Sunday, August 28, 2016

Free-Da's Run Race Recap

San Antonio, TX has a plethora of unique and fun themed runs all throughout the year.  There is so much culture and history within San Antonio that it is so easy for race directors to find an original theme for their race.  They have TWO Alamo themed races, a Missions themed race, a donut race, Dia de los Muertos, Loteria, and sooooo much more!  The one I did recently was the Free-da Run for the Arts.  You may or may not have heard of a lady named Frida Kahlo, but I’m sure you know about the artist with a unibrow.  One of her famous quotes is “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”  If there was ever a quote that applied to running said by an artist, this is it!  She also said "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best."  Running is all about you.  And I will now think of me painting myself as I run along in my own little world from now on!  I will get to know myself even more and become even more of an expert about myself.  Running has taught me a LOT about myself over the last almost 4 years and I am eternally grateful for that.  And I get to learn about new things, like Frida Kahlo and her wonderful and unique works of art.

So, the race was an evening race and had a start time of 7pm-ish.  The kids race started at 7 and the 5K started about 10 minutes later.  Packet pickup was on site from 5 to 7 and was actually pretty efficient.  They had a board and you looked up your bib # and they really quickly grabbed your packet and handed it to you.  They had everything in a large Ziploc-style bag, ready to go.  None of this searching for your bib at one table and then going to another table and waiting to get your shirt. 

There were a LOT of people in costume.  I was in costume, but what I did was very minimum because I was a slacker and didn’t do as much research into Frida as I really should have.  But, I plan to do that research next year and make a KICK ASS Frida costume!  So, all I did was make myself a crown of roses by gluing some fake red roses to a headband (it looked pretty cheesy by itself, but once I put it on I thought it looked fantastic!) and then doodled a unibrow (that looked way better than I thought it would look) on myself.  I wore a red tank top and a black running skirt.

The shirt was an instant favorite for me.  It’s a nice creamy yellow in a ladies cut and I just love the race’s logo.
And the bib!  Oh the bib!  I’ve said it before and I mean it, I LOVE a customized bib.  And not just a bib with my name on it (thought that is pretty cool), but customized to the event.  And this bib did NOT disappoint!  Probably my favorite bib ever. 

After the kids run was done, they had us line up.  I noticed this sign laid off to the side that I thought was pretty cool. 

The race started in the Ladybird Johnson Community Park in San Antonio.  I ran a race in this park a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to run in this location again.  It’s a greenbelt paved hike/bike/run trail so it’s not very wide, so it was a little difficult to pass people.  But pass people I did!  I had done a quick little run to the car and back before the race started to drop off my sunglasses because, this being on a greenbelt trail, it was mostly shaded and I wouldn’t need them.  I decided to track that on my FitBit.  I figured I’d track the race itself with my Garmin.  Only problem with that was, my Garmin died about ¼ mile into the race.  Booo!  (I’m going to buy a new one soon.  I will eventually find a Garmin that doesn’t crap out on me after a year or two)  So, since I had that little bit to the car and back tacked on, I didn’t actually know my mileage as I was running, so I just went to the “current pace” screen on my FitBit.  I continued to pass people after the turnaround and felt really strong.

Oh, so it was 97° (with a “feels like” of 103°!!!) at the start.  I went out with the objective of just running my own race and to feel good and run at a comfortably hard effort and just do the best that I could.  There wasn’t a LOT a LOT of people running this race and the age group spreads were 5 years, so I figured I might just have a chance to place.  I at least wanted to give it a good try. 

As we crossed the finish line, these 2 ladies in gorgeous dresses threw confetti on us.  I later discovered that those 2 ladies and the guy in a fancy outfit right next to them were professional Mexican cultural dancers.  They put on a show for us and it was so beautiful!
I checked the results board and was so excited to see that I PLACED 3RD in my age group!!!  My official time was 27:18 which is just 10 seconds shy of becoming a new PR!  And my previous PR was done on a flat course in temps about 40° cooler.  I am definitely faster and fitter than I was then and I’m confident that I can run that sub-27 or maybe even a sub-26 minute 5K before the year is over!  Anyway, this race has a podium for the top 3 to stand on! 

So I got to stand on an actual podium for the first time ever!
I think that says I was 22nd overall female and 70th overall finisher
The medals were super cute!  2nd and 3rd places in each group got these adorable wooden easels with a tiny canvas with the race logo and your placement “painted” on it.  The 1st place finisher in each age group got a little hand painted ceramic skull with a crown of flowers.  Maybe next year I’ll snag one of those skulls!

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