Hangover Classic 5k
Happy New Year! Despite the name, I was not in fact hungover for this race! My NYE was pretty low-key, just spent hanging out with some friends. Luckily, this race didn’t start until 11:30am, so I could still stay up and enjoy the NYE festivities without sacrificing any sleep!
My training plan had me running a 5k the last weekend in December – I couldn’t find any good races in the area so I opted for a New Years Day race. Last year, the Hangover Classic was fairly competitive, with one woman running sub-18 and 2 others in the 18 minute range. So I thought this would be a good one to give me some competition, but still have a shot at placing. I wasn’t really sure how this race would go. I hoped to be able to run fast, but I was just finishing up 8 weeks of base phase training, where I only had 1 run that I ran under 7 min/mile pace.
It was about an hour drive up to Salisbury Beach, which is right near the New Hampshire border. I had never been to that part of the coast before. The beach looked pretty today, but we didn’t see much of it on the course. The day was sunny, but cold and windy. I tried to stay warm in my car before the race, and I could feel my car moving in the wind! (Some runners jumped in the water post-race – crazy people!)
I did my warm up and got to the start line about 5 minutes before the race. It was a really crowded start. I tried to get a good place out front, while trying to avoid some massive puddles. By 800m in, I was just behind the front group of men, and right behind the lead woman. At this point, I didn’t know if she was in the 5k or 10k (the 2 races ran together for the first 1.25 miles). I may have got a little too competitive early on, and passed by her right before mile 1. My garmin beeped at 5:49 at the mile. Whoops! I was told not to go faster than 5:54 for the first mile. I thought, well, I better be able to hold this pace for the rest of the race or I’m going to be hearing about it later!
The 10k runners split off, and the 5k made a U-turn back towards the beach. I saw that the woman I had just passed was in the 10k race, so I had a little more space between me and the next woman. Mile 2 was pretty uneventful, except that my shoelace came untied!!! I couldn’t believe it. I am usually so good about making sure my shoes are tied tight, but I was wearing my racing flats that I hadn’t worn in a while and I think the puddles and wet ground made them a little slippery! This happened to me one other time last year in a race, and I actually stopped to tie my shoe (it happened at mile 0.1), but this time, I just kept running. The thought of stopping, taking off my gloves, and tying my shoe just sounded like way too much effort at this point. I just hoped I didn’t fall! Mile 2, 5:48, right on!
And then mile 3. Oh, the fun of mile 3 in a 5k. I starting to feel a little bit of fatigue, but my legs still felt pretty strong, so I just kept pushing it. Around another U-turn, I could see that there wasn’t any women within sight. I think I mentally let it slip a bit at this point, knowing that I had a good lead, and my pace for mile 3 was a little slower: 5:57. As I came down the home stretch, I could see the clock and that I was going to be under my 5k PR! I finished in 17:50, which was about 8 seconds faster than my previous 5k PR. Though later I did notice that my Garmin had it a bit short (3.06), I’m still going to count it 🙂
The prizes were pretty nice for a local 5k race – I came home with 2 beer glasses, a mini bottle of bubbly, some gloves, a gift certificate, and even a little cash! They had a fun post-race celebration with free beer and pizza (though, I declined – gotta start the new year off right in the nutrition department!) Thanks to Winners Circle Running Club for putting on a good race! And to Tim, for starting to get me back in shape over the past few months. I’m certainly not training to run a fast 5k right now (14 weeks til Texas 70.3!), so to start off the year with a PR and a win is pretty awesome!
Official race results (and a really awful race photo! I always look like I’m dying)