I was so excited for this race! Shannon did it last year and she said they had boom boxes playing Christmas music and people dressed as reindeer. It’s a 5k put on by the local Girls on the Run chapter so it’s full of kids and families.I bough some awesome red and white stripped socks with faux fur tops and a reindeer hat. The hat was actually a baby hat but I couldn’t find any antlers and the hat was in the $1 bin at Target. It was also the first race Shannon, Julie, Ellie and I (aka my trainwreck running club) were all scheduled to run. However, as the week went on, things were looking less and less optimistic. Julie was sick with what she thought was strep throat….and cold rain was coming our way. By Friday night….the chance for rain on Saturday morning was 100%.
True to prediction, it was raining when I woke up. You’d think that would mean a small turn out but those Girls on the Run are troopers!!! The parking lot was packed. I realized I forgot my festive socks and my hat and my Christmas spirit was even more drained. I met up with Ellie and Shannon in the parking lot. Julie was still sick but came out in the rain to cheer us on. The start was in a muddy soccer field that lead into a trail. And both feet and socks got submerged in water (it was a swamp!!) so I was happy when I finally got to the trail. I did this course in August, and what I thought was a paved trail was actually packed sand. And guess what happens to packed sand when it rains for a few hours and then a few hundred people run on it? And then add some hills. I was miserable and I knew I was running too slow…but my heart rate monitor was telling me I was at 95% of my max and I figured that meant that there really was nothing left in me and maintained that killer pace. Once again NO MILE MARKERS. Is this a new trend in races? I understand races not putting up the money to have both a start and a finish mat for a “competitive” race…but why are they skipping on mile markers??
I felt like I was in an Army obstacle course with the steep, muddy hills that made me feel like I was making no progress. There were also bottlenecks in the course with people trying to run around some of the larger mud puddles. considering I was already soaked, I would run right through them but there were so many kids, I was convinced I’d splash some poor 7 year old. Or I’d slip in the mud and fall on my butt. The latter seems more realistic. I didn’t have my Santa socks or my reindeer hat. There was no Christmas music because of the rain. And I was cold, wet, sweaty, hot, and…BAH HUMBUG!!!!! Finally the guys at the water station said they were at 1.7 and it all seemed a little easier knowing I was more than half way. My legs felt heavy…probably because my water logged feet were 5 lbs heavier. I saw Julie looking all warm and cute under umbrella. She yelled my name and took my pic but all I could think was “I want to be warm like her!!” I started to pick up when we got back on the asphalt and picked up to a respectable run to the finish. The clock by the mat wasn’t displaying anything. Results say my time was 30:57. Boo. My goal was as close to 28 as possible…but given how many times I wanted to quit, I guess I’ll take it as a mud run PR.
I love races that serve me junk food afterwards. Chick-fil-A was giving out chicken nuggets!! I got my 3 nuggets and a gatorade and turned around in time to see Shannon cross. We met over by Julie to cheer for Ellie (who took 2nd in her age group and gets a golden reindeer trophy!!). After cheering for Sheryl, another coworker, we nixed any post race activities in favor of hot showers and dry clothes. luckily I thought ahead and wore old shoes…I think they’re still wet. Hoping this bad race means good race next weekend!!