Three miles down… many more to go.

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We finished the 5K!!! No snow, not even any rain, and no injuries among my teammates. (An improvement over last year, apparently, when my friend Ray wiped out on the cobblestones and finished the race with a busted knee.)

So I can officially say that I’ve run my first 5K race. I find it a little funny that it’s taken me this long, considering that I completed a 10-mile Tough Mudder event over six months ago. I lost my mind slightly and jumped into the Tough Mudder with very little experience or training. For some reason, it took me a while to double back around and get to the 5K that I should have done much earlier on. (Which reminds me that doing another TM — with more preparation this time — needs to be added to my List.)

Anyway, the race was great. It was a good one to start with, as no one takes it too seriously. My friend Ray describes it as basically a parade minus the floats. People come out of their homes and business to watch and cheer on the runners; some of the participants rock full-on holiday costumes, like elves, reindeer and nutcrackers (see below); and the route is packed enough that you can’t move too quickly unless you’re already at the start of the pack.

Forget the ballet, it's the Nutcracker 5K!     Can you find Buddy the Elf?

There were definitely some runners who were there to set a great time. The winner averaged about 5 minutes/mile. I averaged 10.5 minutes/mile. I’m totally okay with and proud of that! I haven’t been running for very long, I’m not planning on being a competitive runner, and that’s actually a few seconds faster than I’ve been running recently.

The course was a little hillier than I’d expected, and I was really glad that I had my two friends Ray and Shannon running with me. They are both more experienced runners than I am but are super encouraging and were there just to have fun. I felt challenged and inspired to stick with them, which was rather helpful on the final hill. 🙂 We three amigas crossed the line within a single second of each other! Next up, Shannon is putting together a team for a Mud Run in the spring. Woot!

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