5K Daily Double

Today I did two 5Ks in downtown Houston–Run for Wellness and Santo de Mayo. Because I was doing the latter for fun, I focused my efforts on the wellness run.

This free, timed run is put on by the Houston Wellness Project on the first Sunday of the month. The out and back course begins near the University of Houston-Downtown and follows the hike and bike trail along Buffalo Bayou. Today was a particularly nice spring day to run this race.

I arrived 10 minutes before the start of the race–not ideal–which was just enough time to pick up my bib. I did a super quick warm up, and started the race about two minutes after the gun. I also didn’t have my Garmin with me, so I had to rely on my body to tell me how fast I was going. That proved to be a bit tricky. I ended up going out too fast (9:43 for mile 1), and I lost a little steam on mile two (11:11 min/mi). However, I switched to fartleks (60/30) for the final mile, and I was able to pick up the pace a bit (10:51). Then, when I saw the race clock at 33 minutes with only a tenth of a mile to go, I kicked it to finish strong in sub-34. Yay! I set a new 5K PR and finished 6th in AG. Afterward, I chatted with a couple of running buddies and then headed over to St. Arnold’s for 5K number 2.

Not having my Garmin forced me to go by feel, and not be tethered by the watch. I might try going watch-less at my next Run for Wellness 5K. I ran my fastest mile, and met my mini-goal of sub-34.

Official time: 33:34.2 (PR)

Now, this is what I was really looking forward to all morning. My friend Kerri, my cousin Slim, and I signed up to walk the Santo de Mayo months before, which was a good thing because it sold out quickly. It was Slim’s first 5K and it was at St. Arnold’s Brewing Co. so we were all looking forward to the after party.

Santo de Mayo 5K
At the Santo de Mayo 5K. Photo by Kerri.

After taking some pre-race photos, we lined up for the start of this out and back course that also went along the hike and bike trail along Buffalo Bayou. The gun sounded, and we were off. We started at an easy, casual walking pace which we kept throughout the course. On the return, Slim picked up his pace while Kerri and I stayed back to take photos in the wildflowers along Buffalo Bayou.

Wildflowers along Buffalo Bayou
Wildflowers along Buffalo Bayou

Back at the brewery, we quickly made our way to the beer line inside, and then settled down to cool off and enjoy our beers and each other’s company. I went with the Amber Ale. After the beer, we went back downstairs to get food. Unfortunately, the Texas Tamale Co. was out of tamales, so we had to settle for snacks from Whole Foods. Not much was left except a few tamales (no vegetarian option), chips, and bananas. I did pick up some coconut water.

Finisher’s Pint Glass

We all had a great time, Slim finished his first 5K, and we scored some sweet swag. The tech shirt design is one of the best I’ve seen, and the finisher’s pint glass is super cool.

Official time: 59:55.5

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