Monday, May 11, 2015

2015 Contraband Days 5 Miler

This past weekend, I ran the Contraband Days 5 Miler which is part 2 of our area’s Triple Crown series. It’s been a few years since I’ve run this race – first my IT Band issues popped up, then I was out of town last year. I was excited to run again because this race draws a lot of our area’s “elites”. It also happens to follow one of my favorite running routes!

What’s Contraband Days, you might ask? Well, our area holds a festival each year, to celebrate the legend of the pirate Jean Lafitte. It’s rumored that him and his “crew” hid out on the waters of the nearby Contraband Bayou and buried treasure in it’s many small islands. Therefore, we hold a festival to celebrate all things pirates! Sound like fun? Yeah, well…I don’t really go to the festival, I just run this race. :)

Contraband Days 5 Miler (15)

What does one wear to a pirate themed race when the humidity is at 100%? Normal running clothes. Arrrghhhh!

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Since I haven’t run this race since 2011, I was excited to do so again. I knew that the addition of a medal for the triple crown series would draw a larger crowd this year, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for said crowd.

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This line was for packets and bibs pickup and I thought it would never end. I definitely didn’t think the race would start on time! I don’t know how they did it, but they got the line down super fast and the race only started about 5 minutes late!

Packet pickup wasn’t offered before this race because there was a mishap with the bibs (they didn’t arrive in time). I can’t even image how the race directors felt (I tried to put myself in their shoes)…I heard they were scrambling to make bibs happen for this race. As it was, my handmade bib was on HP photo paper! Hah!

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Ah well…most of the bibs worked! I say “most” because the ones on cardstock didn’t stay at all with the heat and humidity. I’m sure it’s a lesson learned for everyone (myself included)!

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Kenzie, Melissa, and I!

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Ready to run this thing but first, let’s take a group selfie!

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Even Madame and Mr. Jean Lafitte himself came out to kick off the race!

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What’s a pirate without a cap gun? :) Off we go!

My goal was to PR in this race – my previous time from several years ago was 46 minutes. I knew I could do it, I just had to keep around a 9 minute pace. The humidity was pretty thick, but the clouds overhead kept the sun away (thank goodness)!

My one complaint about this race is the lack of water stations. With a 5 miler in May in Southwest Louisiana, you have to stay hydrated. The first and only water/gatorade stop wasn’t until mile 2.8. It wasn’t a stop we hit twice on the course, either…it was one and only one stop.

As I approached the stop, I heard a guy yelling “Gatorade”. Well, I didn’t want gatorade, I wanted water – so I kept going to the next girl who I heard yell “water”. I said “water” as I approached her and she shuffled the cups around in her hands and I just grabbed a cup from her. As took a sip and began running again, I noticed that I didn’t have water, but I had gatorade. What the heck? That’s when I realized that water was in clear cups and gatorade was in red cups. OK that makes sense to me now, but what the heck?! I also then realized that she was holding both water and gatorade in her hands. I can’t think logically like that when I’m running – my brain is mush when I’m running and I’m only focused on finishing with a certain time. Oh well…again, lesson learned for me. Always pay closer attention. Thankfully it was only a 5 mile race and water was about 2 miles away. This is where my hydration belt would have come into play, but I despise wearing that thing. Sad but true.

Also, pretty much none of the people I was running around stopped for anything at the water stop. I mean, I can do that for 5K’s but nothing longer! I was in awe!

Anyway, the race was great despite the lack of water stops and I was able to keep a decent time.

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This guy juggles during the entire race EVERY year! Now that’s talent!

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There I am! The KT Pro tape didn’t start to come up until right at 4.6 miles (I know cause I checked). That’s progress, y’all!!

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My goal for this race was to finish in the 42 minute time range. Even though my watch says 43:18, the official time released yesterday afternoon was 42:43 (not sure how that happened). Still a PR either way, I’ll take it!

I was also #31 out of 175 to finish this race and I came in 4th in my AG! Pretty proud of myself!

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My awesome BRF Heather came out to cheer me on! So excited to have her there!! :)

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After the race, we grabbed breakfast at our local favorite diner which was delicious as always.

We had a great time despite the few mishaps. I know how difficult it is to put on a race and I’m thankful for a group like Lake Area Runners who puts on so many for our area!

Can’t wait for the third part of the Triple Crown series – 4 miles on the 4th of July!

How was your weekend?
Do you carry water with you during a race?


  1. Congrats on a great race! I never carry water with me since I usually just stop at water stations along the way.

    1. Thanks so much, Stacie!! I don't ever carry water, gets on my last nerve! LOL

  2. You did awesome! Congrats! I ran 4.5 miles yesterday & the humidity was brutal & I ran at 7:00 am. Clearly summer is here!

    1. Thanks, Traci! Isn't it crazy how we completely missed Spring?!

  3. Great job! I can't believe there was only 1 water station. I don't normally carry water with me but I'm going to in October. The 5k I'm doing only has 1 water stop and in Dallas, the weather could be anything.

    1. Yeah...that totally threw me, too. I agree with you - the weather here is exactly the same. It's definitely smart to carry water with you for that one!

  4. Congrats! I typically don't carry water with me. So weird your time was so off from your garmin! Sounds like they were a little under prepared hahaha. I am running a 5k this weekend and its going to be so hot!

    1. Thanks, Heather! I think it was something with their timer machine...oh well. lol Have a fun 5K! :D

  5. 4th in your age and PR that is AWESOME!!!
    It actually sounds like a fun race, that is crazy about the bib thing, I feel for the race directors, but they really should have had those in weeks ago, but I guess things happen:(
    I don't carry water with me, but I hydrate pretty well on a constant basis, so I know this will sound odd, but I am okay with not drinking water up to 10 miles, but definitely fill up on it after in training runs. But in races, ya I do drink water every 2-3 miles.
    Congratulations on your race, and oh that juggler now that would take talent, I would never be that coordinated, LOL

    1. You're right - I'm sure it was a lesson learned for everyone. Thanks so much!! :)

  6. Awesome time, Karen! I would have been miserable in the humidity with not enough hydration! I also hate my fuel belt.

    1. Yes! It was rather miserable for a while. Thanks so much, Lisa! :)


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