Hot Chocolate 5k Recap

Gosh, I can’t think of the last time I actually ran a 5k competitively…

..but today I did. AND GOT A PR – 19:17

I had this race on my calender for a while and though it’s just a local fun run, I thought I would take it seriously because I don’t have a solid 5k PR…and because I am competitive like that.  This past fall, I ran local Thursday night 5ks but I always just jumped into them after a morning workout or with those day-before-rest day tired legs.  My times were always OK and every mile was always a painful challenge.  Lets be honest, who wants to race on a Thursday night after a long day of work.

I didn’t actually train for this 5k, I just kept it in the back of mind and began incorporating a little speed in my daily training.  It wasn’t until the couple of days leading up to the race did I start getting all confused about the 5k training deal.  I wanted to have fresh legs at the start line, but I didn’t want to change up my usual training because realistically, it’s 3 miles.  That’s like mile 10-13 in a half-marathon, and I just kinda lump those 3 together and call them the painful and final push.  So to think of those 3 miles as being the WHOLE race..I figured I didn’t need much rest.  Thankfully, my rest days are Fridays so I took Friday off and Saturday was a nice 5 miler in the rain.

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I don’t know what it was about the run, but I weirdly enjoyed the rain beating on my face.  I wanted to keep going but I kept thinking about fresh legs at the start of the race.

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Nothing like re-fueling with eggs, fruit, peanut butter, and pumpkin seeds.

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Time to talk about the race!  Boy was it chilly, could have used that hot chocolate at the start rather than finish.  

I was a bit panicky about the whole getting to the start line, parking, what to wear situation. All I knew was that the race was BIG and the town is relatively small and tight with parking on a normal day so race day must be crazy.  I wasn’t meeting my team until 9:15 (race at 10) but of course, my race day nerves had me there at 8:15.  And of course, parking wasn’t an issue whatsoever and I ended up being a 4 minute walk to the start line. When will I learn that I ALWAYS make it to the start line. I do not need to stress.

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An early departure time called for an early breakfast so I made sure to get enough food in me to hold me over for 2 hours before the race.  Cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread, NuttZo and 1/2 banana did the trick!

As for my festive Christmas outfit….My team is known for having outrageous outfits so I felt compelled to wear something “fun”.  But the competitive side of me was saying “you can’t wear anything that will slow you down”… I know, so boring. SO  I decided that I would find an ugly sweater to wear over my race gear and then toss it right before the start.

Stay warm for the warm-up AND look festive.  BINGO.  

But of course, I waited until race morning to act on that plan. I called my wonderful mother race morning and asked if I could borrow one of her ugly sweaters…probably not the nicest phone call I have made, oops.  Thankfully she had a pretty great snowflake turtleneck.  I rolled the turtleneck all the way up so it basically covered everything up to my eyes.  It was wonderful and pretty darn ugly-looking. Gosh, I wish I took a picture.

After a casual stretch session in Dunkin Donuts, I met up with my team and set out for a windy warm-up run.  It was pretty cold and I was already ready to call it a day.  Not the attitude to have as you are walking to the start line. But before I could dwell any longer, the gun went off.  I had to look down to make sure my legs were moving because they got a little numb on me.  Great, They’re moving.  Good Start.

And then a giant gust of wind blew my headphones out of my ears so I quickly realized that the music thing just wasn’t gunna happen. Probably a good thing, I am usually the only one at the front of the start line with headphones.  Meb or Kara…can you wear headphones in just ONE race to make me feel like it is possible to be a top runner and still listen to music!?!

Mile 1 came up pretty fast, kinda like the wind on my face.  It was weird to think that after Mile 1 I only had 2 more miles to go.  I’m telling you!…running half marathons and then moving to a 5k is extremely awkward.  After mile 1, it was a pretty tough fight against the wind.  I started complaining in my head (kind of like I am now)  and then told myself “everyone is in this wind, not just you, stop being a baby”.  Isn’t it funny that our thoughts literally fight each other?? Or maybe I am just crazy…ha ha.  Once I reached mile 2, I just hit the ground running.  There was a nice hill that my cold legs did not like that very but they tackled it and from there it was that exciting, tired fight to the finish line.  The third place female was in sight but I just knew it wasn’t happening, and that is okay.  I will proudly take 4th female and a 19:17 finish.

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…And while others grabbed water, my frozen hands proudly grabbed a nice cup of hot chocolate..  Or was it a cup of marshmallows with a splash of hot chocolate?? 😉 Either way.  It was great.

The race was extremely well run and my team did amazing.  Not just on the course but with fundraising. We raised $6,810 for Safe Passage.  Safe passage helps women and children who are victims of domestic violence take steps toward a brighter future.

It was a great day with a great team for a great cause 🙂

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