Anyway, animal shelters are "my" cause, so when a flyer for a "Mutt Strut 5K" the local humane society caught my eye, it stuck in my head, especially since it was being held on, yes, my birthday.
I didn't seriously consider doing it though since it would be two weeks out from my PR attempt at the Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon.
However...Dr. Z. decided to go out of town, and after working approximately a bajillion hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with more to put in on Sunday, I decided to have some damn fun. And "some damn fun" around means "racing."
(...and bonus points if you can figure out what I do for a living given those dates.)
So, I didn't have a mutt to strut, and the real thing that pushed me over the edge into deciding to go was a cat. Since, you know, I didn't have a dog to bring. And yes, I had the perfect, or, ahem, PURRfect outfit:
|Yes, WITH cat ears of course.|
So I roll in and chat with all the shelter girls, who I know. I can tell right away that this is NOT serious at all and there aren't even any bibs or timing. I'm also one of the few people without a dog, although I have a blast playing with all the doggies there.
I originally wasn't going to warm up (NOT taking this serious, SEE), but at the last minute decide to shake out the legs a LIIIIITLE bit and do some quick striders, knee-ups, and butt-kicks so I don't pull a bajillion muscles, tendons and ligaments.
The gun goes off and even with just jogging it in Zone 2 I'm at the front of the pack. Two guys flew way ahead, and I was playing leapfrog with this woman whose dog kept sprinting and then slowing down.
About a mile in, I decided to dig in and push it a bit. I quickly dropped the other girl and spent the next mile and a half working very hard, but never quite going into that brain-melting 5K pain cave.
In the end, despite not pushing over the edge AND having twelve hard miles on my legs from the day before, I finished first Woman and third Overall. My second ever 5K win! Once again, the competition wasn't there, and my pace should NOT have won even a small local 5K, but it was a fun bit of fast, hard running to raise money for a cause that's near and dear to my heart.