|Team Will Run for Ice Cream|
L-R: Kadie’s daughter, Kadie, Tiffany, Karla, Kim, Mel, Zoe, me and Alma!
(Not pictured: Jamie and Sybil)
Do you know how hard it was for me not to hit the bottle of Evan Williams eggnog the night before my race?
So hard. We’ve got so much going on with puppies and a cranky kiddo and work and more work and shopping, etc. I just want to sit down with an adult beverage of the holiday season, okay? I can’t believe how much I’ve fallen behind even though I got started totally early this year.
Needless to say, the Santa Runs Tacoma 5k has not been on the top of my priority list. Still, I wanted to do well, so I resisted the ‘nog and drank water instead.
The morning of the race, I went downstairs to clean up puppy poop. This is the new morning routine around here. Then, I came back upstairs to get dressed. On the way up, I saw out the window that my car was frozen over. Sweet. I factored in 10 minutes of car-heating and ice-scraping.
As I got dressed, I shivered, thinking about outside. But once in my car, it was not too bad (I also had a jacket on). I drove to Zoe’s to pick her and Karla up, and we were on our way. It was clear with sunbreaks as we drove the 30 minutes to Tacoma, but once we got there, we couldn’t see a thing because the city was hidden in a thick, misty fog.
We got a little lost (yes, I’ve been to this start line four times now and still got lost), but found the parking area ahead of schedule and managed to find a very good parking spot. I like this race because it is big enough, but small enough. Know what I mean?
We picked up packets, froze, got ready (Zoe put bells on her shoes), found our friends, froze, took pictures and even sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” for a video On the Run Events
put together for the troops in Afghanistan. Troops there will run a “satellite” Santa Runs 5k on Christmas. (More about the video at the end of this post.)
Tiffany’s husband took many of our photos before and during the race. (Thank you!) Mostly, with us, we always just stand around being silly. It’s a great release. As we were doing just that, a woman came up to our group and asked, “Are you guys some kind of running club or are you just supercute?”
“We’re just supercute,” I told her. She laughed and said she thought Kim was our coach because we all had white shirts on and Kim was in black. Kim has been anti-white shirt since You Go Girl
when it rained. Oops.
I think we looked great in our candy cane theme. We entered the costume contest, but our competition was pretty steep. One thing being in the contest did for us: it got us close to the start line. No maneuvering for us. There were about 1,700 runners in the 5 and 10k combined.
|Photo taken by the lovely Karla.|
As we waited for the race start, I ran in place. I was so cold, as you can see below where I photobombed Zoe by wiping my nose at just the right time. Socks-turned-arm-warmers-turned-Kleenex.
Mel tried to warm Zoe up in her XXL throw-away.
I ran in place to try to warm up.
I don’t usually get running my fastest till about Mile 3. It really takes me that long to hit my stride, so if I really want to do well, I feel like I need to run a couple slow miles before my race. Is this nuts?
Warming up by running in place helped a little, but not much. Finally, we were counting down and then we were off. My strategy that I came up with a couple days prior to the race was to try to hang with Mel and Kim. They were going for a sub-23. I knew I probably could not get a sub-23, but I thought if I was having a really good day, maybe a sub-24. But, realistically, I knew a sub-25 was more like it. And, really, I just wanted to beat my 5k PR, which I got at this race in 2010: 27:27.
I could not hang with Kim and Mel. I was trying, but by about a half mile in, I knew I could not. I slowed a little, but still pushed myself. I knew Zoe was behind me and I wanted to keep it that way.
We all have a little friendly competition going on. We push ourselves and we push each other, and we cheer for each other, too. We want our buddies to do well, but we also want to beat them. Or, maybe this is just me.
Anyway, I was dying. And my feet were blocks of ice. It was a weird feeling when they hit the ground — I could feel them, but couldn’t. And my pinky toes tingled on each step. The most difficult thing was catching my breath. I felt winded immediately and it didn’t go away.
Mile 1: 7:38. It actually felt like it went by pretty quick. At 1.5, I was like I’m basically half done. Thank goodness.
