RACE RECAP: SANTA’S NORTH POLE DASH 5K 2017

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to run this race.  The first time I ran it was back in 2012, right after MacKenna’s first birthday.  It was not my favorite race, but it was an OK race + close to home.

However, when I found out this year’s theme was A Christmas Story, I knew we had to run it.  Not because I like A Christmas Story, but because MacKenna loves it.  Yup, my 6 year old is OBSESSED with it.  And her favorite character?  Scut Farcus.  We actually bought her a coon-skin cap last year because she loved the character so much.  Something is WRONG with my children…

So, I signed myself up to run the 5K and MacKenna to run the Snowman Shuffle.  I was a little disappointed the kids’ race wasn’t themed appropriately, but I just wanted her to be there for the experience.  And she’s been asking to run a race since Thanksgiving LAST year.

The Snowman Shuffle took place before the 5K race, so I got to do my warm-up with my little runner girl!  It was a pretty short race – less than 400m.  But, it was fun for her, nonetheless.  She was a little nervous while we were waiting for the race to start, but you seriously could not wipe the smile off of her face while she was running.

I won’t lie, I teared up a little when they handed the medal to her.  It was Ralphie’s pink bunny suit!  She was so excited to get a medal!  I bring them home for her to wear all the time, so it was so special to her that she got her own medal this time.  She wore it ALL day!

After Kenna’s race, I dropped her off with Matt + Miles and went to finish my warm-up.  I had very little expectations for this race.  First, because I haven’t really been training to race at all since it’s off-season for me.  But, also because I had been fighting off a sinus infection for the few days prior to the race.  And as we all know, anytime you are feeling under the weather just makes it that much harder to run, let alone race.  So, my goal was to just go out there and see what I could do.  No matter what, just race my best and be OK with a time that’s not where I need it to be.

And that’s pretty much what happened.  I started up toward the front.  The first half mile or so of the race is on the cobblestone on Main Street St. Charles.  While it’s not as bad as Laclede’s Landing in downtown St. Louis, cobblestone is NEVER easy to run on.  I just told myself to stay comfortable and not push too hard, which I don’t think I physically could have done.

I actually felt pretty great the first mile, but the second mile involved a few short, steep hills.  Those hills killed my pace.  Hills used to be my forte, so I know I need a little more hill work in my life.  I just started looking at the people in front of me to see if I could pass them.  This is my normal race strategy, but I wasn’t as specific about picking people off as I usually am.  I just needed something to focus on to keep my mind off the hurt.

The third mile felt soooooo long, but thankfully, it was ALL flat with one downhill toward the end.  I was able to pass a few more people during the third mile and felt strong for the most part.  I was actually sort of surprised with how good I felt running, despite feeling crappy pretty much the rest of the time.

Here’s my biggest racing weakness – I have ZERO kick at the end of the race!  Sprint to the finish?  Nope.  I either can’t mentally or have literally exhausted everything during the race that I physically cannot push it in.  

TIME:  21:05
AVERAGE PACE: 6:48/mile
4th place overall female
1st in age group

Regardless, it was definitely NOT my best time, but that’s OK.  It was actually the time I was thinking I could potentially run with my training and with being sick.  So, totally NOT disappointed, despite a sub-par performance.  Gonna kick this sinus infection and get myself BACK into racing shape!