My first 5k....dressed as a Santa

On Sunday December 2nd I woke up and Santa-fied myself. Not for shits and giggles, or for a family Christmas party or even because I lost a dare. No sir. I santa-fied myself because that morning, alongside my Mom and Sister, I ran my very first official race. After weeks of training, sporting a pointy red hat, a scratchy cotton beard and my neon pink Nike's, I ran my very first 5k. Alongside 2000 others, I participated in Vermont's 2nd annual Ri Ra Santa 5k. And boy it was fabulous.
(This video was posted right after last years 1st Santa 5k. In actual truth, this year's 5k had 500 more people  and even more states (and countries!) were represented. Although these aren't shots from my actual race, this video so perfectly represented the excitement and enjoyment that I had to include it. Even if only for my own memory).

I could say that when I finally ran across the finish line it was in slow motion, angels sang and confetti flew, I had run my best ever pace, and I was so amazing that I never even broke a sweat. But that would be a lie. A big huge lie. The reality is that I was WAY too freakin' hot (that stinkin' santa suit is fleece and if the rules hadn't clearly stated that all runners had to wear their full Santa suit, I would have ripped that bad boy off mid race and finished in just a sports bra and running britches). In addition I had such awful double-over-and-feel-like-you're-about-to-give-birth-to-an-alien-baby cramps midway through that I had to raise my arms above my head and power-walk for 10 seconds. And finally (the icing on the cake, of course) was during the last 100 feet when, as a direct result of being so unbelievably overheated, I had to frantically beg myself not to puke as I smiled for pictures in front of hundreds at the finish line. The reality of that race sure as hell wasn't as perfectly glorious as I'd pictured so many times in my head. I can tell ya that much. But as I shoved my way through the crowd towards a grassy park clearing (where I could puke my guts up peacefully without hundreds of onlookers) I wiped tears from my cheeks. Not because I was angry with my body for having awful cramps, or the fact that I was about to puke, or even because that obnoxious Nike Run App woman told me a pace I didn't want to hear...I had tears streaming down my cheeks because I actually did it. A goal, a dream, a huge achievement I didn't ever really think I was capable of had just been achieved. The chubby-big-boobed-Amanda-who-used-to-fake-being-sick-in-order-to-get-out-of-running-track-during-high-school-P.E. had just crossed the finish line. She did it. I did it. Me. That once pudgy-self-conscious-girl actually did it. 
It was like walking on cloud nine...in the middle of July after a long car journey without Dramamine. 
And after a short recovery time (in which I guzzled water and impatiently stripped off a santa hat, beard and coat) I headed to join Carl and Jordan beside the finish line. After 10 minutes of hugs and kisses from the hubby and more guzzling of water, a familiar bright red face jogged towards us with a determination in her eyes like I'd never seen before. And I frantically tapped my iPhone in hopes of capturing her moment of glory. Although its blurry  I love this frazzled picture because that determination and fire in her belly still shines through the speedy fuzziness.
 My baby sister, Sonya, crossed the finish line, her inhaler in hand, at a sprint after 41 minutes. I could not have been more proud. And as she made her way towards us, I hurried to hug and say "smile!" (Yes, I really am that obnoxious family member who always wants to document everything). 
Once Sonya had taken a few minutes to re-hydrate and catch her breath, I asked her if she wanted to  join me in walking along the course to find Mom. Prior to the race Mom had said multiple times how she was afraid she'd be the last the cross the finish line (she'll be having surgery on her foot within the upcoming months, and as a result planned to walk the entirety of the 5k. I knew she was worried she'd be the slowest). Sonya agreed that was a grand idea and, being the good little daughters that we are, we immediately hurried down the sidewalk in hopes of finding and joining her for the last leg. Together we were going to cross the finish line...and we would have...If only our good intentions (and obvious poor eyesight) hadn't ended up biting us in the ass. As we walked back up the course Mom (aka the speed demon) ran past us and we entirely missed her fantastic finish. We were so sad when Jordan called to let us know we'd missed her and she was already finished and standing with them. Thankfully, Carl was able to capture this photo.
Mom did an unbelievably awesome job, and in her first 5k she managed to run the entirety of the last mile and blow past her goal of an hour. Bad foot and all, she crossed that finish line after a whopping 52 minutes!!! I'm SO proud of her that there aren't enough words to truly express it. I now know where Sonya and I get our determination and positive attitude from. Ever since we were little Mom has told us that that if you put your mind to something it can be done.  It really is true.
I finished with a chip time of 31:51 and was 675th out of 2000 people. Although I know I'm capable of a much better pace and can't wait for Spring to arrive so that I can bust out a better time, I'm still proud of what I accomplished last weekend. I'm proud of running in my first race and finishing. I'm proud of setting a goal and accomplishing it. And most of all, I'm proud of my Mom and Sister for joining me and helping to make my first 5k so memorable. I wouldn't have wanted to share this experience with anyone else, and I'm so excited to embark on another Santa 5k adventure again with them next year.
I think we may have found a brand-spankin' new family tradition.
Watch out folks, we'll be back for more.


  1. Great work Twinnie!!! SO so proud of you, Sonya and your Mom for running your first 5K together!! I can already tell there will be many more to come!!

  2. PS...you should TOTALLY link this up with Health & Fitness Friday tomorrow!!!!

  3. omgggg this is so awesome! I love it! it's like a zillion elf on the shelves running! And your time... GET IT!!!! you beasted that thing! Leah /// Lovely Life of Leah

  4. So proud of you & your family! What a great 5k to start with!

  5. Ok, you and Jen both got to do a Santa Run! How come there's not one close to me? Have a great weekend!

  6. Love your new blog template! Love your Santa suits! You are too cute! One comment though....I think Jen got off WAY too easy with her "t-shirt suit" instead of the full suit you guys had to wear, LOL!


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