Part of my tour de Midwest included a pitstop in Tulsa OK. Turns out (brace yourself, it’s a shocker), there’s a 5k in town on 4th of July. So I opted to hit the streets and run in the Firecracker 5k.
Upon my arrival to Oklahoma the night before the race, I walked into a restaurant and found this game laying out. No offense to anyone in Oklahoma (I was raised out in the sticks in Illinois) but it just kinda felt like someone was sending a message….
The next morning I hit the Tulsa Firecracker 5k, I grabbed by bib about 45 minutes before the race and headed out to do a quick 1.5 mile warmup…which didn’t take long since it was fairly warm already.
As we lined up in the starting line, I heard a really interesting announcement – strollers would take off first. To be honest, I was kind of surprised – why send them onto the course 5 minutes before the running crowd? It seemed a little dangerous, but I went with it, and prepared to do my best “Frogger” moves in order to avoid the strollers about 10 minutes later.
While a group of 4 of us were running the race, I got up to the front, fully prepared to finish in time to snap pics at the finish line for 2 of the runners who were doing their first 5k.
Let’s talk for a minute about expectations – I’m out of running shape. I’m going to address this later this week, but I wanted to put that out there. I know I’m out of “race shape” and was also dealing with some monster GI issues since half my family had gotten sick two nights before after eating some tainted veggies at dinner.
After going out of the gate with a knowingly unrealistic, but still present hope of a PR and what was way too freaking fast, I slowed down my initial 6:20ish pace and then slowly faded into the 7-minute mile oblivion. Mostly because my stomach hated me and was threatening to stage a very public and embarrassing revolt mid-race. Plus the fatigue of travel, and the “it’s cool to you Tulsa, but hot and humid to my SoCal arse” all culminated in a spectacular blowout, and not like the good kind like the firecrackers I’d see later that night.
When all was said and done I ran a 21:06, placed 2nd in my age group and won a Mason jar. #thanksoklahoma
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the darn thing so I just did this….
My overall thoughts on the race
Pros: It was uber organized and easy to get around. Registration was a breeze and everything started right on time. Post-race there was a breakfast served, live band and beer (which I couldn’t even look at without my stomach churning). The awards ceremony was uber cute as well as most of the people there seemed to know each other and they were excited to announce a few winners from exotic locales like California and Los Angeles (apparently they are different).
Cons: There was virtually no crowd support. I stood at the finish line for about 15 minutes and was the only person yelling and cheering much of that time. #muchobummer Come on Tulsa, it’s your time to scream. There were also no mile markers, which annoyed me since I was running with a regular old stopwatch and couldn’t get my bearings.
On Kickin’ Ass and Taking Names
In other news my friend Heather ran this 5k as her first run. A few months back she was visiting Cali and we went for a run together and she was killing it on our run. Despite her protests and anxiety over the race, this little filly killed it.
Running on little sleep and half a banana or something crazy like that, this chica nailed a 24:44 or something crazy fast like that. I was uber proud of her.
She also placed second in the Athena division which is majorly awesome, so we now have matching Mason jars, which is basically what every friend should aspire to have.
At the end of the day we celebrated like rockstars and I traded my Nuun for some of this. Sorry Nuun, I love ya’ll to death, but you aint’ got nothin’ on the Dom.
So when all was said and done the race wasn’t a total loss, but more of a reminder that I really, truly and madly hate 5k’s and that I’m woefully out of race shape.
What’s your favorite race distance?
Do you remember your 1st 5k?