How running fast can win you a year supply of free Chick-Fil-A 5k

I am still wading through summer race recaps. If you asked me in May about racing a lot this summer, my response probably would have been, “Hmm. Probably not. It’s too hot in the summer!” Well, I guess moving to a new city where there are races literally every weekend makes it more feasible.  The Chick-fil-A 5k is a Memphis race in its 12th year. I was planning on spending my Labor Day weekend floating on the Tennessee river with a beer in hand, but when I found out the winner of the race receives free chick-fil-a for an entire year (!!), I might have altered my plans a little bit to up my annie of winning, if you will. He he. I did still go to the river that weekend, and I did still relax on the boat, but I kept in the back of my head that I miiiiight have to head home early to see if I can win this crazy race. So, after a fun-filled two days at my parents’ cabin, Jon told me he “reallllllyyy wanted free chicken,” and that we should go. Wanting to see what I was made of in the 5k after not racing that distance since May, I definitely was on board ☺IMG_9085.JPG I will admit, this was a spur of the moment race. I had no idea what to expect. People advised me it would be hot, but honestly, I still thought I could PR because I felt I was in better shape than the last time I PRd in May. The race was on Monday morning (Labor Day), and I talked my friend Jennie into going downtown with me to race it.

As I try to recap this race, it’s difficult! 5ks are so short! But wow, CAN WE ALL JUST AGREE THIS DISTANCE HURTS MORE THAN ALL THE REST?!

At about the ½ mile mark, I took the lead as first female. I honestly felt so strong, and although I wasn’t wearing a watch, I really felt I was going pretty fast. I raced smart, didn’t start off too fast, and passed a few guys the last half of the race. Overall, if you would have asked me how the race went, I would say, “Great!”

I remember it being terribly hot, but not so much so that I felt it affected my speed. Well, something affected my speed, because I crossed the line in 19:30. Wooooof, was I shocked. My previous PR was 19:07, and I literally was just tempoing that day! I for real raced a 5k and was almost 30 seconds slower during a time I’m supposed to be more fit!? I was perplexed and disappointed. Although I was happy to get free chick-fil-a for a year for the hubz, I really didn’t understand how that just happened. I walked to the finishers’ tent and waited for my friend Jennie to finish. When she crossed, she informed me her Garmin said the course was super long. Okay, Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “Katie, please don’t be THAT runner who makes excuses for course length.” But, really, I am going to be that runner because I need some consolidation.IMG_9084.JPG

Okay, so what if the course wasn’t long? What else could I blame my slow time on?

Well, for one, I didn’t give enough credit to the heat. The race didn’t start until 9am, and there was NO course shade. it.was.HOT 93 degrees F. I think it’s incredibly fascinating how our bodies adapt. I completely relied off perceived effort, which I’ve learned is pretty spot on. I felt I was going as fast as I could, so I can’t really ask for more than that.IMG_7014.JPG

Here’s to more days of giving it my all, and enjoying the process. I don’t want to get bogged down with constantly wishing I was there, or running that time. I’m thankful for legs to run and a heart to compete and always wanting to get better.