I knew I couldn't post a new personal best today, it just wasn't within my reach. I've been complacent since Ironman Wisconsin and put on some well-earned lbs ... thank you, beer and peanut butter. Nonetheless, I was excited to get up early today and drive out to Lockport to meet Jenny and Cathie for a little holiday cheer-building run. I registered on-site without any issues and picked up my shirt before waiting inside. I got stretched out by a very nice physical therapist and was feeling as great as I was going to.
We went out to the Prairie Bluff Golf Course for the start of the Lockport Jingle Bell 5k, which started a little late. It also began on grass, eventually traversing gravel and blacktop as well. I started up front to be optimistic, but rapidly watched people outpace me in the first mile.
I realized my Garmin was on bike mode about 1.4 miles in after wondering why this damn mile felt so long. Whoops. I have no idea my splits or pacing, other than the fact that the rolling hills felt quite voluminous under my heavy feet. Last night, I ran five miles on the treadmill at an 8:19 pace, the effects of which I felt soon enough into this race.
Either way, as the we began our last mile, the crowd really thinned out and I just tried to stay in front of the very few people I managed to pick off. When I entered the finish chute, my tummy was rumbling and I knew this was the best I could muster.
I finished in 25:11, my Garmin reading 3.06 miles. However, consumer GPS units are not infallible, so I'm sure it was as indicated since this was a USAT certified course and the race was conducted under CARA standards. Once back in the clubhouse, I got a very generous massage from the on-site support crew, then a chili lunch complete with cookies. They offered both regular and vegetarian chili, which was awesome, along with all the fixings. I had to purchase a coffee because I need caffeine so so much, but this race was a great value. I don't need another bagel or orange slice, but a chili lunch is pretty nice.
Anyhow, we decided to stick around for awards because I was thinking I was seventh or eighth overall female and there was a raffle. Interesting point: The overall winner finished in 21 minutes, if that's any indication as to how challenging this course was. I'm glad we waited - I snagged second place in my age group, which netted me a very cute glass medal with the date, race and place. I enjoyed the themed item and really like the way it looks on my tree.
Time: 25:11 for a 5K
Cost: $35 on site, $30 in advance
Pros: Pretty course, nice "medals," chili lunch with cookies, family friendly
Cons: Narrow path, rolling hills, cotton shirt
Would I do this race again: Probably not. Nothing against the race, it was a fine event, but I rarely repeat 5Ks