running

A Texas Style 5k

The best way for me to guarantee a cold, rainy day this season is to enter a 5k. And it worked again on Saturday, March 2.

The temperature was just above freezing as I drove to the Tarleton State University farm for the Farm to Fork 5k. I got there an hour early so I’d have enough time to pick up my packet and warm up. But, when I stepped out into the drizzle to run a few strides, I decided that was a bad idea, went back in, and grabbed a cup of coffee.

This was a trail run, with only the first quarter-mile on pavement. Had I warmed up, I’d have used the pavement to get ahead on my time, but as it was I held back. By the time we turned off the street and through a gate leading to the pastures and woods, the two leaders were beyond catching. But between them and me was a father daughter pair. The dad looked to be in my age group, so I planned to catch them.

I never race in a jacket, but the cold undid all my aspirations and I started with one on. That was a good move–for the first half mile, anyway. By the time I reached the water station at the half-way point, I unpinned my number and left the hoodie with the volunteers. Number in hand (I didn’t take the time to pin it back), I resumed my chase of daddy daughter.

At this point, we were running in a plowed field full of weeds. There was no trail, so the running was slow and miserable. I decided then that a wet 5k on a farm is not the best idea I’ve had.

In the next pasture a group of about twenty black heifers ran with me from one gate to the next. I must still look enough like a cowboy that they thought I was going to feed them.

I never shortened the distance between the two in front of me, but a young lady was close enough behind that I could hear her, so I still ran my hardest.

Once I finished, caught my breath, and thawed the frozen breath off my beard, I congratulated the runners who beat me and was happy to learn that the dad I failed to catch was not entered but only ran to pace his daughter. He was also, by the way, in an older age group.

We shivered in the drizzle as we cheered on the other finishers. After the awards, my friend who’d driven from Dallas and I went to Hard 8 barbeque where we ate a few pounds of brisket, chicken, and sausage for a late breakfast.

I always think of these miserable races as a way to not only improve my fitness, but also my toughness. We do lead soft lives these days, and it’s good to be physically uncomfortable. But I’ll not enter another until late spring when the sun is out and the birds are chirping.

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.

Discussion

19 thoughts on “A Texas Style 5k

  1. Running alongside 20 heifers must have been a thrill. With your rodeo experience, you should have hopped on the back of one and taken a rest. I kind of liked the suspense you weaved through this running tale, and was hoping you’d catch the old man and his daughter. But, you can’t win ’em all.

    Posted by Tippy Gnu | March 16, 2019, 10:25 am
    • Thank you. Yes, it’s anti-climatic, as life sometimes is. I did win the 40-49 age group, which is always nice. It’s hard to compete with the college kids these days. As for riding the heifers, running would be more restful!

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 16, 2019, 11:09 am
  2. I love races when they’re done. But many times I regret signing up the morning of the race, especially when the weather is cold, rainy, and windy. I always sign up with a friend so I can’t back out at the last minute. Congrats on your race.

    Posted by Snowbird In Training | March 16, 2019, 11:17 am
    • Thank you! I regret signing up when I first wake up in the morning because I hate leaving the house, but then I always end up having fun. Yes, the cold and rain makes it no fun at all.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 16, 2019, 11:21 am
  3. Well done! I haven’t done a trail run before, but I am planning on doing a 21km forest run later this year.

    Posted by TheCovertAtheist | March 16, 2019, 4:08 pm
    • Oh, wow, that would be fun. Man, I think you and I would be buds if we lived closer! Good luck on your training.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 17, 2019, 8:23 am
      • Yeah we seem to have quite a bit in common haha. Thanks. I only just started training last week. I only ran about 3km and was sore and out of breath – I have a lot of work to do now haha.

        Posted by TheCovertAtheist | March 17, 2019, 3:44 pm
  4. Good job. I had to bail on a race that weekend in Oklahoma. 9 degrees was a bit too cold for me to run a trail race. I am glad you did not sign up for a race today. We had perfect trail race weather. 🙂

    Posted by bigguyhiking | March 16, 2019, 8:11 pm
    • Ha! Thanks. I wanted to run somewhere this weekend, but didn’t. I just went on a nice 6 mile run here with my little boy tagging along on his bike. It was perfect.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | March 17, 2019, 8:22 am
  5. So you’re a speedy guy ! Congrats on your age group win!

    Posted by pkadams | March 16, 2019, 10:34 pm
  6. I suppose people who are into fitness are getting fitter and people who lead a sedentary life are getting more unfit. Do visit my website insightful.co.in and give your views.

    Posted by sandomina | March 17, 2019, 2:19 am
  7. Very intereating post can really understand🤗🧘‍♀️

    Posted by ilonapulianauskaite | March 17, 2019, 2:25 am
  8. You could start a new workout regime…. running with heifers. Hell, they have yoga with goats… why not?

    Posted by rivergirl1211 | March 19, 2019, 7:47 am

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