Saturday, May 7, 2016

Paw Valley 5 K and Festival benefitting the Lawrence Humane Society

You know me, major sucker for a 5 k that you can run with your dog.  Any and all of the local dog friendly 5ks will have me and stella in attendance.  I found out about this race on Ann's Kansas City Dog Sport's page. I hadn't heard of it previously, but it was only an hour away and again, dog friendly AND kid friendly.  While Stella and I haven't done any speed work since January, we were hoping that we might get some speed out of our legs.  Unfortunately, the heat kind of kept us from achieving that goal, but we still had FUN!
The 5 K was held in Watson park and meandered through the neighborhoods.  My one regret of dog showing was that we never really got out and explored much, so honestly, I had never even been in this part of Lawrence.  I reached out to my Lawrence aussie peeps, and they told me where to park and head over.  We found a nice free parking garage right across from the park that worked wonderfully.  Since I had to do packet pick up that morning, we intended on heading out early, but the little man had to go to the restroom just as we were walking out, and that is something you just can't rush.  We still got there in plenty of time to get my packet and walk around and check out the vendors pre race.  The vendors ranged from dog products to services to beer (which made me very very happy:).
Double bonus, there was a variety of playground equipment right across from the festival grounds and start of the 5K, so andrew had lots to do while I ran and we had places to take pictures:)

This is the course map.  I was a bit shocked at how, well, turny it was, and it was an out and back.  I thought oh well, the PR thought was gone anyway with the heat, so just have fun.  We had a work out before the race.  Yes, you heard me right, there was a gentleman who gave us exercises to warm up with over a bull horn.  I was good till we had to do burpees.  No burpees while stella is attached, sorry.  It was still fun to do the exercises with the crowd, and stella did not attempt to bite me at all, which is what I figured she would do.  I had noticed a lady at the start that I had run behind at the Tails on the Trail event that I did last year.  We started talking (she has the CUTEST little pittie ever), and I jokingly told her that I was going to follow her so I didn't get lost.  She had done the race last year and said it was super well marked, and boy she wasn't wrong.  There were cones down the middle of every road, and barricades at the end of each road, so it really was a no brainer.  If it was cooler, this might be a fun course to push on, as it was mostly all flat.  I don't think there were a ton of runners (275 official),  mostly walkers, but we ran to our best abilities and finished in 26.44.  The first mile was stella pulling like a sled dog, the second mile has us settling down, but then stopping for water for both of us, and then the thirdish mile had us pushing it a bit more.  My watch said 2.91 miles for the total race, so while this would have been a PR time, I am not counting it since my watch was that off.  My watch said I had an overall pace of 9:12 a mile (8:50, 9:18, and 8:30 for the final .91), but the official timing screen said I had an overall pace of 8:35.  Something isn't right, so while I loved seeing 26:44 on the clock, I know something doesn't add up.
Post running, I made sure Stella got plenty of water (The little diva wouldn't drink out of the community water bowls, but instead would ONLY drink out of my cup).  We then walked around, got an ice cold beer from Yankee tank brewing, found a train, got our face painted, and played on the playground. Yes, I was exhausted at the end!
At the booth doing face painting, I had observed her painting a kid to look like a train.  When I told little red, he wanted a train face too, and she did an amazing job.  She was funny and quick, and kept us laughing, as well as the people in line.  We tried face painting a couple of years ago and that didn't go well, but he was a pro today!  I have no clue how he is going to react when we have to wash it off.  Stay tuned :)

Post festival, we headed over to Chicken Slide AKA as Chick Fil A for a little food before hitting the road.  I wasn't too hungry, but I needed something other than beer, and that was the only place I could think of that would have an outdoor area for eating with stella.  I managed to choke down a couple of chicken nuggets, but stella ate most of my lunch, because my tummy was just not into it.  Stella got to pick out a couple of frizzers at PetSmart, since we were in the parking lot of it basically.  Andrew fell asleep the minute we got out of the parking lot so we took the long way home to ensure a nice, long nap.  
Overall this race is a great race to add to your calendar!  We will be back, even though it is the week before the Running With the Cows half.  The course is nice and flat, and doesn't beat you up, plus the neighborhoods were very scenic.  The festival is fun to do post running, and they have tons of baby pools for the dogs to cool off in and shade on the edges of the park for the vendors.  The money raised goes to a GREAT cause, the Lawrence Humane Society.  The weather was a bit hot, which can't be controlled, but the start time can be, and I hope they push it back a little for the sake of the dogs.  Even an hour would be nice.  The race is chip timed and just plain ole FUN!  The dogs were very well behaved, and there were so many cool services and products that you could check out at the festival pre and post race.  I think they had microchipping for 15 bucks!!!!  That is a great deal!  We can't wait till next year!

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