Saturday, December 22, 2018

Ugly Sweater Fun Run, 5k, and Beer Mile

The Saturday after Carter's birthday was a race that is now a family favorite, the Ugly Sweater 5k and Beer Mile. Both kids were excited to run the fun run. Carter told everyone he was going to run by himself. Elise didn't say she wanted me to run with her but she took my hand at the start and asked me to hold her hand while she ran. I was so glad because it was a lot of fun running with her and getting to watch Carter truck along in front of us. Carter really wanted to wear my Garmin so I helped him start it and showed him which button to push to turn it off as he crossed the finish line. I figured he'd forget to stop it as he crossed the finish line, but he didn't! Elise was pretty close behind Carter for most of the race so I got to see him. He caught up to this girl ahead of him and ran the whole way with her. She stopped to walk once so he stopped to walk too. The race was just a half-mile. He said at the finish he told the girl they should tie and slowed down a little so he could finish with her. Elise took off as we neared the finish line and I had to pick it up to catch up to her. She was so excited to see Oma, Opa, Daddy, and her uncies as she ran by. Carter finished in 5:12 which my Garmin said was 10:40 pace because it showed as 0.49 miles. Carter asked me how many steps he'd gotten and when I told him about 1,000, he asked me if I've ever gotten that many. I told him yes, but never in a half-mile!
Taking off at the start.

I loved this picture mom got of Carter at the start!

Carter running with his friend.

You can see Carter wearing my Garmin here. So cute!

Family picture after the fun run.
Thomas ran a mile warm up with me after the fun run. The fun run had been pretty chilly because it was all in the shade. The way out was into the wind with the wind at our backs on the return trip. We ran out onto the course and realized it was a lot warmer on the rest of the course because the sun was out and nice and warm. Thomas decided to take his long sleeved shirt off and just run with his vest and no sleeves. I had decided against wearing anything under my sweater. I initially planned to wear a tank top tucked into my tights under my sweater but thought I'd get too warm so I didn't. Running I was fine but it was really cold during my warm up, cool down, and the wait between races. I did strides earlier in the week to test out how running fast would feel for my legs. I hadn't run anything speedy in quite a while. It felt weird to run fast and my legs didn't like it! Normally I can run my strides in around 5:45-5:50 pace but I struggled to get down to 6:15-6:35 for my strides on this day. I figured the 5k might be a little difficult for me, especially since it would be my first race since the marathon and my first fast race since Run to the Lights. I was hoping I could run under 22:00 minutes. I also hoped I wouldn't feel as out of shape as I had during this race last year.

We took off and I definitely couldn't take off fast like everyone else. I didn't feel like I was running really fast though and it felt decent. I was lined up at the start perfectly to run through the white confetti they shot off at the start which was like running through snow. It was impossible not to smile as I ran through it! Jeremy wasn't too far ahead of me and Thomas was a bit ahead of him. There were a few women ahead of me and I passed them all by the first mile. Going out into the wind for the first quarter-mile was a little chilly so it was nice to turn and have some sunshine after that. The hills on the course weren't as bad as I remembered. I hoped that would be the case since I was in better shape this year. I went through the first mile in 6:50. The next half-mile before the turn around really dragged. That was the hardest part of the race for me. I was having a hard time maintaining pace and felt choppy. Jeremy started really pulling away and I caught up to Thomas around in here. I kept reminding myself this would be my first tempo run of this training block so I needed to make it an honest effort. I was hoping to be able to maintain around 7:00 pace.
Taking off at the start of the race.
Ty at the start.
We finally reached the turn around and one of the girls volunteering gave me a high five which was fun. Once we hit that turn around I started to speed up and I finally found my rhythm. I felt awesome! My 2nd mile was 7:02. I think most of the slow down came from that half-mile before the turn around. After the turn around I felt awesome and was really cruising along. I could see Jeremy pass the guy ahead of him and knew he was now in 3rd place overall. I stayed in 5th place pretty much from a mile and a half in all the way to the finish. As I approached the turn toward the finish where I knew I'd have a quarter-mile to the finish, I knew it would be harder this year since I didn't have anyone around me. Last year I was duking it out with another female which helped spur me on to a faster finish. I went through mile 3 in 6:49 and then pushed to 6:24 pace for the last portion of the race. I probably could have gone a bit faster but I didn't have anyone to chase down or hold off. The best part of the race was the finishing stretch. Carter and Elise had picked confetti up off the ground from the start and threw it on me as I ran by. That was so much fun!
The kids got on either side of Jeremy to toss confetti on him.
The kids ready to throw confetti on me.
Ty ran the race in a light up Santa car suit and tie and even wore a button up shirt underneath!
Mom looking cute after the race!
The beer mile started at 10:15 which gave me plenty of time to cool down/warm up for that race. I ran a mile and a half. Then I drank some more water, hit the bathroom again, and did some hamstring stretches because my hamstring was really tight after the 5k! I wasn't looking forward to the Beer Mile as much as I had the previous years and was actually dreading it a little which was weird because I was super excited about it all month leading up to the race. I think it had to do with how tight my hamstring and glute were after running fast for the first time in over a month. I made the mistake of picking the beer cup with the most beer poured into it for our first beer chug. Between that and starting my watch before the race, I got off the start way slower than last year. I was shocked when I looked up and dad had destroyed me off the start. It was a lot colder this year and I think that effected me also because I was shivering so much it was hard to hold my beer without spilling it while also starting my watch. I took off sprinting to catch dad and to catch up to Jeremy. I was also shocked that I felt like I was going to throw up the moment I finished chugging my beer. Not sure what that was about, maybe because I didn't eat anything between the races this year. I made it to the 2nd beer stop a little ahead of Jeremy and we made it out of the station together. My chugging was not nearly as good as last year. I wasn't sure what the deal was but I was off my game! Looking back at pictures, last year I tilted my head back more and this year I was more straight out from my face which likely slowed me down. Thomas was killing it. Jeremy and I would see him come out of the station before we entered it. It looked like he was picking up the beer and just setting it back down, he was chugging so fast! He had a pretty decent lead on 2nd place, there were 2 guys between him and me/Jeremy. It helped having Jeremy with me as I pushed a lot harder on the running sections than I wanted to. I knew I was way ahead of the 2nd place female so I just focused on sticking with Jeremy.

