MDRA Mississippi 10-Miler Birthday Run – #RaceRecap

Yes! My 50th birthday! I’ve been waiting…er…um…50 years for this! Ha ha! Actually, up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for my birthday. But then I had this need to run. What better way to celebrate my birthday than to go for a run?

I scoured the internet, searching for races on May 29th and as luck would have it, an MDRA event appeared! And it just so happens that I’m a sustaining member of the MDRA. So, for me, this race was free. Sounds like the perfect birthday present!

A few days before the race, I had the idea to ask if I could set up and sell Charmed Running running charms at the event, and to my glee, they said yes. But, since I was planning to run, my husband would have to take charge of the table. He was quite eager to help so that I could run. But then again, it was my birthday. It was the least he could do.
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This would also be the first MDRA event where I could finally wear my MDRA singlet that I purchased at the last event! It is the little things that excite us runners, isn’t it?

We decided on a 6:00 am departure, so I was up and moving at 5:00 am. So much for sleeping in. I was super organized and just had to pack up the car, make my coffee, and remember to bring a snack with me just in case, since I don’t eat the sugar laden foods offered after the event.

We arrived at 6:45 am as that is when registration for the race began. The MDRA was just setting up as well. We unpacked, my husband parked the car, and we proceeded to set up the table. Well, actually, I began to set up the table myself while my husband mulled around and played on his iPhone. I finally had to ask him for a little help.

“Oh, yeah…sure. What can I do?”

“Um, help me unpack the charms?”

Seemed reasonable enough.

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He did, and runners began trickling in. It turned out to be a rather nice morning, so a few were registering to run right then. It was a paperless registration, so it went off without a hitch. Just a few laptops and some simply numbered bibs. I had already been pre-registered, so I picked mine up before the pack arrived. The MDRA does provide post race snacks, but typically there aren’t any shirts or medals. You can purchase them separately, if you wish, and I decided that perhaps I should get myself a Mississippi 10-Miler tee-shirt. I mean, it was my 50th birthday after all.

We had some folks approach the table, and had a few sales as well before the race. Then, I left my husband behind so that I could go run my event.

We had to walk a little bit to the start line. And as always, the MDRA is all about serious runners. I mean, serious. I knew that there was little chance of me getting an age group award, even though it was my first run in the new 50-59 age group. I spied the woman who whooped me at the 1-miler earlier in the year. I didn’t have a chance.

Pre Race #Selfie

Pre Race #Selfie

I didn’t expect this run to be as scenic as it was, especially running through the paved paths of Crosby Regional Park, and then running the shoreline of the Mississippi for a bit before we headed up to the main stretch of road that exits the park. The path continues on, but it just isn’t in the confines of the park.

There were a few fans on the route, mainly family members of those running, and the MDRA volunteers who were stationed at the water stops and placed along the route to direct the runners. There was a water stop at around mile 2, and mile 5, and because it was an out and back run, we passed those two stops a second time.

The run was flat, for the most part, except when we ascended out of the park to the main road, and then again, over a few overpasses. After the turnaround, we got a little taste of the downhill part of the course as we descended back into the park.

This was one of those runs where I kicked it into gear halfway. Mile 5 is when I knew I was burning ketones. So, I turned it up a notch after the turnaround, and after I refueled with some Energybits and Sportslegs.

I ran alone for much of this section, with the exception of those I passed going in the opposite direction to the turnaround. Near mile 7, I came upon a gentleman who, as I passed, commented “Nice kick! You MDRA runners are way too good.”

Hey! I have a kick. Hey! I’m an MDRA runner. Hey! It’s my 50th birthday!

Couldn’t ask for a better morning. It was a great morning for a run. And it was my birthday.

Descending back into the park, I passed a few more runners, and tried to maintain a decent pace while keeping my heart rate in check. I also tried to smile for the photographers. There were two there, that I counted, and somehow they ended up arriving at the checkpoints before I did. So, I did get a few good photos taken.

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In retrospect, looking back at the pictures, I looked tense. Wish I knew why. I didn’t feel tense. Maybe my shoulders and neck are just getting too bulky from the P90X workouts? Who knows. But I resolved that after seeing these photos, I’d work on relaxing more from the waist up.

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I was far from a 10-mile PR as I crossed the finish, but I didn’t care. Honestly, I was just happy to run this day. After all, I love to run. And it was my birthday. There was nothing I’d rather be doing.

Post Race #Selfie

Post Race #Selfie

I got some post race “carbbage” for my husband and returned to the Charmed Running table. Soon after, there was a small award ceremony. Awards were handed out for the 1st placers in each age group. And no, I wasn’t one of them. I did finish 3rd in the 50-59 age group, however, and that surprised me. I was more than happy with that in this crowd of runners. I mean…it is the MDRA. And they are serious.

We sold a few more charms before packing up. We met a wonderful couple, the woman of which knew me as Neon Is My Color, and had commented that she read my Boston Marathon Race Recap. She ran it, too! So, we had a bit to converse about. The man she was with suggested I make Mojito running charms. He said he’d do anything for a Mojito. My husband agreed. These two had something in common! (There are now Mojito charms in the store, by the way).

Soon, MDRA began packing up, and we did too. I thanked them again for allowing me to come and sell my wares.

We left for home.

But first we stopped at Walmart for some Sugar Free Ice Cream so I could indulge that night.

Post Race Treat

Post Race Treat

I treated myself to my favorite post race meal, Kishka and eggs (Kishka is Polish blood sausage, for those of you who just have to know), even though I had to make it for myself…and everyone else ended up wanting some, too. Then, I pretty much hung out for the rest of the day, on the phone with my family accepting birthday wishes, until we headed out for an early dinner at a lakeside restaurant. After, we went home to cards and ice cream.

It really was a wonderful day.

Me and my girls on my birthday! Truly, my favorite part of my first 50 years.

 

50? Pffffffft.

I don’t feel a day over 49.

Have you run races on your birthday? Which is the most memorable?

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