The 5k that didn't happen, great runs that DID happen, Christmas tree farm fun

We had such a fun, Christmasy (is that a word?) weekend!

More about our Christmas tree farm experience in a bit. But first...

In my last posted I ended with "I may do a short race this weekend as a speed work out."

Yes. That was the plan, in a non-definitive sort of way.

I THOUGHT about possibly running a 5k on Saturday. Specifically the Venice/Santa Monica 5k Christmas run. I didn't register early.  Nope. I was just kind of ho hum about it.

Until Friday. 
Friday, I decided I would do the race. I wanted to run the race! I wasn't trained for it, I didn't taper for it, but I wanted to do it anyway and gauge where my fitness level was right now.

I went online to sign up for the race and the registration was closed, but stated you could still sign up the morning of the race. Great! I'll wake up in the morning, cruise on over and register.

Saturday morning arrives and I wake up excited, have a huge glass of water, a banana and a vanilla GU. 

I learned from the Thanksgiving 5k not to eat too much. I didn't need my usual bowl of oatmeal + banana for a morning 5k. My stomach groaned a little in protest the last time I did that.
So, I decided lighter fare was the better choice this go 'round.

Talked to hubby and asked if he wanted to hang at home or pack up the kiddos and come (I was thinking he might opt to stay home and have a leisure pancake breakfast with the kids). 

He replied: "Of course we are coming. Someone has to take your picture at the finish line!" 

Love him :)

So, we quickly gave the kids their hot oatmeal, fruit, toast, eggs (my kids are HUGE eaters) and loaded everyone into the car.

Time: 7:45 am

Race: Starts at 9:30 am

Driving distance to the race: About 7-9 minutes

We arrive at the race and there is a SEA of runners everywhere. Everyone has a santa hat on and a huge grin on their face.

I start to get a tad worried about the registration. Hubby tells me to run ahead as a warm up and we'll meet up soon. Its a total win for the kids, as it was another STINKIN' unbelievably beautiful, warm sunny day - on the beach in December. Are you kidding? Whatever happens, my kids are in heaven.

I arrive slightly sweaty to the registration area and there it is, in front of me:

NOOOOOO!!! This has never happened to me - like ever. Seriously.

Well, I guess there is a first time for everything.

I walk up to the two women working the booth and put on the sweetest smile I could muster.

"I know the race is sold out, but I was wondering, if there is any way you could make room for one more runner? Please?"

"Race is sold out. 5000 runners is our max (5000 runners?!!!). We had 40 spaces open at 6 am this morning and they were taken in 5 minutes (wow!) Sorry! Hope you'll join us next year! Happy Holidays!"

CRAP. Why did I wait to sign up?

I go to the next table, hoping someone will take pity on me.

"Hi! I really want to run this race and was wondering, perhaps maybe..."

"NOPE. Sorry. I can't make any exceptions."

My phone rings. It's hubby.

I tell him the bad news. He asks if he should park or should we just leave.


"It might be really cool to stay and just (for once) be a spectator," I think to myself.

"Park!" I tell him. "Let's stay and hang out."

So, we finally all meet up (like I said there are red and green clad runners everywhere) and the kids are loving it - people watching, running around and having a great time.

My son asks me why don't I just jump in the race and run anyway. I explain to him in detail that you can't do that - its called being a race bandit and it isn't fair to the other runners.
I love Saturday morning school :)

Finally, the gun goes and off they all go.

14:41 minutes later I see the winner cross the finish line. It was really cool to watch the runners come in and observe the looks on their faces as they sprint to the finish.

First woman finished in 18:37 and she looked relatively wasted tired relaxed. Very cool...

So, the race ended and now, what to do? 
Run of course! 
I had a good 2 hrs before we needed to leave for my son's last soccer game of the season. Plenty of time to get in a good run.

Hubby had gotten up super early and had run already, so he drove the kiddos home and I was free to run, run like the wind (no, its not a song, I just made it up).

10 miles later, from the beauty of the oceanside bike path, to an almost 1 mile long path winding uphill, through a small village, via a few trails and back to my house - I finally arrive.
Tons of water, banana, pear, mini orange, sandwich + three eager kids waiting to go and we are off to soccer!

Sunday arrives full of family busyiness - church/Sunday school, tutoring, lunch, naptime for sweet baby girl (our youngest) and another run for me. 


This run would have to be focused, quick and no lollygagging, as I had to be back home showered and ready to go by the time SBG (sweet baby girl) woke up. We were taking the fam to a Christmas tree farm 35 miles north of LA and cutting our own Christmas tree. 

Double yay!

6 mile beautiful trail run  that I talked about on FB/twitter/instagram and posted a pic in yesterday's #10 runbit, so I don't want to bore you.  Here is a quick recap with a few NEW extra pics... 3 miles uphill at 10:36, 9:43, 9:54 and 3 rolling miles at 8:28, 7:22 and a fast 6:52 finish.


The kids LOVED the Christmas tree farm! We went there last year also and loved it so much we decided to go back again.

Arrived right before (an amazing) sunset...

and my son picked the perfect tree - we all loved it! Hubby cut it down and he got to pull it down the dirt path and back to the front of the farm.

The kiddos got hot chocolate and coloring books (score!), followed by dinner out past their bedtime and sleeping little ones by the time we arrived home.

It was a perfect day.

Happiness (really) Is Running Life!


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