1st Run 5k To Ring In 2016

Happiest of New Years to each and every one of you! Oh are we over a week into the new year and I am just posting about the New Year's Day race. 

Maybe. Maybe.

But better late than never. Right?

This was the fourth-consecutive time I opened a new year at the 1st Run 5k/10k race. You have the option of registering for the 5k or 10k. The 10k is a double loop of the 5k. I don't do well with double loops so I immediately sign up for the 5k option. I never second guess that decision. :P

This would be the first year the wife and my dad would NOT be cheering me on at the race. It was odd heading to Lowell without them, but I had great company in the car from Heather. :) Yes I had once again talked her into doing the race. 

Hi! My name is Dani and I am a race pusher. :P

The race offers ample parking at a nearby parking lot and is just a short walk to the start area. The day of bib pick-up is quick and easy. We each got our bibs and swag (earband and gloves) and opted to walk back to the car to drop them off. We had plenty of time before the 11am start. 

As we headed back to the Elks Lodge to meet up with the rest of our crew and to soak up the warmth before the race. :) During our walk back, I was stopped by blog reader Eva, who introduced herself. Thanks for reading and saying hi Eva! I hope you had a great race.

Once back in the warmth, we caught up with the friends we knew at the race - aka the other folks I suckered into joining me for a race. :) Are we seeing a pattern here?

I had hit up the port-o-potties once, but opted to wait in line again before the race started. The lines were long and I was surely going to miss the start. 

And guess what? 

I did. 

Yup I was in a port-o-potty when the gun went off. Thankfully I wasn't going to win the race anyway so starting whenever I would was fine with me. Plus the race is chipped time so my time doesn't start until I cross the timing mat. I reminded folks who were freaking out in line about that fact. 

It had been quite awhile since I had started this far back in a corral. But I wasn't phased. I knew that I would just bob and weave my way into a clear path. It would happen when it happened. Again I wasn't going to win. :P

I snapped a quick selfie in the corral, while we did that lovely pre-Start Line walk/jog thing that we always do.

Once I crossed the mat, I hit GO on my Garmin and I was off. I had been living inside on my treadmill the week prior so my legs were freakin' PUMPED to be running outside. There is just something about having the sun on your face and the pavement under your feet that makes you feel ALIVE!

Every year I forget the race opens on a nice incline. Like seriously how do I block that out every year. Ha. But I focused on finding my friends along the way since I knew they all had already started.

It was a fun way to keep my mind off the incline and how hot I was getting. Yes I overdressed, but I had no idea the sun would be shining so bright making me feel like I was running in a sauna. I really only had 2 layers on. But I was running and regretting the under armour every step of the way. I even planned my outfit by taking the Real Feel temp and adding 20 degrees. I mean this wasn't my first rodeo.

Anyway, the crowd of runners were energetic and the outfits were on point. There were even some costumes out on the course. I passed Heather just as I hit Mile 1. Of course I creepily ran up next to her and caught her off guard. I am just such a nice friend. ;)

Mile 1: 7:31

Wow! I was shocked by the Mile 1 time. I felt as if I was running on a treadmill and not really making any progress. Ever have those feelings during a race or training run?

The course is through the neighborhood behind and around the Elks Lodge. While there are few spectators, the participants keep the energy up.

As we approached the halfway mark, we take the rough right on to the Main Street - which takes us back to the Start/Finish. The final mile is along the water and offers a large dose of headwind.

The turn on to the Main Street is like turning into a wind machine. It hits you like a ton of bricks. I am always caught off guard by the strength of the headwind. Thanks Mr. Lake.

Mile 2: 7:12

Just after passing the Mile 2 marker. I found Susan. She was kicking some SERIOUS booty out there. I was feeling DONE when I saw Mile 2. Like I wanted to sit down and just stop running. My body and mind were not in the game. 

Seeing her in front of me gave me a new goal and re-focused my efforts to simply: put one foot in front of the other.

So the final mile was about overcoming the mental exhaustion. There was a lot of runner math going on. Okay just 6 more 1/10ths of a mile to go. Okay less than .4 to go. You can do this. It is 15 steps per .01 so just keep counting to 15. Etc. Etc. :P

Okay selfie and that will take up a little time as well.

Mile 3: 7:31

There are a few people in front of you. Focusing on picking them off and you will get to the Finish. We took the right turn into the parking lot and I was excited to see the Finish Line welcoming me home. :P

FINAL TIME: 23:13 (7:29 min/mile pace)

And another race is in the books! Man that was tough. I grabbed my medal and my water and headed over to the results trailer to see if my info had been clocked yet. Nope. 

I saw Susan and we caught up while we waited for Heather and the others to Finish. Everyone did an amazing job and were all pleased with starting the new year on a healthy foot.

Heather, Susan and I headed out to enjoy some brunch... with celebratory drinks of course. :)


Overall it was a great morning and a great race. I will continue to take part in the 1st Run 5k as long as I am able to and it is offered.


So my New Year’s Day races are:

1/1/11 – I had a herniated disc and had to walk the New Year’s Day 5k in Chicago so the wife and I finished in 48:37 (15:41 min/mile)

1/1/12 – I was healthy, besides a small knee injury and was able to run the New Year’s Day 5k in Chicago in 25:27 (8:13 min/mile)

1/1/13 – I ran in honor of my Grampa and hopefully made him proud in the 1st Run 5k finishing in 23:07 (7:27 min/mile)

1/1/14 - I had such a fun time at the 1st Run 5k in 2013 I came back for more finishing in 23:43.1 (7:39 min/mile)

1/1/15 - I went for a New Year's Day PR at 1st Run 5k and it happened in 23:01.2 (7:25 min/mile)

1/1/16 - Apparently consistency is the name of the game at 1st Run 5k as I posted a 23:13 (7:29 min/mile)