Midwinter Cruise 5K
Freezing at the start with Judy (pink headband)
and Kelly (blue vest)

Going into this morning’s race, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Part of me was worried that my last race was a fluke and I wouldn’t P.R. Not that I have to P.R. at every race, but it’s fun, and I do feel like I am still improving.

Also, this was a small local race, so good chance for an age group award, but you never know who is going to show up. Now that I’m starting to meet a lot more local runners, I know who is fast and in my age group. Plus there is always the unknown of who is going to show up that I don’t know yet?

Anyway, my point being, I tried to go into this race as I do every other race, without any expectations. Just run my best based on my own personal effort and see what happens.

It was a bit chilly this morning (I didn’t check the temps before I left the house, but yup, winter is here for sure). I went for an easy run yesterday (running on part of today’s course) and it was supposed to be a couple degrees warmer at the start of the race than when I went for yesterday’s run, so I planned my outfit accordingly.

Of course the wind changes everything. Yesterday was sunny with no wind. Today was partly cloudy with WIND. I wore my sunglasses because it was sunny when I left the house (plus with the snow it gets bright), but it clouded up by race time. I took them off for my husband to hold while I ran, but realized they were protecting my eyes from the wind so I left them on.

Midwinter Cruise 5K
Just past mile 3. I knew Kelly was behind me, but I didn’t
know there was someone on her heels that looked to be
in our age group. (She was. Good race!)

We lined up at the start behind a kid in shorts and a short sleeve shirt and some pretty killer legs who looked like he could be related to Abdi Abdirahman. (Spoiler: He was 16 and won the race in 17 minutes and some change, I think.)

The course was a double loop and flat as flat can be. Kelly, Judy and I started together, but about a half mile in, I checked my heart rate and knew I could pick it up, so I did. Kelly stayed with me.

There was a guy who ran with us for much of the race, I secretly hoped I could chick him at the end, but he picked it up in the last mile and there went that goal. (I’m starting to realize local strangers are reading my blog, so if that was you and you’re reading this, good job!)

I spent most of the race monitoring my heart rate and trying to push it to “almost puking.” I did a good job.

My Garmin time was 23:28. Yes, another P.R.! I’ve P.R.’d every race (of a distance I’ve raced before) since April. It never stops feeling good, but I know it won’t last forever.

Kelly finished two seconds behind me (I really think that will be our thing, flip-flopping and finishing within seconds of each other … but in eight months I’ll be 30 and we won’t be in the same age group anymore, but hopefully we’ll still push each other in races).

We watched some of our other friends finish before we got cold and headed inside for all-you-can-eat-pancakes and sausage! Yup! Pretty sweet. I also won a $15 gift certificate for a Road ID. (Once again, Hot Chocolate races, you have NOTHING on small local races. A fraction of the price and way more swag. Thank you, Park Forest Running & Pancake Club!)

Midwinter Cruise 5K
Age group awards! Judy, Kelly, me, Amanda.

They did five-year age group awards 2-deep, and Kelly and I placed in our age group! They also let you pick your own trophy which was kind of fun. Most of the trophies had little cruise ships on them which I found totally amusing (since it was the Midwinter Cruise … they also had leis and goofy hats and decorations, some of which you can see in the photo above … very fun).

Officially:
Time: 23:29, 7:35 pace
Overall: 33 out of 189
Females: 4 out of 99
F25-29: 1 out of 6