Thomas off the line first, dad wasn't far behind!

And I'm stillllll drinking!

Seriously still chugging?!!?

Finally taking off! I liked that they got a picture of me throwing my cup down.
After chugging the 4th beer and heading toward the finish Jeremy passed the guy in 2nd and I knew if I could catch him we could finish 1, 2, 3 in the race, but in typical semi-drunk Liz fashion I just kept plodding along. I'd like to know what my times were for each quarter because I know I ran that last one way slower than the other 3. Jeremy and I left the last beer station together and he finished 20 seconds ahead of me! Dad said the beer cups were filled higher this year and that would make sense because my body felt more sluggish and drunken than it had the previous years. It felt weird and it was like my legs weren't really responding. After Jeremy passed the guy in 2nd, he suddenly took off and pulled away from Jeremy so it worked out I didn't try to go for him! Then I realized he was gaining on Thomas. This race is the one Thomas enjoys the most out of all the races we do and the one he takes the most pride in finishing well in so I knew he really wanted to defend his title. I started screaming at him with all my might as I realized the guy was closing the gap and quick. I was fuzzy enough that I actually had to ask Ty after I finished whether Thomas won or not, and Ty had also run the race! Thomas, Jeremy, and I ended up finishing 2, 3, 4. I beat my time from last year by 8 seconds and that would have been all in the running because my chugging was sub-par this year. I was disappointed about that! I finished in 6:01. The course has been a little short the past two years but even considering that, I still ran a faster pace this year than I did 2 years ago when I was in better shape.
Thomas destroying the field!
I liked this one with his tongue out.

We stayed for awards and while we were waiting the beer really hit me. I ate some cookies in hopes that would soak up some of the beer, but I'm afraid I was a bit of an embarrassment! At least dad was on my level so we could be ridiculous together! Jeremy, Thomas, and I all finished in the top 6 in the 5k. Jeremy was 3rd out of 321 finishers overall in 20:07 and won his age group. I finished in 21:13 which put me first female out of 215 and 5th overall. I had 21:29 on my watch so I'm not sure what happened there but my official finishing time was 21:13. Thomas finished in 21:28, 6th overall and 2nd in his age group. Ty ran in a light up cat suit and finished in 25:59 which put him 4th in his age group and 40th overall. Mom finished in 34:13 which put her 134th overall and 2nd in her age group. Dad sat out the 5k to take care of the kids and mom sat out the Beer Mile to be with the kids. That was awesome because Ty and I got to run both races! Read about last year's races here, 2016's 5k here, and 2016's beer mile here.

Showing off our kitty shirts.

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