Monday, July 28, 2014

Ghosts and Pets and 5K's - Oh My.

1st 5K of 2014!

This past weekend found Kris and I running out first competitive race in over a year. We have run a couple of races in the past year or so but casually. Saturday was the first time we have really put an effort into any distance, in this case "just a 5K".

We decided that we had to start putting races on our calendar just as an incentive to get us going and the first race was a small one in Chaska, the River City Days 5K. A customer of ZapEvent and originally one of my accounts so it seems like a good fit for us. Both Kris and I have been just running to get in some miles and time has not even been a concern, so we were going into the race blind as to what we could even do. So we got up early on Saturday with no expectations other then being able to finish the race and headed to Chaska. Like I mentioned, this race was small, with 79 pre-registrations and with a good race day registrations they managed to have 131 finishers.

The race was nicely laid out and took advantage of the trails on top of the dykes so it was a really nice course. They only thing going against the race was that it was very humid with the heat of the day starting to warm up during the race so the conditions were against us. So we lined up and at the shout of "Go" we were off. If you know me then you know that I have a bad habit of starting out every race I run way too fast and then dying at the end. So in addition to just figuring out what pace I can run I wanted to make sure I was consistent.

I didn't do myself any favors by starting near the back of the pack at the start line and found myself having to work my way through the pack until I got myself into runners with a similar pace. By about mile 1 I was right about where I should be and was surprised when the guy with the stopwatch said 7:42. Really? I was running sub-8' and not dying? OK, let see if I can keep this up. Sure enough by the time I got to Mile 2, my MapMyRun app chimed out that I just ran a 7:49 mile split. Wow.... OK can I keep it up to the finish??? Almost. When I turned onto the final stretch, a long several block into the finish line, I had to take a quick walk break, not long, only about a 1/4 of a block but the heat and humidity was really getting to me. Just needed a short breather. Besides, the guy right in front of my, that I could not catch, was walk/running. He would walk a bit and just as I would catch up to him he would take off. So I figured, take a few seconds and finish strong. It did help, although I would have preferred to run the entire course and I did finish fairly consistent.

Turns out I ran a 24:31 (7:54 pace) and I came in 3rd Place M40-49. Not bad for my first race in a long time. Remember that guy that was walk/running? Turns out he was in my AG and came in second. He was so close, and in fact during one of his walk segments, I was ahead of him briefly. He ended up beating me by 13 seconds, which had I managed to beat him (my short walk is to blame) I would have gotten a medal!! They were handing out medals for 1st and 2nd in each of the Age Groups. Oh well, maybe next time.

My race went pretty well as I was just trying to find a consistent uncomfortable pace to settle in to.  As Mark said it wasn't a bad course, just hot and muggy.   And I can still very much tell I'm carrying extra weight from last we were seriously racing 2 years ago.  We are working to get our weight in check but at the same time if a brownie is going to make me happy.....I'm going to eat a brownie :) 

Home for Life

After the 5K we had to get home and get cleaned up as today was also the Home for Life Annual Blessing of the Animals Open House way out in Star Prairie so once we got cleaned up we still had an hour drive ahead of us.

As in past years, we got to visit Jonathan who Kris sponsors and some of our favorites including Stormy, Mozart and Celeste. She has always had a piece of my heart and this year she seemed to be a bit weaker than before.  I started to think about it....she's been there ever since I've been going to HFL and that has been 10 years.  I gave her lots of love and hugs and am hoping to see her again next year.  It has been a couple of years since we have been to the Open House as we could not make it last year so it was nice to get to see all the cats and dogs. I have made a connection with Mozart, granted he might be like this with everyone but I like to think it is unique to me as I can spend my entire time with Mozart in my arms, he is such a sweet cat.

Oh and don't forget your favorite avian friends, Candy and Penelope!!  Erin was also there, she's a local runner we've gotten to know through Home for Life because she is Nike's owner and comes back often to spend time her

Ghost Peppers

So after spending the afternoon at Home for Life it was back home to get ready to meet our friend Mike  for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings at MOA. I had seen that their "Sauce Lab" had Ghost Pepper as one of their sauces of month and I have been curious as to how hot they were. To be honest, I love HOT but I also am hesitant when it comes to super hot sources and anything that using Ghost Peppers, the hottest known pepper. In fact, I chickened out when we went Smalley's Caribbean BBQ in Stillwater which also has a Ghost Pepper sauce for their wings.

Once the ghost pepper boneless wings arrived, I took it very slow and yes it was extremely hot, it was not a burning pain hot I was expecting. I was eating very cautiously as Kris finished her wings long before I did and that never happens. The wings came with a little flag which at first I made no note of but while I was taking my time eating the wings I had a chance to read the flag and was very amused that it is essentially a liability waiver to prevent BW3's from being sued. The unseen danger of eating something this hot is not when you are ingesting but rather when the wings have worked their way though and on the way out you get a second burn. ;) Would I have them again? Probably not but it was worth it for the experience.

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