Running on gluten-free carbs…

Bunny Hop 5K – Westerville, OH (April 7, 2012)

Crossing the finish line at the Bunny Hop 5K - Hoff Woods Park, Westerville, Ohio

Crossing the finish line at the Bunny Hop 5K - Hoff Woods Park, Westerville, Ohio

Race: Bunny Hop 5K

Place: Hoff Woods Park, Westerville, OH

Date: April 7, 2012

Time: 25:24

Cheer up sleepy Jean…Oh what can it mean?

Welcome to my tribute race to the late, great Davy Jones from The Monkees.  I know what you’re thinking…you’re probably wondering why I dedicated an Easter race to a member of the band The Monkees.  Well, there is no method to my madness this time.  The answer is simple…I wanted to.

Nothing bummed me out more than coming out of my lunch meeting at my office on February 29 and finding out about the passing of Davy Jones.  You see, I was one of those people who never stopped listening to The Monkees.  I owned the entire series on VHS…later DVD.  I have all the CDs.  I’ve seen The Monkees in concert twice.  I earned the nickname “Monkeegirl” in high school.  So, yeah, I was in a deep funk when I heard about Davy Jones.  I wasn’t prepared.  And it still saddens me.

So…an idea came to mind to dedicate a race to him.  My next race where this was a viable option (aka: not part of a racing series), was the Bunny Hop 5K in Westerville, OH.  Why was this a good choice?  Well, for one thing I’d be with two friends (my roommate and my awesome friend Jenn) who were also fans of The Monkees.  And…because it was a good, little race so nothing would really detract from the meaning of the tribute (despite the presence of the Easter Bunny).

With the idea now in my head, I signed up for the race and got my accessories ready.  What accessories, you might ask.  Well, my Bondi Band read “Daydream Believer” across it and I (and my cheering section) wore sashes that said “Homecoming Queen” on them.  And if you have never heard the lyrics for The Monkees song Daydream Believer, you have either been hiding under a rock or need to get more cultured in music.  The chorus is:

“Cheer up sleepy Jean…oh, what can it mean…to a daydream believer and a homecoming queen…”

Get it?  Daydream Believer.  Homecoming Queen.  Brilliant.

So, after work on Friday, my roommate and I hopped into the car and drove from Indiana to Columbus, Ohio, to hang out for the weekend with the amazing Jenn.  It was a long drive and we got there in enough time to eat Pink Salad (it’s delicious!), make signs for the following morning, talk, and hit the sack.

Morning came way, way, way too soon.  I was still a zombie when the alarm went off.  But, I got out of bed, and started to get dressed for the race.  Thankfully before leaving Indiana the day before I went back to my apartment on my lunch break to grab warmer clothes to run in.  It was freezing that morning and I had originally packed my running skirt and a short sleeve tech shirt.  No good on a morning in the very low 30s when frost is on the ground.  My pants and running jacket made the journey with me.  It had been awhile since I had to break out the jacket.  Then again, Columbus seems to know when I’m coming to visit and gets very cold just to tick me off (true facts!).

So, dressed and with a Blueberry Muffin LäraBar in hand, my friends and I headed out to scrape some frost off the car windows and head to the park for packet pickup.

The tribute sign to Davy Jones I wore on my back during the race

The tribute sign to Davy Jones I wore on my back during the race

It was an easy drive in, despite the need to turn around and grab a forgotten cup for the coffee that would follow the race.  Once at the park, we found a good place to park and I went and grabbed my packet.  Inside was a gourmet cookie (I gave it to Jenn as I can’t eat it with my gluten intolerance), a water bottle, bunny ears, my shirt, and my race bib (no chip timing!).  I got my sash pinned on and my number too.  And then I got a sign pinned to me that indicated who I was dedicating the race to.  Then the three of us retreated to the car for a little while to warm up.  I hate the cold.  With about 20 minutes to go before the race, we finally crawled out of the warm sanctuary and I set to stretching a bit before we were directed toward the starting line.

The starting line was over in another parking lot.  It was just a short little walk across a path.  There was a chalk line drawn across the pavement and a yellow flag was set up to mark the start.  Awesome.  I stretched a little more, spotted the cameo appearance by the Easter Bunny (it was, after all, the Bunny Hop 5K the day before Easter Sunday), and listened to the announcements.  Our lead vehicle was a guy on a “pink Easter bike.”  I don’t know what it is about me and park runs and guys on bikes.  This is the second one.  He was going to guide us on the path.  So, after the announcements and a warm up of bunny hopping (for real), I readied my iPod, my GPS watch, and soon, we were off.

Apparently the head of the pack was taking the Bunny Hop 5K pretty seriously because my roommate later told me that the announcer said, “Guys!  It’s only a fundraiser!”  But some runner types are so serious about every race.  And that’s okay.

So, the run was a good one.  We wound our way out of the park and down through some residential neighborhoods.  It was a relatively flat terrain, with only small inclines.  I was really doing my best to keep my usual 5K pace, but I was having some trouble with my Achilles tendon.  It was pulled earlier in the week and I’d been doing my best to baby it in preparation for this race, and the upcoming half marathon in a month.  So, I started off a bit slower and worked my way up to pace.

The run was fun.  At the point where we turned around, the guys directing us saw me coming and said, “Daydream believer and a homecoming queen.  AWESOME!”  I pumped my fist in the air and smiled.  YES!!  They got it without seeing the tribute sign attached to my back.

I knew I was making pretty decent time, mostly in part to my GPS watch.  LOVE that thing.  It really does help me keep on pace and push when I need to.  I didn’t push too hard though, not with the Achilles tendon screaming at me.  So, I just sort of stayed at my pace, and wound my way back through the neighborhood to the park.  We were directed into the last turn and there was the finish line.  The big inflatable arch was really hard to  miss.

As there was no chip timing for this race, when runners crossed the finish line, we were handed a card.  All we needed to do was put our name on it, and they would fill out the rest with our time.  Oh, and for the first 50 men and the first 50 females to cross the finish…we also got medals.  Awesome.

It was a fun race.  But I was cold, in need of my Caribou Coffee, and ready to get some actual food in my belly.  As Caribou Coffee has nothing for food that is gluten-free, I brought some gluten-free bread and peanut butter with me, and built a sandwich using pieces of overly-ripe banana on one slice and slices of apple on the other.  YUM!

So, the official results are that I finished in 25:24 (that sub-25 minute 5K still eludes me!).  On the official results page, my entry is out of order, so I’m adjusting the results to show my proper placement (for the record, they have me higher than I really am).  So, with that being said, overall I finished 24/154 finishers and was 9/83 female runners.  Not too bad.  Not bad at all.

This race was special.  I didn’t set a new record.  I didn’t run to my full potential.  But I had a good time.  And I found it to be a fitting and perfect tribute to a musical icon who I admired throughout my life.  And that’s what mattered to me that day.  Having friends at the finish line is awesome.  Having friends at the finish line holding signs with lyrics to Daydream Believer on them…is priceless.  My friends rule.

Davy Jones…I hope you appreciated the tribute.  Rest in peace.  You’re free.

Cathy, me, and Jenn with our tribute sashes and signs to Davy Jones for the Bunny Hop 5K

Cathy, me, and Jenn with our tribute sashes and signs to Davy Jones for the Bunny Hop 5K


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