SUCH a great weekend…where do I even start?
First of all, I had been looking forward to hanging with some of my favorite gals. I was lucky enough to have been picked for the second year in a row to be an Ambassador for the Fit Foodie 5K and I was in VERY good company: Courtney, Erika, and Amy would be re-joining me along with Mar and Kathryn, who I was excited to finally meet!
Also…man did I need a break from regular life for a weekend. I hadn’t run a 5K since January and was feeling really pumped up about racing. There’s just something about 5Ks that I love. Then I was feeling pretty pumped up about eating a bunch of yummy food.
We headed out at around 2pm Friday, got checked in to the hotel an hour and change later and went over to the upscale Mosaic District, which was the same venue for Fit Foodie as last year. The packet pickup which was easy as pie and staffed by a bunch of friendly, helpful people, was conveniently located in the most dangerous store on the planet, aka: Target. Somehow I managed to get out of there spending a grand total of NO DOLLARS. I don’t think that has ever happened to me before in my life.
After that major success, we killed some time window shopping before heading over to the VIP party, which was held at celebrity chef RJ Cooper’s restaurant, GypsySoul.
The wine (Prosecco for me!) was flowing and the small plates were quite delicious. Especially the shrimp in some kind of salsa shown in the left hand pic. OMG.
The tomato soup—which I ate sans bacon because I’m a weirdo who hates bacon—was also good, but the spoon they gave us to eat it with was dollhouse-sized. I ended up drinking it like a shot. Better that than vodka, I guess.
Speaking of vodka, they had some signature cocktails as well. I did not sample them because I’m not a vodka drinker, but they seemed to be popular with everyone else.
We wrapped up at the party fairly early because as good as the apps were, we were ready to throw down on a great big dinner back near the hotel and I wanted to rest up for my 5:45 wake up. Not before taking another delicious gift bag of Sartori cheeses with me though! There is currently enough cheese in my fridge to last me until 2016.
The 5K this year was scheduled to start at 7:30 am, which usually would be a great way to beat the summer heat, but by the time my alarm went off the air was already thick with 100% HUMIDITY. I arrived back to the Mosaic District and quickly found my fellow Ambassadors. Just like last year, the emcee was doing a great job getting everyone involved in some pre-race warmups.
I opted for a quick half mile run to get my legs ready. While I was out there, I passed the mile 3 sign…and the most rancid, gag-worthy smelling dumpster I think I’ve ever encountered in my life. I made a point to warn my friends to not breathe in the hot garbage when they saw that sign.
Last year as a last minute decision, they had opted to do a wave start. Although it seemed that just as many people were running this year, they let everyone go all at once, which as I’m sure you can imagine caused a bit of a traffic jam. I was able to maneuver through it pretty quickly though and caught up with the lead group of runners. There was only one girl up ahead of me and I kept my eye on her, trying to match her pace.Pretty soon my watch was beeping the end of mile 1, although there was no mile 1 marker in sight…
…until nearly a quarter mile later? Who the heck had marked this course?
To further complicate things, after another half mile we ran past the mile 3 marker when clearly it was NOT mile 3. Apparently we would be traveling this particular stretch of road twice, which meant DOUBLE the hot garbage smell that I mentioned earlier. Then we had to continue on past the finish line—which I hate—and we were right back to where we started and then traveling on a different street. My watch beeped mile 2, but I never did see the sign for it. We were definitely going the right way because it was clearly marked with arrows and course marshals, but overall the setup was just really, really strange.
During the third mile, leader girl started to pull away and while I was still feeling pretty good, it was like trying to breathe inside a sponge out there and I just didn’t have the energy to go after her. I hung with a few guys that were running near me and soon we were meeting back up with the runners who were about to make their first pass of the horrible dumpster. At that point I knew I was almost done so as soon as my watch beeped for mile 3 I gave it everything I had. My finish time was good for second place female and 5th overall:
And my splits:
Mile 1: 6:34
Mile 2: 6:47
Mile 3: 6:49
I. FELT. AH-MAZING.
You know what would have been even more amazing though? If someone had handed me some water when I came across the finish line rather than just looking at me. Come on, guys.
I liked the way they had things set up this year. The finished line emptied right into the Finisher’s Village where there were food and swag booths set up and of course the wine garden, sponsored by Cupcake wines (some of my FAVORITES!) I exchanged some happy words and high fives with the guys I had been running with and made a quick trip over to where my car was parked in the Target garage to grab my bag and sunglasses. Then back to the finish line to find everyone and taste some yummy eats and drink some yummy drinks. Never mind that it was only 8 am.
Just like last year, it was a fun, party atmosphere—as you might be able to tell from the above ridiculous picture—despite the intense humidity and rain that fell briefly. Soon they would start calling people up to receive awards. I totally missed the memo on this and didn’t realize that I had been announced until they were on to the age group winners. I quickly rushed up, collected my medal and a photographer snapped my sweaty picture, which I’m sure was just lovely.
I had already visited all the tents and collected everything I needed, so I bid farewell to my fellow Ambassadors and made my way to the same place I always have to go directly following a race.
That would be Starbucks.
Venti tiramisu latte in hand, it was back to the hotel for a shower and the remainder of the day was spent shopping and being a tourist in DC. It was exactly the vacation that I needed.
Sunday I was scheduled to attend a pure barre/yoga class aaaaaand I’m so sorry, but I managed to sleep right through my alarm and missed the whole thing. Epic fail, I know, but I haven’t been getting nearly enough sleep lately and my body needed it.
So what did I think of this event? There were definitely some interesting changes this year, some of which were better than last such as the organization of the Finisher’s Village. The sponsors and acts of kindness were top notch and many thanks to Cooking Light & Health magazines, Rove, Sartori, the American Diabetes Association, and Pure Canadian Maple Syrup for the love!
The 5K itself was okay and the course definitely had some issues that I think need to be worked out before next year, such as the odd placement of the mile markers. It was nice to see that the area where runners had to cross over each other last year had been revised so we didn’t have to go through that again, but it was a bit awkward having to meet up with a big group right as I was trying to finish out my race. Water at the end would have been really nice too.
And the dumpster. Twice. Let’s not have that again please.
Thank you, Fit Foodie, for a fun weekend!!!
If there’s a round 3 next year, count me in.