Feet accompli: Miss Santa Holiday 5K

We took another trip to Crazytown last weekend and registered to run two 5Ks. Both were a blast, although thankfully only one of them required me to wear facial hair and oversized novelty felt pants. The other, a decidedly more serious affair (despite the presence of a number of saucy Miss Santas), was the occasion of a major milestone for me: I RAN THE WHOLE WAY!

Miss Santa Holiday 5K

Runners gather along the Charles River in Boston for the Holiday 5K.

This is huge. In my previous life, I couldn’t even run up the street without wheezing like an old man and stopping to catch my breath. And while I still wheeze like an old man, and often need to take my asthma puffer during a run, being able to do a 5K without pausing is something I never thought I would accomplish. Ever. (Granted, until six months ago, I hadn’t spent a lot of time thinking about running.)

It was a glorious day for the Miss Santa Holiday 5K. Bitterly cold, but crisp and clear. Best of all, this course, along Boston’s lovely Charles River Esplanade, had no hills. Hooray! Savvy readers will recall my inability to manage inclines of any size, despite my best efforts and copious research. So yes, the flatness of this course no doubt pushed me, Hubby (and probably most of the other runners) to a personal best.

With a little help from a running buddy

However, it wasn’t just the absence of hilly hazards that stopped me from stopping. I ran this race in the company of a good friend with a similar pace to mine. It was the first time we had run together (actually, it was the first time I had run with anyone who wasn’t Hubby Santa), and somehow, silently, we got each other to go faster – and keep going.

We learned afterwards that we were both thinking the same thing: “I am not going to be the one to stop first,” despite sharing that must-immediately-cease-all-activity feeling that usually occurs around the 2.5-mile mark. The prospect of being shamed is a great motivator!

Or maybe it was the beer

Miss Santa Holiday 5K

The perfect (if not the healthiest) post-race thirst quencher.

A confession. One of the reasons this event appealed to us so much (and something that potentially contributed to our superior results) was the after-party and brunch at Cheers, which of course featured my favorite post-run libation. Had I known there was also going to be yummy, yummy bacon, however, I may have run even faster. Note to race organizers: Let this fact be known earlier!

The event was put on by an organization called Run Against Cancer Events (RACE), which donates money to various charities.

That, plus bacon, plus a goal accomplished equals happiness.

Miss Santa Holiday 5KThe event: Miss Santa Holiday 5K
The location: Boston, MA
The date: December 11, 2011
My time: 33:33 (which, by the way, takes my pace below 11 minutes!)
Hubby’s time:
21:06 (wow!)
The T-shirt:
No T-shirt (shock!), but a selection of hats and gloves
The aftermath: Bananas, oranges, bagels, Larabars and of course the party

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8 responses to “Feet accompli: Miss Santa Holiday 5K

  1. Congrats on running the whole thing! I’m so impressed! And I really hope that one day we can run a race together. By the way, that beer might not be as unhealthy as you think… My dad sent me this article a little while back: http://www.active.com/running/Articles/Can-Beer-Improve-Your-Run-Time.htm?cmp=291&memberid=75843381&lyrisid=22643788

  2. Ha! Thanks for the article. Love having scientific reasoning to justify my beer consumption. The funny thing is I don’t drink a lot of beer normally, but there’s something about it after a race … Hmmm, I guess it’s called “availability”. Would be awesome to do a race together. You would kick my ass!!

  3. Way to go, S&J! It is always a cause for post-run celebration when you can say you did it non-stop! Love your blog!

    • Thanks, slowrunnings! Cause for celebration indeed! Never thought I’d be able to do it when I first started. Am still thinking it was a fluke. 🙂 Love your blog too. Serious willpower. I’m beginning to think I can’t run without the promise of beer at the end.

  4. I found your blog looking for race reports: small world, your hubby pushed me to my PR for the year (I was two seconds ahead of him). I thanked him in person at the time but wanted to post it here, too. Looks like the temps got to both of us when we raced again at Yulefest – no doubt we’ll all hit some of the same races in the new year!

  5. Wow, it is a small world! Loved that everyone got pushed to PRs during this race. And you’re right, the temps definitely had the upper hand at Yulefest. Man, was that a cold one! (Post to come soon.)

    I’m sure we’ll run into you again in 2012! 🙂 We’re planning on doing as many events as we can, although February is going to be a problem. Damn New England weather.

    • There are a few – just a few – opportunities to race in February, although things can get snowed out. Super Bowl Sunday will feature the Super 5K in Lowell and a race from RaceMenu in Boston which may be a five miler. Then at the end of the month is the Hyannis Marathon, Half Marathon, and Marathon Team Relay. There are a few more farther outside of Boston during the month, but pickings are indeed slim….

  6. Thanks for the suggestions James. There’s also the ultimate indoor run if you have a penchant for running in circles. It is a half marathon consisting of 68 laps of the Milford dome in NH. http://www.smuttynose-palooza.com/
    It’s part of the “will run for beer” series. Originally it was posted as 66 laps, but someone must have miscalculated and now it’s at 68…not sure about those extra two.