Two years ago, I had signed up to run the Beneeezy Purple Monkey Fun Run 10K, but Hurricane Harvey had other plans. I decided this year, I’d do it. It’s a small, local race, and it funds scholarships for Alvin High School students. Also, if you place in your age group, you get a cute little purple monkey as an award. I figured I had a chance of placing in a race that small. There’s also a 5K option and a kids’ K. I opted for the 10K because I haven’t run one in a while.
I almost didn’t make it to the Beneeezy Purple Monkey Fun Run! I forgot to set my alarm, so I scrambled out of bed, threw on my clothes, and grabbed my bag and a Clif Bar (Peanut Toffee Buzz). But there was almost no traffic, and I was able to pick up my bib in plenty of time. The weather was already in the 80s and super-humid, to the point where if you were just standing outside, you were coated in sweat. I immediately regretted my decision to run a 10K.
Since I had plenty of time, I drank some water and then did a slow, three-quarter mile jog to warm up, followed by some stretching. Both my knees started protesting, and I actually felt very nervous about the run. I promised myself that I’d listen to my knees and take it easy.
Running for the Purple Monkey
At go time, I just went with it. The Beneeezy Purple Monkey Fun Run course is one loop for the 5K and two loops for the 10K around some of Alvin’s residential streets. It’s not hard to stay on course, and there was plenty of course support in the form of junior ROTC members and police officers. Also, the race organizers had thoughtfully placed water stops at every mile. I ended up dumping water on my head a lot during this race.
The course itself for the Beneeezy Purple Monkey Fun Run is flat. That’s a good thing. The bad thing is that, around 1.5 miles in, the course went right into the angry rising sun. I could feel myself baking in the sauna that is Houston weather. By the time I got to the second loop, my pace had slowed considerably.
Yes, I had a lot working against me on Saturday: heat and humidity that were off the charts and some really angry knees. My goal was to finish. After I passed mile 6, I floored it, finishing in just under an hour, which was disappointing for me. It was my absolute worst 10K time ever.
Why Small Local Races Are Good for the Ego
But surprisingly, I also placed second in my age group for the Beneeezy Purple Monkey Fun Run 10K. Again, it was a small local race, so there weren’t a lot of people. I think there were five total in my age group. So it was kind of a bittersweet finish. I stuck around to get my purple monkey, because I had earned that little guy!
As a result of the Beneeezy Purple Monkey Fun Run, I’m now rethinking my goals and my training plan. I’ve already signed up for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in January. I don’t know if I’ll be able to PR, or even get a sub-2 hour time. Right now, that doesn’t seem quite as important as figuring out what’s going on with my knees (likely a lack of mobility in my hips and ankles and some fascia that needs some work).
In any event, I never regret running a race, and this was no exception. If anything, it gave me a better idea of what I need to do to hit my goals.
Have you run a race where you felt disappointed with the results? Tell me in the comments.