What better way is there to celebrate Christmas being THIS WEEK than by running a festive 5k?
Saturday afternoon, my mom drove up to my apartment for the 2nd installment of our monthly mother-daughter runs. We decided to start this tradition after having so much fun running along the Charles together last month. What with it being the holiday season, this month we decided to sign up for the Somerville Jingle Bell 5k.
We picked up our bibs the day before at one of SEVEN different bib pick-up times and locations that was offered (I’ve never seen a race offer so many different options for bib pick-up before so props to them!) The race didn’t start until 11 am, so we got to sleep in till a reasonable hour, which was another major bonus.
The temps dropped steadily all week down from the weird 50 degree weather we had been experiencing to a more typical 35 degrees by Sunday. The sun was shining though, and it was a pretty beautiful day to run. I’d come down with a cold a few days before, but with the help of Sudafed, I was feeling happy and ready to run (even if my nose wouldn’t stop running.)
There were a lot of festive running outfits. We saw people running in full gingerbread costumes, several very convincing Santa Clauses, and tons of reindeer. There was also Christmas music playing and everyone just seemed so happy to be out!
My mom had been pretty psyched when she found a wintry Christmas tiara and reindeer antlers at Michael’s earlier in the week. My reindeer antlers were supposed to light up, but they did not like to work on command (Of course, we discovered they were lit up later on in my Mom’s backpack… Go figure.)
It was a pretty big race, and self-seeded. Given the festive environment and the sheer number of runners, my mom and I had no plans to truly race this 5k. I suggested we line up a little behind the 8:00/mile sign, but my mom protested about that, so we lined up towards the front of the 9:00/mile group.
There was a good uphill climb at the beginning, and again, my ankles and shins felt tight and stiff towards the beginning. Even so, we ran 8:44 for the first mile. I also realized very quickly that the antlers were not running-friendly. Anytime the wind blew, my antlers started to blow off my head (I’ll have to come up with a different festive costume for next year!). I ended up running the majority of the race holding them in my hand. My mom had much better luck with her tiara! Mile 2 was even speedier than Mile 1 at 8:26. We also got some nice downhills in this mile which helped.
The finish was really fun. There was a good number of spectators all along Davis Square, cheering and watching all us crazy costumed runners. We cruised through Mile 3 in 7:54 and finished under a festive red and green balloon arch. Average pace – 8:18/mile. And that’s why my mom should let me pick where we seed ourselves. 😉
After we got our medals, we made our way to a Starbucks conveniently located right near the finish. Sadly, their espresso machines were broken though, so we had to opt for plain coffees instead of our usual lattes. #FirstWorldProblems. 😉
We then started exploring our lunch options. One of the big draws of this particular 5k is that 18 local pubs offer free Harpoon beer to runners after the event. It’s a pretty nice perk, but my mom and I aren’t huge beer drinkers and definitely not before noon, so we tried to find a little restaurant to have lunch at instead. We tried a couple different places, but everywhere we went was pretty mobbed. We ended up heading back to my apartment and going to a Panera’s across the street.
So overall, it was a great race and another fun weekend! I really enjoyed seeing all the different costumes and I’m thinking I’d like to plan something a little crazier to wear next year! Hopefully, something that is a little more conducive to running than my antlers were though. 😉
How was your weekend? Are you excited for Christmas? I know I am!