‘Tis the season for a themed holiday run! Throw some friends, costumes and a charitable organization into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a pretty great way to spend a Sunday morning.
We rounded up a fun crew for the event, too, including Kristin and Carolyn, two of my LUNA Chix PDX Run Team teammates. This was Carolyn’s first-ever race, so I planned on pacing her to a strong finish so she could set the bar for our upcoming 2015 season.
But first, Ben and Kevin demonstrated proper pre-race stretching technique, much to the horror of surrounding parents will small children 😉
The course was a quick out and back near the waterfront toward the Pearl District. It’s been a while since I’ve done a 5K, plus I’m still in the process of easing back into running after my marathon injuries, so the shorter distance was a welcome one.
About 10 minutes after we arrived, they released the first wave of runners and we were off! The boys led the way, and we ran to the sound of jingle bells attached to everyone’s shoes.
Carolyn and I had discussed using coach Jenny Hadfield’s yellow-orange-red plan in which we’d tackle the race a mile at a time and run by effort rather than a strict pace per mile. After all, any time would be a PR since it was her first race, and I wanted this initial experience to be a pleasant one.
We stuck to the plan, and the first mile was smooth sailing. During mile two, we settled into a good pace, and Carolyn dug deep to push through the third and final mile to the finish. I was so proud! Not only did she run the entire race, but she also met her goal of finishing in under 30 minutes.
After the run, we dug into the post-race spread. Unfortunately, though, we were a little late to the doughnut table. As you can see, runners take their carbs very seriously!
Injury-wise, I felt pretty good on the run. Cross-training for the past five weeks has been helpful for maintaining overall fitness, but I’m definitely waaaay out of running shape.
My left hamstring is also still giving me some trouble — literally, it’s a “pain in the butt” — and I’m thinking it’s something having to do with the attachments or tendon. So my plan is to slow my roll on my return to running and keep cross-training in the meantime.
As difficult as it is to restrain myself from 2015 race-planning, I want to make sure I start the year as healthy as possible. Forget visions of sugarplums; the only things dancing in my head for the next few weeks will be massages, foam rollers and lacrosse balls…happy holidays, friends!