Race Recap: Hot Trot 5K

Hello, hello!

Coming at you today with a recap of the LuLu’s Hot Trot 5K!

This is one of my favorite races of the year! Yes. I have a few favorite races, but this one is definitely one of the best. I have done it 5 times now and I plan to keep doing it as long as I am able to. You need to do it too! As long as you manage the expectations about the fact that it will be unbelievably hot (it is mid-June in Alabama after all) and embrace it for what it is, then everything else about the race will be amazing!

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The race starts at 7:30 a.m. at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores, AL. We left the house around 5:45 a.m. in order to make it to LuLu’s close to 6:30 a.m. to get our packets and have time to warm up and do our typical pre-race stuff. We made it right on time and were able to easily find parking, get our packets and go to the bathroom (nice, indoor bathrooms at that … it’s definitely a nice plus when you don’t have to do the pre-race porta potty thing in my opinion).

We ran the course before the race as our warm up. The course is as flat as any course could possibly be. It is essentially an out and back course, but there is a little side loop that is added on the way back. My coach didn’t really give me a specific time goal for this race, but I knew that I wanted to be somewhere in the low 6:00 range. I also knew that the heat and humidity would make it tough, so I was going to be okay with whatever the day gave me.

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Side note: I’m not sure what in the world is going on with my face in the above picture. Looks like I was preparing to ride the pain train! Haha. I was able to convince our friend Bowie into pacing me during the race. He was there to run, but not race and my race pace wasn’t all that difficult for him so that worked out really well!

We started out at 6:10 pace, which felt pretty comfortable. I had a girl to chase during the first mile and I ended up passing her right at the one mile mark. My watched clicked over the first mile in exactly 6:10 and I surged a little just to make sure that the pass was somewhat decisive (a move that I learned from Daniel). Just after the one mile mark we came to the turnaround point. As you approach the turnaround, you get to see how the race in unfolding in front of you. We had several friends racing and it was fun to be able to see and cheer for everyone as we passed.

After the turnaround I didn’t have anyone else right around me (other than Bowie who was doing a wonderful job of keeping me on track). My Daniel and Young Daniel were the two runners closest in front of me, so I just kept my focus on them. A dog tried to come out and run part of the course with us around a mile and half in, which was pretty funny! I think that dog was faster than anyone at the race by far. He trotted along with us for a minute or so until he found something more interesting to go do.

My split for the second mile was 6:11. I felt like I had maybe sped up a little bit during the second mile, but apparently I didn’t. Sad. Don’t get me wrong … I was pleased with the pace, but also just felt like I was working harder than I was during the first mile. Effort-wise, I know that my heart rate was definitely higher! Bowie helped me stay focused during the last mile. I probably would’ve been content to keep it right where I was or I might’ve even been a little more content to slow down a touch, but he wasn’t having it. He told me that “this is what I train for … this is why I run all of the miles … keep pushing and give it your all.” I was very appreciative for the extra motivation and his encouragement helped me to keep the voices in my head in check (you know … the ones that like to tell you it’s okay to slow down a little bit because we are getting really uncomfortable up in here).

We finished mile three in 6:00 flat and the last 0.1 was 0:39 for a total time of 19:01. Whew. I was hopeful that I could squeak in under 19:00, but I didn’t quite make it. I am very happy with my time though. This was the fastest that I have run at this race. Only by a few seconds, but I’ll definitely take it! We all ran the course again after the race to get in some cool down miles. With the warm up and cool down, the 5K turned into a 15K of total running. I like it.

Shout-out to the Warehouse Grinders who got it done yesterday!

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Left to right: Young Daniel: 18:54, Kenny: 18:09, (me), My Daniel: 18:43, Steve: 18:29, Cody: 17:48, Brandon: 18:19 and Sasser: 19:58.

Also shout-out to my girls who run the world {Beyoncé reference}!

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Left to right: Jill: 19:41 (2nd overall), Jessica: our cheerleader extraordinaire (and soon-to-be momma :)), (me) and Lizzie: 21:29 (4th overall).

It was such a fun race! The only sad thing was that this year there were no coffee mug awards. I always really look forward to my annual Hot Trot coffee mug (because it holds LOTS of coffee). This year everyone got a finishers medal and the age group winners got an additional medal. The medals are hand-made (similar to the First Light ones) and I definitely like them. The coffee mug was just a very unique award and I tend to prefer unique awards over medals (but that’s probably just me … and it’s definitely impossible to please everyone).

We finished off a fun morning off with an afternoon at the beach. It was a wonderful day!

3 thoughts on “Race Recap: Hot Trot 5K

  1. Congratulations on a great race and awesome pacing, even if it wasn’t quite under 19 like you hoped. You ran the last mile the fastest which is awesome in a 5K! Plus it looks like all of your crew really racked up.

    I love a nice race coffee mug but I like medals too. I’m glad everyone got a finisher’s medal at this one, and it’s neat that the medals are race specific, place specific, and hand made. I hate getting a generic medal and seeing one a year or two later and not even knowing which race it came from.

    Have a good recovery and good luck surviving the heat!

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  2. Pingback: June Recap | Mobile Bay Runner

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