Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Reindeer Run 5k: Vixen and Dasher

I came home to Rochester for Christmas Thursday night. 5 weeks into my higher mileage and happy to shift from the roads of DC to those of my hometown. Although instead of enjoying the bizarre warmth that DC was experiencing, it was a rainy weekend. But my dad and I were doing the Reindeer Run 5k - the largest 5k in Rochester, and ran on the inner loop (the freeway), which they closed part of it for the race. My mom was supposed to do it too, but she wasn't feeling well. Better to skip the rainy race, and so we had father/daughter time. Lots of old friends around too for the race. And this was all about having fun. I had a time goal of sub 21 minutes for 5k in mind, but it was more about having fun. They gave us reindeer antlers to run with, so 2,000 Rochesterians towed the line ready to take on the city on a rainy, reindeer day.
I was in a good mood. I had went out with my best friend and her sisters the night before (2 drinks, no worries), and was just happy to be home. But the start was so bottlenecked. Even though I was close to the front, it was just clogged with people really until for the first mile. I ran through mile 1 in 7:00. It felt slow, and I say that recognizing that that is fast for many. But, used to being able to come through a first mile at least 30-40 seconds faster, it felt slow. Ultimately, this became both a progression run, where I was just trying to speed up from there, and an obstacle course of trying to avoid the enormous puddles and getting soaked immediately. It was fun to run along the highway, donning reindeer antlers, and just enjoy the race. I felt comfortable picking things up, too. The way the course was shaped, there were a couple of times where you could see a section of other runners, so my dad actually saw me (and yelled out to me) twice while we were on different parts of the course. The finish was a bit confusing, as there was a clear mile 3 marker, but the way the course moved, you couldn't see the finish from there (there were a couple of turns before the end). So, finally meandering my way in, I came through the finish line in 20:18. 6:33 pace - not too shabby considering the pace of the first mile (and the 2 drins the night before) 5th woman, 2nd, in my age group, (out of 135) and 45/1667 overall. My dad ran 34:33 - not too shabby after getting over a cold! We were happy to go inside the Strong Museum of Play (sponsor of the race, and a museum we used to go to growing up) afterwards and warm up (even though we were soaking wet). This was my award - a trophy with a My Little Pony on it - one of the funniest awards I've ever seen. After a hot shower once we got home I had a bloody Mary and took a nap. Perfection.
Dasher (Dad) and Vixen (Vanessa)
Went back to the gym to run on the treadmill and get the day's total to 11 miles. Not too bad on the Saturday before Christmas.

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