Hey everyone! It’s 2017, and I’m starting another year of racing. Some runners don’t start their race season until the spring – they take the winter off from racing. Some runners only run a few races a year. But yours truly doesn’t take time off from racing. I don’t take time off running at all. I race all year long, with my continuing goal of running a race every month! This tradition started in 2015 with only one month that was questionable (I ran my own 10k, not an official race) and continued in 2016, where I got my December race in at the very last minute on New Year’s Eve. So here we are in 2017, and let me tell you about my January race!
We have a few local running clubs near where I live, one of which puts on a winter race series that includes a December, January and February race. They are 5k races and are only $10 registration fees with the option to buy a shirt for $15. Last year I ran the Christmas race and the Freeze Your Fanny. Some friends of mine decided they were running the Freeze Your Fanny this year, so I opted to join them and save myself a little money on race entry fees. Plus it’s always fun to try to beat your course PR!
I went into this race without any plans of getting a PR. A friend of mine was looking for someone to run with that would be running around a 12 minute per mile pace. I told her that I planned on running a bit faster than that, and our other friend thought her pace would be right around there, so she opted to go with our other friend. They started the race ahead of me so I was determined to keep up with them, thinking they were running around a 12 minute pace. The first mile I felt somewhat defeated as I was chasing after them, the distance between us getting greater, and me thinking I was running slower than a 12 minute per mile pace. Then my watched beeped to tell me I had hit my first mile, and when I looked down I saw that my friends were definitely not taking it easy – my first mile pace was 10:23 minutes per mile!
Now I’m thinking, well crap, how am I going to keep up this pace? I knew the pace was very close to my PR pace (my “official” PR 5k time is 32:11; however it was on a short course, only 3 miles, so I kept running to get an official PR on my Garmin at 32:45) and when you’re THAT close, you just want to get that PR! The friend who was planning to keep a 12 minute mile pace must have felt good, because she took off ahead of our other friend… so I kept her in my sights and tried to keep up with her. I eventually passed our other friend and hit mile 2 in 10:31/mile. I tried to push even harder that third mile, but I ended up with a 10:37/mile pace, and then I kicked it into gear. I saw a girl in front of me that appeared to be my age, and thought, “I’m going to beat that girl and try to get a higher rank in our age group!” Turns out I was wrong – she was in the age group younger than me – but that extra push at the end gave me a PR.
YEP. Went into that race not expecting a PR, just wanting to beat my course PR, and ended up with a 32:34 5k time – beating my previous PR by 11 seconds and beating my course PR by over two minutes.
But wait! There’s more. That wasn’t even the icing on the cake. The best part of this race was listening to the awards being given out. When they got to my age group, the announced the first place winner, and then I heard them say “2nd place with a time of 32:34…” and I jumped up and squealed as they said “Megan Hammis” – I won! I got 2nd in my age group! That had NEVER happened to me before… and I got more bling to add to my awesome medal display!
After I calmed down a bit, we left and got lunch together – we had fun laughing with each other and our waiter, who was a runner himself. 2017 Freeze Your Fanny was an amazing race and just a great day overall spent with friends.