The Annual Christopher Martin’s Christmas Run for the Children 5K was held on December 9th in New Haven, CT. This race has a special place in my heart since it was the first local, non-Disney race that I ever ran. And can you believe that was only one year ago?!? Seems like I’ve been doing this running thing forever! (Check out last year’s chilly race recap here.)
The weather for the race was about 45 degrees and overcast…perfect New England running weather. Last year it was sunny, but a frigid 28 degrees…not so ideal. So immediately, I had high hopes of a better race, not just because I’m in much better shape this year, but because the weather was in my favor.
I picked up my race packet on Friday, so I didn’t have to worry about it on the morning of the race. I also got the race shirt, which I LOVE. I still wear mine from last year all the time!
B (my #1 cheerleader) drove me into New Haven getting there about 20 minutes prior to the start of the race. We proceeded to drive around for about 10 minutes looking for parking and I was about to jump you to go to the start line when miraculously we got one right on Orange Street.
We walked over to the starting area, which is right in front of Christopher Martin Restaurant on State Street and we saw this festive house on the way:
The starting area was PACKED!! There were close to 2,700 participants this year, which is the largest amount yet! I couldn’t even get on the street and had to wait in the gas station parking lot until the crowd started moving. I didn’t cross the start line until almost a minute after the actual start.
The plan was to do a 3 minute run/ 1 minute walk pace for the race. This is what I’ve been training with and it works really well for me. I was going along at about a 10:40 average pace, which I was REALLY happy about…well until my Garmin died just before the first mile. I unplugged it the night before and unfortunately I think it froze so the screen stayed on all night, which in turn killed the battery. Awesome. So I whipped out my iPhone and started the timer on there to try and keep the same pace. This proved to be much more difficult, but it worked for the most part.
That 10:40 pace I had during the first mile is fast for me and unfortunately it caught up with me. Buy the time I finished mile 2, my legs were starting to feel tired and I cut my intervals down to 2/1. I also felt some uncomfortableness in my left quad, which was new for me. Ugh…did I push too hard???
Well, that might have been so, but I pushed it really hard for the final ¼ mile. I was determined to get a PR. I wasn’t really sure what my time was, but I felt that I was somewhere around 33 minutes at that point.
I crossed the finish line and overall felt great (except for that leg tweak)! I found B and he said I looked so much better this time at the end of the race compared to last year. That’s a pretty awesome compliment 🙂
My time for the 2011 race was 39:45 and that was my fastest 5K time to date. This year for 2012, my official time was 35:52…that’s a 3:53 minute improvement!!! Plus, my last 5K PR in early September was 36:40, so that’s 48 seconds faster there. Even though I haven’t been putting in the mileage for my marathon training, I’m really happy with my progress. I’ve come a long way in a year 🙂 Maybe next year I’ll sub 32 minutes!!
Do you have a yearly race you run?