When I signed up for the Santa Hustle, I claimed several times it was my last official race of the year. Did you just laugh? Me too. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I will sign up for almost anything if it fits in my schedule. I do not fear race commitment. Racing keeps me motivated.
So when my favorite running store sponsored the Frosty 5 and Misletoe Mile, I signed up for the 5. Why not right? The race was held on Christmas Eve morning and though it prevented me from going to my parent’s in Toledo the night before, there really was no reason not to get a run in before the holiday festivities.
The race started in Hudson at the 3 Palms Pizzeria and 15% of sales went to Gennesaret. A non-profit program that shelters homeless families and feeds those in need. I took my time registering for this race, I knew I would do it but knew it wouldn’t sell out so I didn’t rush. This ended up working out when my running buddy Virginia said she was looking for someone to take her bib. She had registered for the race but is currently on the mend from an injury and hopefully will be running again soon.
So I ran under Virginia’s name. She promised that she wouldn’t take any credit for any PR’s. But I had PR’d so much this year, I really didn’t see another on the books. But hey, she can claim it if I got it!
The race started at 8:00 for the 1 mile runners and 8:30 for the 5 mile participants. 3 Palms Pizzeria was kind enough to let cold runners hang out inside the restaurant until start time. This was good seeing as I dragged my Handsome Friend out for his first ever race spectating experience. If he had to stand in the cold any longer, it might have been his last.
I got my bib from Virginia and she thanked me for running. I thanked her for letting me. It was a win/win, and we headed to the starting line. The start of the race was a little goofy, however. Runners walked down the street from the starting line and then ran toward the timer. I wasn’t really sure when to start my Garmin.
As we took off, my face was freezing. It wasn’t terribly windy or anything and the temps were on average for this time of year, but I still held my hands to my face as we looped around the square in Hudson and out onto the course. For most of the race I ran with running buddy, Serena, and we held strong at about a 10 minute mile.
(Can you find me in this photo?)
We maintained a steady pace for the first 2 miles as we weaved through the neighborhood of Hudson. It didn’t take to long before my face and hands warmed up and I did a good job with my race outfit, perfect for the temperature. The streets were still a little icy which made running a straight line impossible. I crossed back and forth over the road trying to stay on the thawed parts of the street.
In mile 3 I was feeling pretty good and pulled a head a little bringing my pace down from a 10:14 to a 9:59. I knew that the barely-there hill we cruised down in mile 2 would be a pain in mile 4 so I tried to slow myself down, but it didn’t happen. I was on a roll.
When I reached the small up hill climb I stayed oddly strong given the fact that the ice was making my feet slip. I felt like I was stomping more and coming down flat on my foot. But when I tried to push off my toes I felt like my foot was slipping some, almost like my feet were turning but I wasn’t going anywhere. Clearly this feeling, though exhausting, was all in my head as I crushed mile 4 at a 9:40 pace.
I waited for and anticipated the burnout. I was motoring along so a crash was inevitable right? One would think so. As I got closer and closer to the finish line, knowing that warmth, coffee, and my Handsome Friend were waiting for me, I continued to pull forward. No burnout, no crash, no wall. I came in on mile 5 at a 9:30 pace. The best negative split I have ever run.
I ran across the finish line at 49:29 according to my Garmin. A 2 minute PR on my 5 miler. The results page lists my official finish time as 49:37. Same diff if you ask me.
So I got myself, and Virginia, another new 5 miler PR. Kind of like the cherry on top of a great running year.
(That’s me! I’m Virginia!)
This race was really fun and I knew a lot of people running it, thanks to our pals at Vertical Runner. I am not sure if this was an inaugural event or not, but if they host it again, I will run it again. It was small, started on time, had lots of friendly participants and from what I saw the t-shirts were cute as well. Other than the weird start it was an easy course.
I guess now I can say that this was my official last race of 2012. Finally. I don’t have anything else on the calendar, I promise. Now I just have to get my 2013 race schedule published because it’s pretty full already.