Mile 2: 7:51. Just after I hit Mile 2, I came up on a youngish girl — a
freshman in high school maybe. She said, “Will you run with me? I haven’t run in a while and I just don’t want to walk.” I pulled my music out of my ear and nodded. (I was sort of dying still, so I couldn’t really talk.) Inside, I was conflicted. I was trying for a PR, but I also wanted to help her out. We ran for a minute and then I heard it (probably since I had my music out).
I knew she was closing in. That darn Zoe. Next thing I knew, she was next to me being encouraging. I told the young girl that I was trying to keep up with her (Zoe) as Zoe zoomed ahead. Darn it! I looked at my watch — about an 8-minute pace. I stayed with the young girl. “Just under a mile left,” I said through huffs and puffs.
We started up a slight hill that turns into a big hill that crests at about a quarter-mile from the finish line. As soon as we started up that little incline, I felt myself slipping back and the young girl surged on ahead.
Mile 3: 8:24 (proof I started too fast)
I just focused on the downhill finish. As I trudged up the hill, my breathing STILL erratic, Jamie passed me. Jamie had been my pacer, sort of, during my 1:52 half on this course in September (You Go Girl). I’d kept her in my view the entire race. I wasn’t close to her, but close enough to see her at that race.
|Me and Jamie after the race.|
Finally, on Saturday, I was at the top and heading down toward the finish line. I didn’t have much of a kick. I just tried to keep going, tried to keep my turn-over as fast as I could. I ran through the chute smiling because I thought there may be a photographer and I was sooo happy to be done.
|I was right! Tiffany’s husband strikes again. Thanks for the photo!|
I got close to the finish and saw Zoe waiting by the tag removal people. She hugged me or high-fived me when I got there — I don’t remember because I was pretty woozy. I never did “catch” my breath. I did forget to stop my watch for about 25 seconds, which is annoying, but it also means that I pushed myself really hard. But I didn’t know how I’d done.
After we got our Santa Runs mugs (so excited — I love the mug from last year, too!), we went to cheer for other runners. It was really exciting to see Karla finish her first 5k. She’s run marathons, but never a 5k!
Afterward, we went to check our times.
I got a 24:42, which is a 7:58 pace. Not bad, I thought. A PR! And I got 6th in my age group (30-34).
Actually, Team Will Run for Ice Cream represented well in the 30-34 top 10 placings: Mel was 3rd, Jamie was 5th, I was 6th and Tiffany was 8th. We represented in the other age groups, too. Zoe got 6th in her AG, Carla (not on our team, but a running buddy), got 6th in her AG. Kim got 1st in her AG, and Alma and her aunt both got 3rd in their age groups!
I can’t wait to run this race again in 2012! We already have our costumes planned.
|I’m not sure what we’re doing here: Kim, me, Mel and Karla.|
Highlights of this year’s race:
-Seeing all the costumes.
-Being goofy with my friends.
-Meeting new Women Runner of King County member Sybil (who ran her first 10k!)
-Placing 6th in my AG — that’s the highest I’ve ever placed as an adult!
-Singing for the troops — I got teary-eyed afterward!
Speaking of, On the Run Events made a video of the race with greetings to the troops. You can see it HERE or below.
It’s sort of long, so here are the times you can see people you might know:
-At the beginning: Team Will Run for Ice Cream hanging out and taking photos behind the “Rockette Reindeer” (I just made up that name)
-0:57 and about 2:43 – you can see a few red sparkly skirts starting the race
-4:25 Mel at the turn-around
-5:41 Karla finishing her first 5k!
-9:56ish Us singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and thanking the troops (watch with the volume off — just kidding!)
|Alma, Kadie and Al, Tiffany, me, Karla, Zoe, Mel and Kim singing.|
Bloggers mentioned in this post and their blogs:
Zoe – Run, Zoe, Run
Karla – Running on Eagles Wings
Mel – Tall Mom on the Run
Alma – The Average Woman’s Running Blog
Kim – (Just) Trying is for Little Girls
Tiffany – Musings of a Runner Girl
Kadie – There She Runs
Carla – Foil-Wrapped Runner
Sybil – Musings of a Milk Maker
Jamie – Nurse Runner
|We thought we saw Santa!|