Yulefest 5k with Team Slumbrew

My favorite race of the Cambridge 5k series is the last one: the Yulefest 5k in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Ma.

Feel free to read the 2012 race recap HERE.

Yulefest 2012

Yulefest was my second to last race in 2012 and would also prove to be my second to last race in 2013. Interesting.

I had the honor of running with Team Slumbrew for the second year in a row.

Note: I did NOT run the race holding the tree! ;0)

The 2013 team would be even more special than the 2012 team. Why? Because one of Slumbrew's founders, Caitlin, would be making her first race appearance. Yay! :) I love seeing new runners born.

I wanted to allow plenty of time for members of the Slumbrew team to pick up our SWEET team jackets that I set up shop in front of City Sports in Harvard at 8:30am.

Aren't they amazing?

After handing out jackets to our 37-person team, it was time to get my wristband so that I could enjoy the post-race party! Eddie (Cambridge 5k race director) did a great job having plenty of staff on hand checking IDs and handing out wristbands. It took me about a minute to get myself all hooked up.

Before I knew it it was 9:15am and time to head over to the Yulefest starting line. It was the same course as last year, which was comforting. I have been nursing the ball-of-foot pain in my right foot so it was nice to know what to expect over the 3.1 mile race. I knew I wouldn't be putting up a PR, but as always I would be giving it my 100%.

I need to send a HUGE thanks to my girl Kim (friend and fellow Slumbrew runner) for hanging back and running the race with me. I knew I was slowing her down, but it was great to catch up and chat. Kim and I had run the Boston's Run To Remember Half and Freedom Run 5k together in May. If you don't remember she got hurt during the half, but pushed through and finished the Half and then finished the 5k about an hour later. One of my heroes and good friends. :)

But I digress...

I knew my foot felt off from the beginning so I wanted to run conservatively. It would be a steady run through the streets of Cambridge. Kim is also running the Boston Marathon in 2014 so it was great to talk strategy and fundraising ideas while we ran.

Eddie is an amazing race director and has fostered a great following in the local running community so I ended up seeing a bunch of people I knew along the course. A great way to stay motivated over the three miles. I cheered on fellow Slumbrew teammates, high-fived folks in some outstanding costumes and just enjoyed the atmosphere. Plus, I knew there was some yummy Slumbrew beer waiting for me at the Finish Line. :)

As we approached the final 1/4 mile, I told Kim to run ahead. I thought she could still make a PR, but I messed up the pacing math in my head. Oops. It was great to see her speed off in front of me.

I ended up posting a 24:47, good for a 7:59 min/mile pace. I finished 327th out of 1,467 overall. I will happily take top 23% with a bum foot.

The frustrating thing about facing this foot injury is that the rest of my body feels amazing. You know what I mean? It is tough to tell my head and the rest of my body to slow it down and to reel it back in all because of my stupid right foot.

But, I have to think in the long term and the races I have in the future so it is OKAY to sacrifice a time in the present for my long-term racing/running career.

And hey I can't be upset that as my running has progressed my "this feel comfortable" pace is around an 8 min/mile pace. The me that started with a 12 min/mile pace is doing cartwheels over this fact.

Now again I love running with team because as I came to the Finish and crossed there were a small group of Slumbrew-ers there yelling my name.

As more folks crossed, we decided to move ourselves to a spot just before the Finish so we could cheer on the rest of our teammates, especially the folks finishing their first ever race.

Thanks Jamie for this photo!

Gosh I LOVE cheering people on at races. It just makes me so happy. I love seeing people push themselves and accomplish things they never thought possible.

After we finished cheering on all of our runners/walkers, it was time to head to the post-race party and celebrate!! Plus stretch for the always epic post-race dance off, a Cambridge 5k series tradition.

Isn't that one sexy team? I am so proud to be a part of it.

It really has been a great experience being part of a team like this - meeting new people and sharing a love of running and beer.

Amy and I post-race

I was just a little excited over Caitlin finishing her first race!

Since it is December and it was getting chilly, the wife and I headed to Davis Square (Somerville) for lunch at Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree happened to have Slumbrew Porter Square Porter in bottles so I kept the theme of the day going. ;)

The Cambridge 5k series has quickly become one of my favorite local Boston running series and you can bet I'll be back for 2014.


Have you run a Cambridge 5k race? Do you love to celebrate a race with a nice local brew after?