Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 1,980: Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K

After being out at Manuel's until 2 a.m. celebrating my last day of work at my previous job and maybe getting four hours of sleep when the alarm went off, we dutifully made our way to the Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K.

As we pushed baby K. along N. Highland Avenue toward the start, you could see runners making their way there. A woman with a bib number ran down our street, in the wrong direction.

I felt queasy. I'd been sick the last few days and the imbibments from the previous evening -- make that the last few hours -- were all in my sinuses. I didn't feel hungover, but I'd already brought that experience to the Summerfest race.

In 2009, I ran the race for the first time in five years. I'd signed up but decided to hang out with a friend at another imbibment hangout spot up the road. I rolled out of bed and felt terrible, but really, would I be too lazy to open the door to my apartment and not make the starting line, knowing I could hit it with a rock?

That race was really brutal. I remember stopping at about 1.5 miles having to tie my shoe. But still I ran in it and I was glad that I did. The course has pretty much become a cornerstone in my training. I started running it just a few days after that race and still do today, incorporating it into a 4-mile route.

The next year, the 2010 Summerfest 5K, I ran with my then-girlfriend, just a few weeks before I proposed to her. We ran it fast and I made a PR and she won first place for her division.

Last year, we missed the race because we ran in the Rock'n'Roll San Diego Half Marathon.

So this year rolled around and of course we were going to run in it. But only as a fun run, with baby K. in the stroller.

As I expected, the start along Lanier was extremely jammed up. It's hard not to be with hundreds of runners. I was pretty amazed with my wife's handling of the stroller, given so many people out.

Because of the slower, non-race pace, it seemed pretty leisurely to me. It started to thin out a little but definitely a lot more density of runners (probably more runners) than either the 5 Que? race last month or the Beat the Street for Little Feet 5K in Coan Park in April, baby K.'s first race.

Maybe because of the number of runners, the chutes in the end were a mess. There was a huge line of runners waiting for cards in the female section, with quite a number of people passing my wife and the stroller by. I know many people never ran cross-country, but you're supposed to wait in order to get your card, which represents the order that you finished the race.

I bypassed a stroller dude in the men's line, but it didn't matter because in these last three 5Ks in which we've run with a stroller, I intentionally don't get a card because I don't really want my slower results to show up in Athlinks.

From there, it was a few more minutes of walking to get to the park area where the awards and the rest of the goodies are handed out. That meant navigating our stroller on a sidewalk behind the art tents and I decided that we should not worry about it. So we headed home.

Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 59 degrees
Gear: Tech T, short (Kessler 10K), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 28.

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