Last Friday I ran my first race in over a year. Gulp. How did I go that long without a timing chip on my running shoes? Stress, laziness, injuries. Otherwise known as life.
But back to the race.
The Cow Paddy Run is a local 5k that was famous in Fayetteville for many years before the race was discontinued. In 2011, it was brought back and the proceeds go to support to the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation. Jacob and I signed up a week or so beforehand on a whim. We had just gotten back into running a couple of miles a few times a week , but it sounded fun so we registered.
The days leading up to the race were beautiful and perfect race weather. The day of, however? Rainy, windy and 5o degrees. When we got to the race (it felt so strange to race on a Friday night) I immediately realized I had underestimated how chilling the wind really was. I wished I had brought gloves or ear warmers because I was so cold that couldn’t feel my hands the entire time we were there. Thus, t-rex hands in all the pictures. Laugh it up.
The unique thing about this race (aside from the 6:30 p.m. start time) was that the course was entirely on grass. I could tell immediately after we started that it was going to be a lot harder than I thought. Not only had I not run 3 miles in months, my clumsy ankles struggled to balance on the soft and uneven course.
photo via Alex
Jacob and I stayed together until around the 2 mile marker. I could tell he was struggling and while I wasn’t exactly feeling 100%, I knew I could finish the whole race without stopping so we split up. Other than twisting my ankle shortly after and barely catching myself, the rest of the race was pretty smooth.
Josh and Alex had surprised us by showing up to cheer us on and it really helped me power through my ankle pain to see them on the course. Spectators make a such huge difference. Because the course was loops, we saw them several times and it gave me the boost to not slow down.
I finished in 30:29 – a time I’m really proud of considering I was taking it slow around many of the ditches and corners (for fear of falling) on the grassy course. That placed me at 65 out of 104, which isn’t half bad. Considering the circumstances,I’ll take it.
The start was actually a little chaotic so we didn’t even begin to ‘run’ until 30 seconds or a minute in. If I would have known I could have come in under 30 minutes, I would have been a little more eager at the start.
Jacob finished less than a minute behind me with an awesome time of 31:19. I’m really proud of him because he was dealing with some ankle pain and hadn’t been able to run more than a mile or two without stopping before this race.
photo via Alex
Despite the grassy, hilly course and our lack of preparation, we both really enjoyed this race. I think it finally reignited the racing spark that I’d been missing.
photo via Alex