Holy crap! You smoked up your earphones and cellphone to death with all your sweat down in Florida.

The two marathons you are planning to do this fall is so tempting for me. I am still planning on doing Philadelphia marathon and now thinking of doing a double marathons this fall. Hmmm.. Hmmm...

Viv said...

First the important stuff...How do you cook a pig for noche buena?? I only know how to eat it. Sounds like you had a great time catching up with the familia! i just got back and going through Cuban food withdrawls. It was really awesome to meet you. Next time you go to FL maybe it will be my family time and we can do a race again of the 5K nature. That was a real sweet time, congratulations! I always manage to find the food.HAHAHA! Sorry about your phone drowing in your ouwn sweat.

Laura said...

Congratulations on a great race! I just ruined my phone due to water damage (actually, beer damage) and it sucks... glad you were able to get a quick replacement!