12Ks of Christmas 5K

I was not in the mood for this this morning. After two weeks of not running, my foot was hurting last week, and I just didn’t feel like racing today. Nevertheless, after paying the 12K entry fee, I felt committed. I decided to switch to the 5K and just do the best I could. I knew the course was hilly and not PR material, but I hoped all my half marathon training might help me run faster than expected.

At the start line, I was looking around for fast runners and really not seeing many. The thing is, most faster runners run the 12K at this race. That’s definitely the main attraction at this event. We started out with a downhill, and then immediately hit the first uphill. Fine, I was expecting hills, but I tried to stay with the pack. Immediately, I started to feel like I was going too fast. Looking at my splits, I actually ran a fairly even pace through the race, so who knows. The first interminable hill ended, followed by I think some flat and downhill, and then we hit another brutal hill. The first mile was definitely the worst. 7:20 (6:59 GAP), and I was dying and wishing I’d never signed up for this stupid race.

Mile two was flatter. i was getting left behind by the front-runners, and no one was catching up to me. I ended up running most of the race alone. Maybe the second big hill was actually in the second mile? Pace 7:54 (7:32 GAP).

When I finally got to the 2nd mile marker, I started to feel that an end was in sight. I also knew I’d climbed enough hills at that point and not gone down the same amount, so there must be some flat and downhill. And there was – lots of lovely flats and beautiful downhills. Mentally, though, I just wanted it to be over. I tried to hang with a couple youngish teenage boys that went blasting by me, but I struggled to keep up with them on the downhills. Usually I’m a pretty good downhill runner, but apparently not today. Pace: 7;23

Strava says my 5K time was 23:15. Race results say 23:24. Either way, not great, but definitely not terrible. I really want to break 22, but today was definitely not the day for that. Bike ride yesterday afternoon plus sore foot plus margarita at dinner last night plus bad attitude equals slowish running, I guess.

On the plus side, I surprisingly came in first in my age group out of 70 runners, and 5th female out of 500 runners.  The 12K was the main event, and faster runners tend to do that race.  I probably could have run the same pace in the longer race and not placed nearly as well.  Still, it makes me feel better about the race.