Yes, I ran the Texas Bud Heatwave again this year on July 4, 2019. The out-and-back course ended up being even more awesome this year, as I got to watch Melissa speed through the 5K to win first female finisher. I signed up for the 5-miler again, because I’m a masochist like that.
Now, on to the experience…
The race is all about the beer: it’s held at a distributor, and there’s free beer at the finish. The 2019 Texas Bud Heatwave shirts prominently displayed the Budweiser logo; fortunately, Running Alliance Sport lets you choose a “no shirt” option, which is then converted into points you can use to get discounts on other events they hold. I’m so down with that. I don’t drink, and I’d feel ridiculous wearing a shirt with a big beer logo on it.
But I do eat red meat, so I was happy to rep the Texas Beef Team. It was hot, so I chose to wear a sports bra and my trusty Lululemon speed shorts for the race, plus my Brooks Glycerins and my Flipbelt. Also, ever since I first tested out Aftershokz, they’ve become my go-to running headphones.
I woke up bright and early (well, dark and early!) to pick up my friend from CrossFit, Joey, whom I had talked into doing the race. (You can do the 5K! There’s free beer at the finish!) We were both kind of sleepy, but we made it to Mt. Beliveau with enough time to pick up our packets for the 2019 Texas Bud Heatwave and make a quick pit stop. There wasn’t a lot of time to warm up, but I managed, then fist-bumped Joey and started running once I crossed the start line.
As I’ve written in the past, the Texas Bud Heatwave is an out-and-back course. It’s not particularly scenic, but it is well-run, like all Running Alliance Sport races are. There were water and Gatorade stops about every mile and a half, the course was clearly marked, and there were even cold towel stops.
I want to say it was about halfway through the second mile when I saw Melissa racing in the opposite direction; she had signed up for the 5K and was just on fire. She won first in her age group.
Me? I’ve struggled with running lately, so my only goal for the 2019 Texas Bud Heatwave was to finish with a sub-10 minute mile. I definitely went too fast out of the gate, but I slowed down. I wanted to just enjoy the run and finish strong. I stopped at the water stops (even grabbing a Gatorade once) and definitely grabbed some cold towels. Even though it was cloudy while I was running, we all know what Houston weather is (hot and humid). My splits were definitely not consistent, but like I said, my goal was to do my best and finish.
As soon as I saw the finish line, I bolted. Like, I sped up and went for it, because it was almost over. Somehow the race photographer managed to capture an image of me smiling as I crossed. I smile because I’m happy to finish and happy to be running again.
My official time was 44:14.
That’s just a few seconds slower than last year. Given how much I’ve struggled, this time for the 2019 Texas Bud Heatwave is huge. The lesson for me is that I just need to stick with it: keep running, keep building endurance this summer. Speed will come soon enough.