|I ran in another race this weekend. I really enjoy racing - daily runs by myself, not so much, but I do them so I can race. The race this weekend was the Ho Ho Ho Holiday 5k run in Bethpage hosted by the Greater Long Island Running Club. It was so much fun. This was the first race that I've attended with the Alley Pond Striders. What a difference it makes to have a group of friends there to run with, to shout support and to hang around with after the race. It was beautiful day - sunny, not too windy and above freezing by a degree or two. I wasn't sure what to wear. I didn't want to be too warm, but I didn't want to freeze my patootie. I think I got it about right. Tights, light coolmax hiking socks, a base layer top and a technical 1/4 zip top. I also wore light gloves and a headband to cover my ears. There were people there in shorts, but a 5k doesn't warm me up that much. The free shirt was a nice blue sweatshirt - I needed a sweatshirt for my wardrobe, but I didn't wear it in the race.
The race start was a bit confusing. This race attracted a good size crowd, including a number of people in unique costumes, and we had to start on a fairly small local road. There was much milling around and then the starting horn went off. I wasn't even sure in which direction we were supposed to be running, but I just got dragged along with the mob. An immediate turn onto an even smaller roadway caused a bit of a bottleneck and I had to be careful not to get body-slammed into a parked car. My left foot cramped for about the first quarter of a mile, it's been doing that lately and I'm not sure why, but otherwise, it was a comfortable race. I finished in 29:20. Much faster than I expected to go, only 25 seconds off of my PR. The postrace food had the usual bagels and bananas, but since Whole Foods was a sponsor, it also included some natural sodas, juices and pudding. The pudding was a big hit. I think I ate about three of them. After the awards were announced (the prize for the first three people in each award category were 4 glasses engraved with the race info and were very nice) the race organizers also put together a door prize raffle. Everyone who ran was entered and they had some nice stuff. The two big prizes were a digital camera worth about $1000 and two airline tickets anywhere JetBlue flies. I already had my vacation planned, but I didn't win the tickets.
Today, the Striders had its annual holiday party and elections. After our morning run(I did six miles, which was a little hard after the race yesterday), we partook of a big spread in the parkhouse. I ate way too many sweets, but there were homemade brownies. I baked a marble banana bread from a recipe I found in Cooking Light magazine. It turned out well and was completely gone before the end of the party.
Now I should be off finishing my shopping, so have a great week!.