Monday, December 12, 2016

2016 Trot for Tots 5K Race Recap

As many of you know by now, I set a goal at the beginning of 2016 to run a sub-25 5K. I was on track in March, but a super short course left me feeling cheated. Then, while I technically completed my goal in November, I still wanted to see the magic numbers on the finishing clock. 24:XX. I was already signed up for Trot for Tots 5K, so I wasn't worried about getting another crack at my goal.

Registration was super cheap ($20) and included a long sleeve tech tee. The race was a 35 minute drive from my house, but parking was easy and all near the start line. I picked up my packet Friday from the sponsor store, Pro Bike + Run, but they offered same day registration and packet pick-up.

I was grateful for the 9AM start because it was super chilly out, in the 20's and snowing. While I went to bed Saturday knowing the forecast said snow, I didn't quite believe it until I woke up to see a powdery, wet inch of snow all across the ground.

After a late night at 2 Christmas parties, I laid my Flat Jessie out as I made coffee & an english muffin (no worries, no 'noodle and nanner' repeats). I hadn't yet run outside this winter in temps comparable to race temps, so I was a little nervous about how to dress.

I arrived by about 830AM, and hung out in the registration area for a few minutes before I made my way outside at 845 to start my warm-up. Luckily for me (though unluckily for her) Ciara was feeling under the weather & decided not to run. So I had my very own paparazzi (and someone to hold my car keys!). 

I ran about a half mile warm-up before taking my place at the snowy start line.

Mile 1 - 7:57
I was pleasantly surprised that I was not slipping on the snow. It was still relatively untouched and I ran in the tire track of a car who had driven out to set up the course. The pace didn't feel labored, but, in a bad last minute decision, I pushed my jacket sleeves up to see my Garmin, leaving my hands totally uncovered. They started to get cold, so I wrestled with the cuffins on my jacket for a minute, and succeeded in covering one of my hands.

Mile 2 - 8:38
My core started to heat up hardcore thanks to the jacket I was wearing. My hands were comfortable, so I didn't want to push my sleeves up, I unzipped the jacket as far as I could and kept on. I maintained effort but the trail started to feel slicker. I felt like I wasn't propelling myself forward with each step so much as I was just spinning my wheels. I saw Katie (who went on to finish first overall female) pass me and I called out some encouragement, before finally hitting the turnaround.

Mile 3 - 8:48 + .1 - 8:08 pace
It was at the start of mile 3 that I earnestly wished a 5K was 2.1 miles, not 3.1 miles. The further along the course I got the harder the snow was packed and the slicker the trail was. I settled in behind a gentleman in red and kept my eyes on him. I finally ditched my ear warmers which was a great choice. I was really starting to sweat. Finally, the finish line was in sight and I busted ass to slide by the guy in red just ahead of me.

Check out that crazy mane of hair behind me

Finish Time - 26:44 (official 26:49)

Afterwards I headed inside the community center for hot chicken noodle soup, hot chocolate & a blueberry muffin. Once it was all said and done, it was good enough for 2nd in my age group!

The weather was not on my side, and while 6 months ago I would have spent the rest of Sunday in a foul mood, moping around, I'm not that person now.

I didn't run the race I wanted. The course and weather didn't cooperate. BUT, I placed in my age group, which is always so exciting! I got to see two good friends and go out for a delicious post-race brunch. There will be other 5K's and I'll have my time. Guess this just means I can't slack off the next few weeks. I want redemption in January.

How do you deal with poor race conditions?
Did anyone else race over the weekend?
What post-race foods do you love to see offered?

Linking up with :Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights + Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run


  1. The bottom picture is a way better one than the one we took inside! And honestly - lucky for me that I didn't run haha so glad I got to see ya'll finish & cheer you on!!

  2. Congratulations!! Man, running a race in the snow scares me, I'd be so worried about slipping, especially if I want to go for a PR. You did great, and I bet it was great having your own cheerleader along the way :)

    When race conditions are poor, I try to be realistic and focus on what I can control...sometimes it works, sometimes not LOL.

  3. Congrats on the AG! That is great time, I am impressed you could go the fast on the snow. That is a tough for a race.

  4. I'm impressed at you pounding that snow... I would be creeping like an old lady. Snow freaks me out walking on it, much less running on it.
    Congrats! You are finishing up the year like A BOSS!

  5. Congratulations!! You did amazing! YOu were not ready for the snow, but you didn't let it stop you! That looks like an amazing medal! I haven't ran in snow in a long time! I need a holiday race soon!

  6. Congrats on your AG place! I'm sorry you didn't get your <25 but running on snow is so hard. My strategy for poor race conditions is DNS. ;-) Well not always, but I used to do this winter race series when I lived in Denver and wouldn't sign up until the Weds before the race so I could confirm the weather forecast wasn't blizzarding.

    1. That's funny, because honestly, this race made me finally realize why people wait to register until the day of for a race they plan to run. 'Cause if the weather sucks they'll just stay in bed & save their $$$.

  7. yay! you go!! i don't race but i did used to do a lot of train runs during the winter and it was so pretty (and more challenging) to run in the snow.

  8. Even though you didn't make your goal, placing is still awesome! Way to go! I bet if it wasn't slippery, you would have hit it. Next year! :)

  9. That takes skill to run that fast in the snow - I would be afraid of falling. So nice that the race was a later start time. Also, you're a champ for running and placing after 2 christmas parties the night before!

  10. Haha, I'm glad you didn't have another noodles and nana incident! :P

    You mightn't have done the race you wanted but you still got out there, did it and got an awesome result!

  11. Dang- I'm impressed! I can barely walk in the snow and ice ;) Congrats on the 2nd place finish!!


  12. Look at you flying down that course! I am so impressed with your speed on the snow, and I think you were wise not to try too hard & potentially hurt yourself.

    I love hot chocolate after a run. In fact, I just made myself some after today's run. Too bad I have to go back out & walk the dogs & get cold again!

    Congrats on your AG award. I'm sure when the conditions are right, you'll make your goal. I still haven't made my 5k goal (and it's pretty modest -- it just eludes me so far).

  13. Oh my chicken noodle soup, hot chocolate and a muffin sounds amazing after this race! Great job I would fall on my face in that snow! Congratulations to you on the AG award too!
    Here lately I've enjoyed coffee both the Jazz and the MS Gulf Coast had coffee sponsors.

  14. OMG I don't think I could run in that. I would be flat on my face every five steps. What an amazing AG. And those after race treats sound great!

  15. Congrats on the AG! That's a great time on a slick, treacherous course. The turkey trot I ran had chicken noodle soup and I thought I wouldn't want it but it really hit the spot post race. Way to chick Santa!

  16. Congratulations on your AG win! You did great in the SNOW! Seriously, I can only run at a snail's pace in the snow.

  17. Great job on your finish time and placing 2nd in your age group. The weather is always such a key factor and you just never know what you'll get. It's how you handle it that matters (you -- like a boss!) and why I keep going back again and again. My favorite post race treat is coffee and something sweet. Thanks for linking, Jessie!


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