When I bid for my schedule in July, I asked for one thing off: The weekend of July 9th and 10th. Did I get that off? Not even close. I didn't care about getting July 4th off, but when I discovered I did, I took it as a fine thing, because I could at least do the Lone Tree Firecracker 5K.
You may wonder why I'm calling it the Liberty Dash 5K instead of the Firecracker 5K. The reason is they decided to change the name because there's like 18 trillion Firecracker 5K's out there. Or so I'm guessing. Regardless, I registered and was ready to undertake this run, even though I've done very little run training and really was using this as a workout more then anything.
We did the same thing this year that we did last year; woke up and headed down to the park for packet pick-up. Once that was done, we would head back home, eat, and get prepped for the run. At packet pick-up, there were a surprising few amount of people, which we were slightly surprised about. I figured this race was growing; instead it looked like it was a lot smaller. Also, a lot of the sponsor tents weren't there either.
We got back to the park about 10 minutes before the race started and looked for T's brother and his fiancee. Not seeing them, T, myself, and her dad hopped to the start and waited for the countdown. It came, and off we went.
The race went the same route last year, which is the better way to go. However, unlike last year, this was not an ideal day for a race. It was already hot, and only forecast to get hotter. The high that day was forecast to be in the high 90's, with some weather outlets predicting over 100. By the 1st mile, which is slow anyway since it's all uphill, it was already really hot. It's like the temperature was soaring with each step.
In between mile 1 and 2, I could feel the fatigue in my legs from the weightlifting session I had the night before and slowed it down. My goal of beating last year's time didn't look attainable at this point, so I decided to not push it, since I couldn't risk an injury at this point in my season. At the downhill point, where the race goes downhill the whole way, just before mile 2, we started to pick it up, but I could tell we were slower then last year.
On the downhill, I was unable to muster the strength to go further. Whatever reason it was, I was feeling slightly disappointed and was wondering if cracking 10:00 was even going to be possible. I know not to get frustrated with my time in this race being that it's a giant pain in the ass with massive elevation gain...but still...
When T and I crossed the finish line, we did it together chanting U.S.A.! U.S.A.! No one really seemed amused by this, which was sad. I crossed in 30:58, preserving an under 10:00 per mile, but still, it really wasn't a good 5K.
Regardless, if I get the 4th off next year, I'm sure I'll still be doing this race. :-)