Which holiday is it again?

Here’s a picture of a Christmas Runner!

xmas-runner

I’m groaning too – but I didn’t race a Christmas-themed race. Instead, I’m catching up with a race report I never wrote from Thanksgiving.

The Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day Run was Hewitt’s first 5K (he’s my 9-year old, soon to be 10). Maybe I’m not an indulgent enough parent, but when my kids ask me if they can run a race with me, my answer is always “sure!” But… “just train for it first!” Races aren’t cheap, so I like them to understand that a race is a reward for putting in some hard work first.

Hewitt answered the challenge and he came out with me for quite a few runs in October and November. When the temperatures are reasonable (unlike the last couple of weeks) I usually ask the kids or Ellie (the dog) if they want to come on one of my recovery runs with me. Usually these are about 5 miles max, and you can’t run them too slow. Sometimes this backfires on me, but I am flexible. Hewitt is a trooper, and most of the time he’s up for 5, after he worked his way up to it. In fact, he outpaces me and Ellie frequently. Ellie is our 4-year-old Great Dane, and 5 miles is about my self-appointed max for her. She’ll do it on occasion, but more often than not she is happy with 2-3 and wants to turn around.

Race day was cold – I knew it would be hard to convince Hewitt to wear less clothing than he would feel warm in standing around. As a result, he wore pants and a zippered hoodie – too much, but I’m not an expert on how a 65 pound body responds to the cold vs. a 165 pound body. He wound up with the hoodie unzipped and flopping around on his arms only by the end.

You can see his finish video here. He’s on the right side of the frame – white t-shirt, dark pants. His chip time was 27:57 – placing him 9th out of the M9 & under crowd – a very competitive division as it turns out. The winner ran a 23:38. Great race, Hewitt!

His result was even more impressive if you consider this course – pretty serious hills for a 5K. It’s a loop, where you go past the start line on the other side of Ward Parkway and then come back to it. The first mile is downhill, the second mile uphill, the third a little of both.

I’m looking forward to the day where all of my boys can best me in a 5K, but the old man’s still got a few minutes on them.

I wanted to go under 20 minutes, but the combination of a chaotic start and the hilly course meant it was not to be. They started the 10K a couple hundred yards in front of the 5K, but not nearly enough. Enough said about that.

Here’s my finish. I didn’t really kick hard, because by the time I saw the clock, I knew I was going to be over 20:00. I felt great though – I think I would have had it on a flatter course. 20:23 is one of my better 5K times, and that was good enough for 2nd in my M45-59 age group.

Since then, I finished off my marathon recovery plan and I’ve started Boston training. I’m only two weeks in, but I had my most challenging workout so far yesterday – I’m happy with that 16 mile long run, with the last 8 miles at a 7:08 pace. The target marathon pace for this training cycle is 7:00. I was a bit tentative yesterday – I woke up to freezing fog. The driveway and even the street were glazed, and it was so slippery I almost turned around and went in for the treadmill. However, I hate the treadmill, so I explored a bit further and found decent and ever-improving traction on the edges of the cement sidewalk. I did see one crazy dude riding his bike – I don’t know how he stayed up!

Happy Holidays, and Happy Running!

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