OK Cross Country 5k (19:27)

Last weekend I ran the OK 5k.  The day before a tropical storm had blown through so the course was rather swampy and muddy.  A cross country course is already harder, let alone when there is a layer of mud on the course…let alone seeing people slip.  (I’m honestly surprised I didn’t take a tumble personally).

Moving on, I fully enjoy cross country races.  I think they are far more fun then road races and I’d race more if they were offered…but they aren’t so I take advantage of the ones I can find.  This particular race is also a grand prix race for my road runners club so I mean I basically “have” to do it…After my half marathon before and my legs not feeling the absolute greatest, I knew this would not a PR for me.  I also knew you don’t PR is 100% humidity and you don’t Pr when you are running in a swamp.  I was completely fine with all of it and planned to use it more as a nice speed workout as well as pretending to have a social life.  And duh, I know I race every weekend and know not every race, half my races are a good percentage will be PR’s and oh look…I’m over it because I like to see my friends.

Like Ellie who is a 26 minute 5ker and 7 years old.  Let me just brag a bit about her because she is awesome.


Dad and I got to the race about an hour early where we were showered with a race number, ankle time chip and all that jazz.  I don’t know, it seemed like there were a lot of things going on.

I warmed up with the kids I used to coach last summer (and hope too this summer) and with a two mile warmup, I meandered down to the start.  I chatted with dad, some favorite locals and we started the race.

The first mile felt pretty smooth.  I didn’t encounter much mud and immediately noticed I was the 3rd place female overall and my (14 year old) rival was about 30 seconds ahead.  I knew the first mile would be the easiest of the 3 (from last year and just continued).  My legs didn’t feel as bad as they had every single other run that week but didn’t feel stellar either.  (5:50).

After the first mile, I caught one of the females and the mud bath began.  The back trails were where I could not get any good footing and my feet kept sinking.  I had to physically avoid the mud on several courses and lost my rhythm a few times.  Honestly, if I had ran the course prior and realized this I would have probably wore spikes…oh well…I’m over it  (6:35)

The third mile I caught a couple more people and just kept running…I was never really physically in pain during this race.  I don’t know how to explain it but I was never breathing heavily or feeling like I was going into cardiac arrest and I’m not sure I reached my cardio limit.  My legs were just not allowing any faster though and I did a twins mile for 3 at 6:35 again.

I sprinted (just kidding I probably went the same pace) the grassy nole to the finish and finished in 19:27.  About 20 seconds faster then last year but I’m an overall faster runner in everything but the 5k from last year… Not my best 5k time, not my worst.  Just a nice cross country 5k.  I enjoyed the race a lot but for me personally, it wasn’t a race that stuck out to me either way.  I’m happy that it awoken my legs (and they feel a lot better than before the race) but still lusting after a consistent sub 19 minute 5k.

The awards were number one in heart though because they gave out a coffee mug tumblr. 

Questions for you:

Best race prize/swag?

I really enjoy mugs and glasses when they give them out but to be honest, medals are never a bad thing nor are trophies.  (I didn’t get trophies in middle, high, or college so it’s cool to get them at some road races).

I always like hearing people’s favorite race terrain.  Road, track, treadmill, cross country, dirt, sand…what is your favorite? 

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  1. It’s all about the shirt for me! And personally I like the road the best just because it’s what I’m used to. I did a trail run last summer and it honestly takes a whole different level of mental concentration to do.

  2. I loved reading about the race and I love the pic of you with Ellie, what a great time for a kid that age, especially on a cross country course like that… sounds like I may hear about her in a regional competition one day considering you are in Va… ;).

    That is awesome that you got a coffee mug as a prize- I like things like that too. Pint glasses, mugs, tervis tumblers, something other than a medal because I have so many medals and they just sit up and look cute.

  3. Gosh, I haven’t run cross country since I was about 12. I hated it then. I feel like I’d love it now. So…did the 14 year old stay ahead of you?

  4. I love swag-a nice singlet and some other cool goodies and I’m down. The swag is why I signed up for the women’s half!

