Cross Country Race Recap (5k)

I know everyday you wake up thinking “Gosh when is Hollie going to post another race recap?”  That’s okay-I wanted to wait for one of the very few times that I can include race photos.  (I know you also wake up thinking, “where is my favorite ostrich runner”) Most cross country races (which have been the majority of my races for a while) don’t have a lot of photos being taken.

But this time I was able too snag some.

My final cross country race and I actually wore a singlet when not forced.  My brother Matt said it was unacceptable if I wore a cotton shirt at such a prestigious race.  I saw a few people doing it but then again I scoped it out.

The afternoon before dad jogged out the course twice with me. (Yes those are my lime pants)

Anyways-the race started at a nice 8am.  I haven’t done early morning races like this in a while.  I’m not complaining, I’m just saying my body just wasn’t used to running at that time.  If I was that worried about it, I would have done these last few runs at 8am, but I didn’t.

The gun went off right at 8:00am.  It was quite chilly and race attire consisted of arm warmers, gloves, head warmer, singlet and I really did layer two pairs of spandex.  I didn’t mean too but I didn’t feel like rolling with ass out spanks. I immediately took off at “my take off speed”, but as typical Hollie style I got out extremely slow.  Every.Single.Time.  Lolz.  I was probably 275/300 at this point.

I swear this wasn't a one man show.

As the race progressed I began my move and started to mark and drop bitches.  You can tell in any sort of 5k that I am not a speedster.  This race was really well marked by every .2k.  So there was a sign at .2k, .4….1k….3.8k…5k.  So you literally knew how far you had left the entire time.   I would tell myself pass this girl at .4k, look up and move to the next in my line of view.   In cross country races, I’m more concerned with reeling girls in versus time.  Road races are more for time, in my opinion at least.

There was a rather big hill at exactly the halfway point.  I wasn’t worried about this hill, just the extremely steep downhill.  I didn’t wear spikes either, (I wore flats) so I was so afraid my bumbling ass would topple down the side of the hill. 

I literally was like I’m not about to injure myself to shave five seconds off my time  and so I took the hill pretty conservatively.

Then I continued passing people.  The first half of the race was in woods and so I didn’t have many spectators.  If you know me well-I don’t care either way.  Screaming at me never motivates me (for both swimming or running).  I have been known to flick my swim coaches off while, I swim at get some yard punishments for that…but that is a story for another day.  The second half of the course was all in the open though.  There was no escaping the literally thousands of spectators. 

There were a lot of people that knew me (because of Matt) cheering for me which was pretty cool.  I felt like I had real life friends.  I kept pushing though and the last .25 was around a lake so I felt like I was running around in a hamster wheel.  When I came around the bend I saw the clock clicking and it was at 19:54.  I knew there was no way I’d break 20:00 minutes but I just sprinted to the end.

You can't tell but I'm wicked pissed it was at a 20+ lolz. 😉

My final time was 20:05.  My goal was originally breaking 20 on a cross country course (I’ve done it on road quite a few times) but that was not in the cards today.  It was still an awesome race and I have no complaints.

My coach told me that it was equal to going about 19:40 on the roads.  Who knows though.  This wasn’t the hardest cross country course I have ever run, but it wasn’t a cake walk either. 

My next 5k is New Years Eve back on the roads.  Actually-that is my next race, but I would prefer to find something before that.  Either way-I should be under 20 minutes on my next road 5k and should actually be closer to 19 minutes.  We shall see where my running takes me though, always an adventure in my life.


Question for you:

  1. 1.       What is your optimal racing time?

I think mine is 11.  I do a nice shakeout run around 7:30, eat and then wait around.  I’ve always done well at that time.  Noon is too late because I’m wicked hungry. 🙂

  1. 2.        Do people screaming/cheering at you motivate you?

No.  Never.  Especially in swimming though, people would tell me to make my move at the 1000 mark in the 1650, and I’d get so pissed at them because they had no idea how to swim the mile.

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  1. I love your “drop bitches” strategy. This is so my race strategy–I ran a 5K here as a tempo run in August, and I literally passed 50 people on one hill–because I run it all the time, and well, I don’t have a “going out” speed! It’s super fun and keeps me focused. I like to pass Atlanta Track Club people, too (even if they are 70) because it makes me feel good.

    I love that your pic has you passing two guys! Yes!

    Oh, and cheering, yeah, no. Irrelevant when I’m feeling good and annoying when I feel like shit and people yell “looking good!” I actually prefer quiet races.

    Go get that 19. I’m going to focus on my sub 24. Damn, I am a slow-ass 5Ker.

    1. Quiet races are lovely-I do agree. This race was huge though, 5000+ spectators and there was no escaping. I hate people yelling at you to go faster when god knows they couldn’t run a quarter of a mile!

  2. When coaches would scream at me in swimming it would scare me so badly! Great job on your 5k and a new years race sounds so fun!!

  3. Your Dad is so goshdarn cute. I love our running-obsessed Padres. Warms my heart up. Also your ‘I <3 two a days' shirt made me crack up ahahah under armour knows whassup!

  4. Awesome work 🙂 I like mid afternoon workouts/races. I need to fuel up a bit before a race and it is hard to digest enough by the early morning!

  5. That is a fantastic time lady… I know you wanted to go under 20, but still! Great job 🙂 My ideal time is under 20 also, but I have only done that one time. I hope to again soon!

  6. Great time Hollie! Cross Country courses can be tough to do a good time, but you rocked it 🙂
    I like early morning races. I don’t mind people cheering for me it helps sometimes. I prefer smaller races with not as many spectators yelling though!

  7. This was a very entertaining RR. You’ll get your sub-20 on a cross country course in no time.

    I have no idea what my optimal 5k is because I’ve never trained consistently. The “fastest” I’ve run, currently, is just under 24, and that was only on 3-ish months of pseudo-training. I think if I put in real time and effort, keeping ridiculous breaks to a minimum, I could get my time around 21 or so.

  8. I can’t decide if it would drive me crazy to have the distance marked the entire time or if I could use it to strategize better. I’m a big fan of the woods – honestly if the entire course was in the woods and the spectators couldn’t see me, I’d probably be better off!

    You’re gonna kill it in your next 5k, no matter when it is. You’ve done it before, and you can do it again!

  9. I’m a lurker but I just have to ask– Is that McAlpine in Charlotte? Looks kind of familiar! I used to run XC practice there in high school.

    Nice job on the race 🙂

  10. I want your I <3 twoadays shirt! Do you know when you got it? I want to try to find it!

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