Saturday morning was the annual Christmas City 5 Miler! Living near the Christmas City, I can’t think of a more beautiful town to run a race in during the holiday season. It’s a great local race that I try to get to every year. Most of my friends run it so it’s not only about the fun course but about spending time with good friends. I missed a few over the past few years because of late season marathons, but this year I was in town and decided to sign up. I ran a PR in that distance over the summer at the Belmar 5 Mile (33:07), and that was a pancake flat course. The likelihood of me breaking that PR wasn’t too good because the Christmas City 5 Miler is a pretty hilly course, and I am still building up my mileage from the off season. I had some good short distance races recently, but still didn’t think it would be enough for a PR on that course.
I warmed up before the race with a few friends on the streets of Bethlehem. While my legs felt decent, I felt a little winded at what should be an extremely comfortable pace. Maybe it was just nerves, but I had no idea what to expect from the actual race itself. When the gun went off, I went out with the leaders and knew I’d gone out wayyy too fast when my Garmin beeped at mile one and flashed a 6:10 pace. Five seconds faster than my current 5K PR pace. Whoops…this could be a loooooong five miles. I hung on to a decent pace over the next two miles, but slowed down a little for the remaining two. Partially because I’d gone out too fast (big shocker there), but also because it’s a hillier second half of the course. I’m sure it is common to run a positive split no matter how conservative you start. Around mile 3, I also had a bit of a side sticker and backed off. Though my piraformis is still feeling a bit sore and tight , it did not act up during the race – I was just aware and cautious, especially on the hills.
I ended up finishing the race in 32:16, a 6:27 pace and a PR by 51 seconds! I was something like the 7th female but 1st in my age group. The best part of the day was the company – lots of my friends were present and participating, and everyone ran well and seemed to really be enjoying themselves. Cassie (pictured on the left, who was the first female overall in 30:14 or something) even got me to wear something festive, which is completely unlike me:
And yes, the socks actually stayed up during the race!
Overall, it was a productive week. I had two super fun swim workouts, both around 3,000 meters. Fun distances and fun paces that kept me interested and feeling strong. I’ve really been enjoying getting in the pool and using swimming as a cross training tool. I spent some time in the gym continuing my strength training and core work. Besides the Christmas City 5 Mile race and my nasty hill workout, I logged some low intensity recovery miles throughout the week and nice long run on Sunday. It was 12 miles at a pretty good clip (7:24 pace), which was exciting because we all raced on Saturday and had somewhat tired legs. The rest of the group ran a little further than 12, but I stuck to what my coach gave me. Although I felt like I could run longer, I am just starting to increase my mileage again, raced on Saturday, and want to keep an eye on my piraformis. I still only logged about 37 miles this week, which is relatively low for marathon training but I’m still happily easing my way back into it.
How was your weekend? Have you ever dressed up for a race? Any holiday themed races on your upcoming agendas?