Mud In Your Eye Cross Country 5k (19:43)

I had mentioned last Sunday that I had done a cross country 5k.  (Did I mention how long the title was? I had actually run this course before (in the summer) and ran a 20:21.  Six months (and a large cyst) later I ran it in 19:45.  All good.  It is a completely cross country course (I ran in spikes). 

I love any excuse to run in spikes.  I’ve been doing most of my runs on as much trail and grass as possible.  I used to believe that pavement was the best and I wouldn’t run on anything else.  It took me a very long time to truly love running on dirt, mud and grass.  Moving on.

I had no idea how this race would go because my blood sugars had been seriously out of whack prior and I hadn’t really been running a lot.  As well as I had two back to back pretty decent 8 mile runs which meant my legs were pretty tired.  Meaning, I just wanted to enjoy myself in the race.  (but when do I not?)

We all lined up on the grassy null behind the prison and were off.  There were a lot of high schoolers at this race because it is a certified high school and collegiate (though not sure if they use it for that) cross country course.  They thrive off this course since they spend a season…or four just running this course over and over again.

Anyways, we all lined up ready to go.  I immediately saw the percentage of high schoolers at the front compared to normal road races.  Such a different crowd, so I knew the competition would be tough.  (then of course the ones that die off after 1k) And the high school age boys…would be…well themselves and slightly creepy.

So with that we started and I was probably pretty far back (maybe 30th?).  I felt pretty strong and started with the hilliest mile at 5:53.  I tend to run my races conservative and would rather be too slow (for me) then too fast die and cry through the race.  I’d rather run 5:5X and not be dead then 5:4X and die…but that could also be a mental block.

When I realized I felt pretty good (which surprised me) I noticed there was one other female in front of me.  So I began my tunnel vision.  So with that, I started to crank out the next two miles (through the mud) with a 6:27 and 6:13 and took over first for females.

I finished chasing after an 11 year old boy (Is that weird to say I’m chasing after someone born in 2002!) but alas I couldn’t catch him.  I’m pleasantly surprised and happy with this race.

Dad and I post race
Dad and I post race (I don’t think I could look more awkward)

Questions for you:

What is your favorite terrain to run on?

How would you feel chasing an 11 year old LOL?

(in his defense he is an incredible athlete and a very sweet kid).

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  1. I have yet to race with youngings and I think I would feel poorly about myself if some one that much younger than me was that awesome. I would wonder where I went wrong and why I smoked all through HS instead of running. Ah to be that young and dumb again!

  2. whoa, whoaaa, you are such a gifted runner! Very nice!

    I think I need to get the pavement running down first before I even dreaam of any other terrain!

  3. Way to go Hollie :). The last pic you look like you’re all legs, haha. But it’s just the way you’re standing (or maybe because I never look like that… I’m a shorty). Good job on the race and beating all those kiddos, I’m not surprised you did bc you train so hard. Crazy about that 11 year old tho, it amazes me how fast kids can run even without a bunch of training like we do! Guess it’s the absence of adult stressors, haha. Have a good one!

    1. It was taken from a 8 or 9 year old’s angle so it was a “flattering” angle I guess LOL. I’m 5’7 and 130 but that photo def paints another photo. I guess that is how America’s Next Top Model works LOL. Actually come to think of it, I always wondered why race photographers got that low.

  4. Good for you! I prefer pavement but it’s so much better for the legs to run on that softer terrain. I tend to like fall on my face or twist an ankle every time I do run in the trails, so that’s probably where my animosity towards them is coming from.
    You’ve come really far with your running in the last year. I’m hoping I can do the same with my races this year! The secret must be just running for fun. If it’s not fun, you just won’t race well. You seem to always enjoy your races and that’s awesome.

    1. I’m not really sure what you mean running for fun. It’s true that I enjoy most of my runs and don’t worry about pace but I am training.

      Thank-you and yes my running has come pretty far though I don’t really have any PR’s to show for it LOL.

      I don’t enjoy all my races (last week’s 20k post is a prime example of that). I just don’t cry after races because I know I can find one every weekend you know?

      1. Oh no when I say running for fun because you seem to enjoy them while you’re doing them and don’t like get way too stressed out or anything like some people do. You seem like you try to enjoy it before and after even though once you’re racing, you’re in race mode, if that makes any sense?

    2. Oh yeah for sure! I used to get so STRESSED about swimming that I sent myself into a few panic attacks. It’s never been that way with running and I think that is why I enjoy it so much!

  5. Yaya, nice job, Hollie! That’s funny, yet not surprising, about the high school boys. Back during my collegiate basketball days, I used to do my running workouts on the high school track–lots of 13-year-old boys, lots of testosterone, and lots of questionable looks. 😉

  6. Hollie, you rock! Awesome race, you really do have to look out for those high school boys…creep city sometimes 🙂 And that 11 year old boy, what a brat. He probably cut the course!

  7. Hehe. Love the comment about the other female runner and tunnel vision. I’m super competitive and that would definitely happen to me too if I were a runner. That being said, I’m not much of one… so I’m not going to be spending any time chasing 11 year old boys, thank you very much 😉

  8. You’re running skills amaze me. I wish I was as fast as you or even close to you!

    Love the part about high school boys being well…themselves…and creepy!!

    I also love cross country courses. There’s something about the spike and grass and mud that is unparalleled to any other course.

