Another weekend, another race! Fall must be approaching! Fall is my favorite season, and I love running when the weather is crisp and cool.
Downtown Mall, Charlottesville
On Saturday, I participated in the Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler. The event raises money for the UVA Cancer Center Breast Care Program. There is just something about a girls-only race that makes it seem less about running and more about encouragement, especially this one, where the cause hits more-than-close to home for me. This year, the race celebrated its 31st anniversary.
We drove to Charlottesville the night before for packet pickup, which was extremely well-organized. Our race shirts were a pretty blue color (I would have expected pink though!). I picked up a cute pink and gray 2010 race shirt (Nike dry-fit tech shirt) for $5. A great way to stock up on cheap running clothes! I laid everything out the night before. I only wore the SPIBELT so that I wouldn’t have to pin anything to my new lululemon race shirt. The belt holds my race bib, but I left the zippered pocket empty this time. On longer runs, I’ll carry my ID, insurance card, and GU in it, or whatever else I might need. An added bonus – it’s pink, so it matched.
4:30 AM was a rude awakening for a Saturday, but I got up and went through the motions of getting ready. Our drive was about 45 minutes to Foxfield, and parking was a well-oiled machine. 350 volunteers parked 3000 cars allotting only 3 seconds per car. We were given a packet to read the night before so we’d know what to expect, and it was seamless!
Before the race, I met up with some friends, and we lined up in our corrals (based on anticipated pace) and watched 4 hot air balloons drifting along the ridgeline. Gotta love Charlottesville in the fall!
I run a “slow and steady” pace regardless of how far I’m running (1 mile or 13). It was so crowded, though, that my first half-mile was slower than it normally is on race day! With over 3500 people on a two-lane road, there was just nowhere to go! We all stayed in a pack for most of the race. There were two water stops (I grabbed a few sips at one of them), and a wet towel area, which I bypassed. The course was sort of shaped like a staple, so there was a lot of passing and people-watching.
There I am, in the pink and plum.
The last mile or so was the “Motivational Mile,” where people had dedicated posters to friends and family members touched by breast cancer. Seeing these signs during the drive in made me tear up. It all went by so fast, and before I knew it, I was running through the finish chute, only one minute behind my goal for the day.
After the race, my family and friends relaxed on a quilt and watched the awards ceremonies. A new course record was set (it had remained unbroken for all 31 years since the race’s inauguration!) with a time of 21:39 for 4 miles. I can’t even fathom running that fast! It would be fun to win races, but I’m happy with just finishing, too! It was pretty sunny out, so I got a tan line from my new running shirt, which I was trying out for the first time (and loved). My toddler snacked on a chocolate chip bagel from Panera, one of the race sponsors, while I guzzled purple Gatorade and polished off half a banana.
We checked out the lululemon showroom downtown after the race, and pretty much everyone there had just come from the 4 Miler as well. The girls that worked there recognized me — they finished a few minutes behind me, although they said they were only prancersizing, not running. 🙂
When we got home, it was my husband’s turn to run, so I played with the baby and got some things done around the house. When he came back, he did some cleaning and made dinner, and it started thundering. We didn’t think much of it until we wondered where the dog was. We have a Jack Russell, Scout, who tends to panic during thunderstorms…. apparently he had snuck into our attic office when I ran upstairs to check something before dinner. When I shut the door, he was trapped in our bedroom, where I had tossed my running bag after the race.
When we came upstairs later, there were remnants of the Panera bag EVERYWHERE from the chocolate chip bagel, but I was most distraught over the hole the dog tour through the mesh of my cute new pink running bag that I got at the race.
Until I saw a tiny red piece of the raisin box, and realized that Scout had gotten into my son’s snack and eaten about 1/3 of the box (so about 1/3 of an ounce) in addition to the chocolate bagel. I knew raisins were bag, so I googled “can a dog eat raisins?” All sorts of horror stories came up, so we got on the phone with the emergency vet right away. They suggested giving Scout a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, and Scout did – six times in the backyard. My husband combed through it all with a gloved hand until he counted 18 raisins (and chunks of chocolate chip bagel and a Clif bar wrapper) and bagged it all up to take to the vet. That dog! Just to be on the safe side, he took the dog to the emergency vet, who took his vitals and gave us two options: we could either give him liquid charcoal, or we could hook him to an IV for the entire holiday weekend until our normal vet’s office opened again on Tuesday. We opted for the liquid charcoal, which will help absorb any remaining raisins he might digest.
This dog better be pooping diamonds soon.
Note to self? Don’t leave food in race bags and don’t buy raisins EVER AGAIN.