Sunday, December 29, 2019

Weekly Sweats: 'Twas the Night Before the Five Mile Race

In this week's adventures: 24 miles of running including a 5 mile race and an outdoor running streak.

I'm linking up with the Weekly Run Down, please head over to Kim and Deborah to check it out.

Monday: off to rest up for the race

Tuesday: 5 mile Christmas Eve (morning) race in my hometown.  It was a white Christmas all right, but not the kind of white Christmas that you're thinking.  It was super foggy and low 30's with clear streets.

The race included a costume contest, and there was plenty of eye candy.  My favorite costume was the reindeer sled - a woman pushing a stroller with small child, who was holding a rope looped around two guys in reindeer costumes.

At the start line, someone made a joke about the race being uphill in all directions, and they were not wrong.  My splits show the course elevation perfectly: miles 2 and 5 are the downhills.

My racing strategy was to just run.  I treated myself to taking off an item of winter gear at each mile marker: gloves at mile one, hat at mile two, and coat at mile three.   I owe my speed in mile 2 a little bit to the downhill and a lot to some folks ahead of me who were chatting loudly.  Normally I wouldn't mind, but there was something about them that was like nails on a chalkboard, so I was super motivated to get ahead and out of ear shot.

After the uphill of mile 3 I was starting to get a bit tired and all I could see was uphill ahead of me, but I was also feeling spunky so I started to race with other runners (without them knowing).  I haven't used the buddy racing strategy in a while, but how it works is I pick someone who I think is a bit faster than me and follow in their wake.  I picked a girl with a red shirt and candy cane socks and let her "pull" me up the hill with the intention of passing her by the finish.  But then she "conceded" our race by stopping at a water station just before mile 5.  My eyes saw another pair of candy cane socks quite a bit ahead of me and I tore after them.  I took me the rest of mile 5 to catch up with Socks 2 and smoke her out just before the finish line.  

So yes it was a good race, my only beef was that the course was short.  Not a big deal, but at the same time why not loop on an extra city block to make it an even 5 miles?  Also I feel a bit scroogy that I don't have any cute Christmas running gear.  Maybe I should get my own candy cane socks.

Wednesday: off

Thursday: 5 miles OUTSIDE.  I love a white Christmas but I love a 60 degree day and shorts and tank top running weather more.  I wanted to do some semblance of my normal Thursday speed work, so I did a 1 mile easy run to a flat walking trail and then 6 x 400 with 400 recover.  Once that was done, I set off for home with an easy cool down mile, but out of nowhere I got pep in my step and started gunning it.  At first I was just trying to get my pace under 12 minutes but the further I went it became a game of "how low can I go", first 11:30, then 11:15, and then the final answer was an 11:00 mile!

Friday: 4 miles outside, hills.  Physically hills are getting easier but the mental part has a ways to go.

Saturday: 6 miles outside.  I reran a good bit of the 5 mile race course, figuring that "uphill in all directions" is exactly what I need to do more of.  Once I finished the hilly part, I gunned it again and finished my last mile in 11:08.

Sunday: I don't normally run on Sundays, but I have a 5k next Tuesday, so I plan to take this Monday as a rest day.  I set off for 4 easy miles, in warmish weather (hey if I can't have shorts and tank top weather I'm more than happy to settle for capris and long sleeve weather).  It was raining lightly for the first mile and then started absolutely down pouring for the final 3 miles.  I do love a run in a the rain but I was absolutely drenched by the time I got home.  And oh yes I let the first two miles be easy and then I started gunning it and got another 11:00 mile for the finish.

So as far as Christmas presents go, I couldn't have asked for anything better than a great race, an entire week of outdoor running, and a number of low 11ish miles to show off. 

The Naughty List
I didn't forget to write about my weight workouts this week, um, I didn't do any lifting, not even any pushups.  I hope that Santa wasn't watching. 


  1. Congrats on your race--isn't it funny when you look at your splits and you can tell where there was a hill or you were running into the wind?

    The dollar store has a lot of holiday socks, just saying... Happy New Year!

  2. Your race sounds like a fun and challenging way to start off Christmas day. Congrats on your hard effort. Hills are tough! A really good week for you running wise. Nice job

  3. 60 degrees on Christmas! Man, what a heatwave round the country! Sounds lovely. That unexpected pep in the step is always a welcome surprise.

    Happy Holidays!

  4. LOL on a warm Christmas being better than a white Christmas. We rarely get either around here, but it was decent on Christmas Day — 50s? Great going on that race. I do OK with hilly races as long as I train for them.

  5. Way to go!! Kudos to getting outside for all those runs (though I know you like the dear 'mill more than a lot of us). I have been slacking in my strength work recently...I'm still doing it, but not as much as I should be. OOPS. Happy New Year!

  6. Nice job on your race - sounds like it was a tough and hilly course!
    I also ran outside on Christmas morning and was absolutely loving the milder Winter weather.

  7. Sounds like a fun race in spite of the hills! We had abnormally warm temperatures too, it definitely helped with getting in outdoor runs :)

  8. Congratulations on a great race! You should totally get some holiday gear for next time. I love getting dressed in festive gear for seasonal races. It's my favorite.

    Our weather has been kind of gross with lots of rain and clouds. It's not our usual here and I'm over it

  9. Great job with your race! I don't have any fun Christmas running gear either - gotta do something about that!

  10. all those miles outside! AWESOME! and love your race recap; I also use the buddy racing system sometimes AND also would be slightly annoyed that the course was short. What is up with that??

  11. Chatty runners get on my nerves too! :-) Bummer that the course was short - that would annoy me too. I hope you have a great race today.

  12. I also love the buddy racing strategy! I find it works so well and keeps me motivated to keep pushing. And how satisfying when you smoke them out? LOL! I've loved seeing all the Christmas running gear on blogs, so I'm going to see if I can get some online shopping done now and save them for this year's Christmas. Will hopefully get some awesome deals too!