  9. oh high school boys where the freak do they get their speed? I do the same thing with races, i start slow and then pick it up. I have the endurance so mile 10 in half marathons is where I thrive and jam out. weird but helped me in cross country because I would fly by people at mile two when they were stalling

  10. Good going, Holly! My favorite terrain? Asphalt. I am too clumsy to do trail at this time (without training and time spent on it). Also, 11 years old? Creeper.

    Or…”I’ll get you my pretty (awkward) and your little dog too!”

  11. Ok so funny story. At my triathlon in Sept, a little like seriously 8 year old sprinted past me on the run. I hope he was a triathlon relay person so that he didn’t kill me after having swam and biked, too. It did motivate me to try a little harder! haha

    Awesome race, as always! HS boys sure are creepy…remember when I coached them? Creeps.

  12. Oh no how terrible being beaten by someone so young, well if it means anything you look 12 hehe… esp in that pic… so skinny and tiny! 🙂 I have to admit I do know how it feels though chasing younger ones down we have these crazy TWINS yes they come in 2 which makes it WORSE as they are both only just 14 and today were averaging 2.15s on the 800 thankfully got them on the 1km for once and they had to catch me but gesh it’s a horrible feeling and it seems the shorter the distance the better the younger ones are… :-/ Anyway there’s my rant… Congrats with the XC… awesome time too for courses like that esp with mud, wow! Oh oh and I also love any chance to wear my spikes hehe… Love my Nike Victory XCs 🙂

      1. opps, well you still look like you could pass as one of them so 😛 hehe mean in the nicest way truly! 🙂 And WOW seriously your 5’7″ I feel so small, damn, stuck at 5’3.5 and yes that .5 is VERY important hehe…

  13. Congrats on your race! I’ve only done a trail race once and it was very very hard! Definitely different from the good old road.

  14. Bahaha it’s hard to think about an 11yr old being the one to chase. Although they do have all that built up energy!! Great job on the race and you must teach me your ways with tunnel vision.

  15. Great race! I love your mentality going into racing– you’re competitive but just want to have fun. What a great mindset to have. I really like trail running but don’t do it very often because I’m so used to road races (oh and because I live in Chicago and we don’t have trails in the city). I’m hoping that if/when I leave Chicago I can run trails more regularly.

  16. hahaha chasing an 11 year old LOL! When I did my Turkey Trot I had that same mind set haha only a lot of them were those crazy looking runners with like -10% body fat lol I didn’t win the chase 😉 Great job with the race!! As always I’m impressed with your speed 🙂

  17. haha 😀 I love that you run with all ages girl! Glad you had fun and I think you are definitely back from your injury as you are now beating your times prior to the injury! So happy for you 😀

  18. Kind of a personal question, but how does your dad do at these things? He seems to be quite the runner himself!

  19. I’ve been following you blog for a wee bit but seem to have missed what happened to cause the blood sugars to start playing up? Is that something new in the last few months?

  20. One of my last duathlons there was a 9 year old boy beating me…lol I didn’t even feel bad. oh well! it’s fun that those ages can participate too. I’m dying to try trail running (even though I’m a totally klutzy) but I don’t know any near my house. One day I will

  21. *sigh* You’re a beast. That is all.

    PS – I get beat by kids all the time. I’m used to it. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to trip them…occasionally.

  22. Hot Dog! That’s a speedy 11 year old!

    I’m not sure what my favorite race surface is, but growing up in Florida, I know what my LEAST favorite surface is….sand!

  23. 1 year old boy? He must have been flying. It would make me feel a little strange because I would be thinking out my son (he’s only 4, but close enough!). I wonder at what age my kids are going to be faster than me? Probably not something you think about though!! 😉

  24. 11 year old boy? He must have been flying. It would make me feel a little strange because I would be thinking out my son (he’s only 4, but close enough!). I wonder at what age my kids are going to be faster than me? Probably not something you think about though!! 😉

  25. that 11 year old kid is a future running prodigy if you couldn’t catch him lol! This was a pretty baller race for you all things considered, and I’m really glad your blood sugars got their shit together in time 😀 I too was a pavement girl at first, it took me until I got to William & Mary to like trails!

  26. Way to go! Last year I ran a k5 with the school I taught at and one of my 8 yr old students beat me by 3 seconds. She didn’t let me forget it for the whole rest of the year. At least you will never have to see that 11 yr old again! haha

  27. I love running off road. It’s a lot more intersting, I find, than running along roads and pavements. But then I’m quite clumsy so I’ve got more chance of falling on my face off road. Especially prefer off road at the moment due to our recent snow = icy, compacted snow pavements.

  28. I ran my 10k in October mostly next to a (maybe?) 14-15 year old boy who was playing music from his iPhone. Pretty awesome mix, I do have to admit, and as I don’t wear music when I race, but usually run with it, it was kinda fun. Killed him in the last 2k though. 😉

    Not gonna lie — I love reading about your 5ks. I’m probably going to spend the summer working on speed, so I’m definitely (more than) considering running a 5k or two between my May and Sept half-marathons. I know they’re painful, but I think they’d help me push and they really do look like fun!! And yes pain does equal fun sometimes.

  29. YEAH for a daughter/dad awesome race!
    ahh I want to try out the running in spikes fun! there is a XC season here in the fall, so I might get a chance! 🙂
    those darn little fast kids! I think I’ve been beat a by few.
    A 12-year old passed me at mile 1 during the Christmas morning 10k I race…I chased him until he died at mile 3, and then encouraged him as I ran by. If he were my age I would have had a snide comment. Nothing beats passing a dying 25-year old guy at mile 3 of a 6-mile race after he blows by you in the beginning! 🙂
    I hope you’ve been having a great week!!!

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