I haven’t ever raced in Fresno, so the Christmas in July 5k sounded fun. Admittedly, I didn’t think the weather could be *worse* than the Mojave Desert, but I guess I didn’t know what the weather was like in Fresno in July.
Before the Christmas in July 5k:
We arrived in Fresno the night before. For the most part, the drive was uneventful, and we arrived around 7 pm. At the hotel, I fell asleep within seconds of sitting on my bed. It was a long week, and I knew I was sleep-deprived. I had hoped I would catch up on sleep, but I didn’t. I don’t run *well* on minimal sleep, and I knew waking up, I didn’t feel the greatest. The Christmas in July 5k started at 7 am, which was welcomed due to the heat.
We arrived at the start around 6, got our packets, and did a quick 2-mile warmup. After a mile, I was completely drenched. It was around 80 degrees and humid.
Christmas in July 5k Race:
The Christmas in July 5k went off at 7:05. It was an easy out-and-back course. The course was completely flat, minus a tiny hill around the halfway point. The road was wide, and it was easy to pass people. You couldn’t find a faster course without a straight one-way race.
When the Christmas in July 5k started, people were cruising by me. I thought surely I was going at least 7 minute pace. Running felt hard, and I did not feel great. I wasn’t surprised, and everything from the week prior had caught up to me. I was shocked when I hit the first mile of the Christmas in July 5k in 6:34. It felt like I was working extremely hard. I knew I was not going to be able to maintain that pace.
The second mile went out to halfway, then turned around. I had a pretty good turn and headed back towards the start. I found myself as the third woman overall. A person was listening to loud music with no headphones, which annoyed me, so I kept trying to pick up the pace. I ran a 6:50 second mile. I didn’t feel as though I could hold that pace.
The last mile, I was concerned with getting away from the music. Truthfully I was cranky because it was so hot and the music was annoying. Everything seems dramatic in the heat (or at the end of a 5k?). So I just sprinted as hard as I could. I ran mile 3 of the Christmas in July 5k in 6:54, and I think the only reason I kept it under a 7-minute pace was trying to escape the person with their music.
I crossed the Christmas in July 5k in 21:00 precisely and as 3rd woman overall.
Christmas in July 5k Thoughts:
While 21 minutes is not the time I hoped for, I am happy with my effort. I knew I didn’t feel great, and the last time I didn’t feel great was at the Orenda Winery 5k (21:27). I ran 27 seconds faster! I know I’m *making* progress in my fast-girl summer, but it doesn’t seem *fast enough*. I’ve also had a lot going on at work the last month, and I cannot say my sleep or recovery has been great.
I’m looking forward to running the next Twilight 5k and hopefully being closer to 20 minutes there!
Questions for you:
Have you run a Christmas in July 5k race?
What is the hottest race you’ve done?