Dec 122011

I ran the Santa Hustle 5K in Chicago along Lake Michigan last Saturday (3rd).  The weather was rainy and windy.  The grassy area with the tents/bag check/treats was muddy and slippery.  The Travel Channel was there filming it, but I’m not sure how much good stuff they got, just cuz everyone was wet and most people were wearing their jackets or something waterproof on top of the Santa technical shirts. Although there definitely was a sea of red hats and white beards (part of the race pack) that everyone was at least trying to wear!   I didn’t bring my phone with me to the race because it was so wet and yucky I was afraid it’d be toast.  My friend Jill brought hers, but kept it zipped up in her pocket for the same reason.

The race started out about 10 minutes late, my guess was that the Travel Channel was getting all prepped to film the beginning of the race.  The crowd was HUGE…when the race did start, I didn’t get to the start clock until well into a minute after the start, but luckily, this was a chip time race. This was the first time I’ve ever run a chip timed race, so that’s pretty cool.

The running path was narrow once we got out of the parking lot….the racers bottlenecked on the muddy/wet/full of potholes lake path. It was either run on the crowded path or run on the sides in the muddy grass…yuck, my shoes were wet within the first mile.

The concept was great…run along for a mile with a bunch of other Santas, then get some holiday  candy! Then run another mile and get some hot chocolate (which I NEVER saw), then towards the end of the race get some Christmas cookies!  They had enough water, candy and cookies for everyone…but yeah, eating something while you’re also trying to run…bad idea…like I said fun concept, not really great for trying to get in a good run. I folded up my cup of M&Ms and saved the for the end, I also shoved a couple Christmas cookies in my pockets for the end.

My race chip time was 45 minutes…that is the most horribly I have ever run a 5K, but on the other hand….crowds, rain, wind, bottlenecks, mud, multiple food/water stops…yeah..unless a runner was up in the front of the whole group and didn’t stop for anything, no one got a good time on this. There were runners, not walkers, but runners still coming in after the 60 minute mark, we could see them from the refreshment/tent area.

Oh, so another perk of this race was an “after party” at Cubby Bear’s by Wrigley Field. It was advertised for all runners, it was part of the original Santa Hustle sign up, even our race #s had a special tag on it to get into the after party, it was racers only.   Well, we got there, well before the party was going to be over…and they RAN OUT OF FOOD!  They said, “sorry folks, once this buffet is empty, there is no more, but feel free to order from our regular menu! Though its not free”  Umm yeah thanks Cubby Bear and Adrenaline Race Management, BAD PLANNING! You really pissed off us racers. I should have gone right back to my hotel, I was already cold, wet and tired!

Alright…so, after getting back to the hotel and taking a hot shower, my friend and I started off the awesome part of our day and night in Chicago…so the trip wasn’t a bust, just the race…I won’t be going back. Even if its not wet/rainy in future years, I don’t expect it to be any more organized than what happened this year.

If you want to see me, here are some pics I ended up in, at the end of the race, oh umm, they posted those reindeer pics with everyone, that has nothing to do with me!

Santa Hustle 5K Pics

What’s next:

The 2011 Resolution Run!  I really slacked after my 5K on Labor Day….I improved from my 1st 5K on Memorial Day to my 2nd one on Labor Day…and then, well…the weather, illness and general running laziness took over.  Not this time!  I’m going to kick some arse at the Resolution Run…to end my 2011 off right! I am doing Couch 2 5K over again, but I’m doing it for the interval timing, with the guy coming on my podcast and telling me when to go fast and when to slow down…I can be accountable for intervals.  I’m doing Couch to 5K with a much faster pace to build up my time. I’m kicking my butt, I’m still slow, but I hope to secure myself at a time that is LESS THAN a 13:30 minute mile by the end of the month….I am trying to do this by running 3x a week…I really hope I can! I want to finish a 5K in less than 38 minutes.

I think I can, I think I can!

Staying on Track Update:

Just a quick update, I’m logging into Daily Mile to log my runs, I’m logging into MyFitnessPal to log my food (I often forget to hit the “Complete my Diary” button), but I’m there logging!  I’m staying on track during the holidays!


I’ve been having to clip my “underthings” on a tighter hook these last couple weeks, so I reached into the back of my unmentionables drawer for a smaller size.  Smaller around, not the cup size…well, it fit perfectly!  YAY! I’m down a chest size, but not a cup size! w0ot w00t!


How are you guys out there doing so far during the holidays? Are you managing the extra temptations?

Any wintery runs coming up?

I’m so happy for an NSV during the holidays, tell me about yours! Any clothing, shopping, #DontEatTheTreat triumphs?

<3 Merbear

  One Response to “Santa Hustle 5K & Ramping up for the Resolution Run”

  1. Sorry the race wasn’t what you were hoping for this time! Your plan for the next one sounds great 🙂

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