The Santa Hustle 1/2 was well organized from what I could tell. We drove up on Saturday early afternoon to check in and get my race packet. Packet pick up was easy. It helped that the line for the half was super short (no one) and the 5k line was 20 people deep. That certainly worked to my advantage. After picking up my packet, we enjoyed some water park time at the Wilderness @ the Smokies. Really a neat place. Afterwards, we met my mom and her husband for a delicious dinner- they have a great buffet - and then we all went to the arcade area where they also have some mini bowling lanes. Ethan was in heaven.
|Pre-race selfie....I look pretty tired here, but I was feeling ok.|
|Candy & Cookie stops on the race route!|
My time wasn't great, but oddly enough it was a PR for me, taking 5 minutes off my previous best time. I'm pretty excited about that since I had NO expectations for a "good" time considering how awful my leg felt last weekend in the 5k race. Based on the 15k race I did in early October, Disney estimates I should finish a half in 25 less minutes than I finished this one, so I cannot wait to be 100% and really go for it.
Sunday morning, I was up at 6am to drink my protein milk and get ready for the race. The half was to start at 7:30am and the 5k at 7:45am. I really need to wait until the very last second to use the restroom before the race starts, although this time I almost missed the start. Ha!
I saw my mom on her balcony as the race started. I was frantically waving to her but in the sea of red clothing, she did not see me...though she asked me if I was yelling to her and waving, so I guess she actually DID see me, but just wasn't sure it was me.
|You can see the color loss on my shirt in this picture!|
There was a sign above us that said "Mistletoe Kissing Station"...mom cut that out of the picture...oops!
I'm still surprised I finished the race upright. My leg hung in there and I felt good for most of the race up until mile 12. Oh mile 12....we are NOT friends!
I was SOOO ready to be done, that last mile was killing me. I have never seen my mom AT the finish line before so while Oscar and Ethan were cheering loud and taking pictures, when I saw my mom, I got a little choked up...and so did she. We are such "softies".
Apparently all the 5k runners ate the bananas. I was VERY upset that there were NONE for me and that all I had to pick from for after race foods was chocolate chip cookies. I gave Ethan one. I might have eaten one but I cannot remember.
Oscar had work to do back home so I got in the shower as quickly as I could at that point. I was feeling sore already. My mom and her husband headed out to enjoy the day at Dollywood in anticipation of the Christmas lights in the evening. We checked out at noon and were home in 50 minutes.
I had scheduled a massage for 5pm thinking of how wonderful it would feel after the race. It was "ok" but it was not "fabulous" by any means. I think I would have been better off having it on Monday as I was quite uncomfortable and really struggled to walk and going DOWN steps was near impossible. I'm sure my soreness was elevated due to not being able to adequately train for the past 2 months because of this darn hamstring issue.
In the end, it was a great weekend. Good family fun. A good race. An awesome (and HUGE) medal. A PR for me. Everybody's happy! I'd love to do this race again next year.