I don’t know whose idea it was to run a race on New Year’s Day, but I gotta tell you, it felt about as pleasant as you’d imagine it would.
After having a few too many drinks last night and possibly getting a little emotional and ending up in a bedroom at my friends’ house holding back some tears, this morning wasn’t exactly awesome. I didn’t get much sleep so when the alarm when off and it was time to get out of bed, I wanted nothing to do with anything. My wife’s pleas to stay in bed and just accept a DNS didn’t help much either, but knowing we’d be meeting Ms LOLZ herself, Hollie, and seeing Ashley the Running Bun, we found a way to roll out of bed and make things happen.
After picking up our bibs and hoodies, we did a couple warmup laps around the park’s .8 mile loop. It was cold out, but not too cold as long as you kept moving. Before I knew it, it was time to lineup and get this race started. I didn’t have much of a plan other than keep it easy and try not to let my hangover get in the way.
Right away, I took off a bit too fast for what I had in me for the day, but I couldn’t get my legs to slow down. Mile one was around a 7:45 or so mile, but…you know…hangover. Mile two was actually a bit faster at 7:26. I’m not sure how I hung on, to be honest. I was pushing myself more than I wanted to, but I felt okay enough to keep at it.
As we entered back into the park for the last mile, my legs wanted to give up, my lungs wanted to quit, and I wanted to take a nap…or six. I figured it was less than a mile at this point so I’d just hang on as best I could and use other runners as motivation to keep the pace up. I didn’t quite get to my PR pace, but mile three clocked in a 7:15 which isn’t too shabby!
With about 50 feet to go, I saw another runner coming up along my left while being cheered on by a spectator. I had actually just passed him less than a quarter mile back and I wasn’t about to let him in front of me again. Somewhere, I pulled out the energy for an all out sprint to the finish line to keep him behind me and cross the finish line at a respectable 23:24.
Despite the cold weather and the hangover, this was a fun race. It was a nice motivator to get up and out of bed and I ran a better race than expected. I came in just 33 seconds off my 5k PR and fourth in my age group. I’m not sure I ever want to run another race feeling like I did when I woke up this morning, but I’m glad I did it!