=PR= Run with Santa Race Report

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Today was my last race of 2014.  My 14th race!  14 for ’14.  It’s like a planned it or something…maybe I did …a little bit.  But I’m not planning 15 for ’15.  At times this year I was doing too much racing.  Back to back to back in the summer was too much for me.  I recognized that but did it anyway.

So I woke up early today…no doubt excited about my last race.  I’m getting more comfortable with getting there a little later so we left later than usual but still had sitting in the car time before the race.  I had picked up my packet on Friday after so I had everything I need already.

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The packet included this long sleeve tech shirt.  I’m thrilled about the color because it’s different from my other shirts.  Also my bib with timing chip, a medal, and a pin.  I have quite a collection of pins from this year.  And who can complain about a medal for a 5k?

After sitting in the car we headed to the secret (or not) warm spot near the ice rink.  We hung out there for a bit and then I went out on the street to warm up.  I ran up and down the street before heading over to the start line.  We waited in the sunniest spot we could find until very close to the start.  I gave up my jacket at the last minute.

Waiting in the sun
Waiting in the sun
Hanging on to the jacket until the last minute.
Hanging on to the jacket until the last minute.

I know I said last week’s start was ugly but this one was insanely packed and slow moving.  I had to weave my way through the crowd.  There were many children running in groups 4 and 5 wide taking up most of the road.

Very beginning - about to cross the timing mat.
Very beginning – about to cross the timing mat.

 

Tight start!  Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running
Tight start! Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

After the first turn I saw a boy fall.  I wasn’t in a position to help and he had an adult with him.  I’m hoping that he was ok.  It didn’t look terrible.  At that time the course cleared a little bit and I could actually get some space.  I made my way to my next turn and that’s where I saw my buddy.  He was taking pictures and talking to me but for some reason just wouldn’t ring the cowbell that I had picked up before the race.

I'm clearly talking to my buddy as I run by.
I’m clearly talking to my buddy as I run by.

I made my way to the next turn and things got congested near a water stop.  I think I lost some time there even though I didn’t take any water.  I kept just moving forward though.  I headed down to what feels like the low section of the course and just chugged along.  I knew the hills at the end were coming up.

I have plenty of hills in my neighborhood so I’m used to running hills but I was tired and it took all of my energy to get up the hills.  I knew the end was really close though.  I kept moving forward and finally turned the corner to the end.  There were so many people along the street.  I tried to keep my pace up.

I saw my buddy but didn’t even feel like talking at  that point.

Sorry friend, no words this time.
Sorry friend, no words this time.

I ran through the finish and focused on smiling for my last race of the year.  I typically forget to smile at the end but I think I got it right today.

 

All smiles! Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running
All smiles! Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

No records for me today but I can’t say that I’ve been training hard enough to get any.  I just wanted to have fun and I think I did.  So just like that….racing for 2014 is over.  I’m happy with what I’ve done this year.  I’ve had ups and downs but that’s ok.  I’m looking forward to 2015 racing which will start on January 1st.

And today marks Day 11 of the Runner’s World Run Streak!