    My favorite terrain is trails.

    1. What races give out singlets? Sign me up for that! Which womens half did you sign up for? The two women’s races I have done honestly didn’t have that great of swag or post race parties.

  5. cross country races are the BEST – just the changing terrain, possible mud conditions etc, so much more interesting. I actually usually keep my road PR’s separate from my xc/train PR’s just because the two races are so different. But in any case it sounds like this went pretty well for you given the conditions and being so soon after run for the dream – I’m not surprised your legs and your cardiorespiratory system were on slightly different levels there lol! And a coffee mug for race swag? um, WINNING! I think the best swag I ever got was the beer glass for winning my age group at Shamrock half like a bazillion years ago….still use it!

    1. YOU GOT A BEER GLASS FOR WINNING SHAMROCK? Ugh, so jealous. I did get a beer coaster though.

      I thought that a 5k run on the track in perfect conditions was easily comparable to a 5k run on XC…or 5k swim too actually..;)

  6. Nice job, Hollie! Glad to hear Andrea didn’t totally derail the race course. My favorite race swag is a pint glass–perfect for smoothies and other adult beverages. 🙂

  7. I like trail running better, the views are so much nicer. I never realized there were such speedy kids. She is almost as fast as I am!

  8. I want to see someone say that racing in sand is their favorite, and then ask them what the heck is wrong with them… I have a hard enough time walking across a beach, never mind actually thinking about racing on one. I want to say congrats on the race, buuuuuut since you seem neither here-nor-there on it, I’ll say… congrats on the coffee tumbler 🙂 I’d much rather be awarded with one of those than a tee or medal… and I’m going to go ahead and assume that you have more than enough of those already.

  9. I won’t lie medals/trophies don’t mean a whole lot to me haha I put them down somewhere and they just pike up. My very first Du gave out beer mugs which is ALWAYS my favorite. I mean theyre useful and don’t just junk up my room so I prefer something like that. I think I got a bottle opener once too and that is also a good favor! I would be SUPER pumped if I got a coffee tumblr too.

  10. I love cross country running. I so miss it. Road races are not the same at all. Trail running isn’t exactly the same either. I never see cross country races though! Awesome that you get to do it.

  11. Saw that picture of you & the little girl on Instagram (or was it Facebook?) and I just LOVE it! She is just too cute and HOLY FAST! 26 minutes at 7 years old?! YOU GO GIRL! I hope Gabriella likes to go running with me when she gets older, would make my heart melt 🙂

  12. Congratulations on a great race! I ran cross country in middle school and one year in high school, and didn’t start running again until 2011. My favorite running/racing terrain is roads and then trails, I need to race on trails more though!

  13. My best race swag definitely has to be a hand blown glass medal for all the finishers in the Maple Leaf (Manchester, VT) half marathon.

    Speaking of trail runs, I just finished a 5k trail run at Green Lakes in Syracuse and cut my PR by 1:30 to 19:54 (finally sub 20!!). Aren’t trail runs supposed to be slower than road courses? Lol

      1. I’ll definitely have to run that one.

        It’s pretty funny that I had planned for 3-4 months on going all out for my PR this upcoming weekend at a very fast course around here, only to get it a week earlier than planned. The first (and only) mile marker was way off, so I didn’t think I was anywhere close to a good time until I saw the finish line and clock.

  14. Dang, I can only imagine how difficult racing through mud must be, trying to keep some speed yet not end up on your booty.
    The only race terrain I say a BIG No Thank You to is sand.
    I know running on the beach is supposed to be awesome and all, but as someone who grew up in Florida, it’s only awesome in theory, running in soft sand sucks!

  15. I love getting mugs. I got a small glass one with a little winged foot and burgundy writing of the year and race. It’s too small for coffee but it’s perfect for mixed drinks hehe.

  16. Hollie, I really enjoy reading your recaps because I read into how much you enjoy going to these races. I am glad you get to do so many this summer because I really do think they make you happy. so that little girl is so cute! I know she looks up to you!

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