Bacon Hill Bonanza Recap

April 8, 2017- Start: 10 am

Every year, I plan to sign up for the 10k and then I chicken out.

10 K

I know that the hills would be good training for runing a half marathon in Central Park but… the 5k is an out and back and mostly flat.

5k – not as flat as it looks

So I changed my mind and registered for the 5k and then planned to run 8 hilly miles after.

I ran this race for the past three years and loved it. They had great food – the usual food but also chili and homemade muffins & cookies (including gluten free ones).


And there was chocolate milk, fresh from the dairy.


Plus, I won a homemade apple pie as first in my age group for the past three years. 28:56, 28:01, 27:54. Yes, it seems that I am getting faster but not sure about this year??? Lately I don’t feel very fast.

The race started at 10 am which was good since it would be an hour drive from my house.

Again the weather was tricky. What to wear? I was brave the first two years and wore a skirt, a baseball cap and no gloves. It is April, right? Then last year, it was cold and I resorted to capris and a warmer hat.

This year I decided to go back to the skirt. Although it was chilly (30s) in the morning, I hoped that it would warm up by the time I raced (and after). But I did bring along gloves, capris and a jacket.  (Spoiler alert: it did NOT warm up.)

I got to the race early and found a parking spot in a (muddy) field next to the church. The race started at the church in the town of Bacon Hill, a small farming town with awesome scenery. (It reminded me of Vermont.)


these pics are from other years…everything still looked the same)



It was chillier than I thought. It was in the 30s and high 20s with the windchill. Brrrr!! And it was cloudy!!! I quickly put on my capris under my skirt, my jacket, gloves and I wished that I had a hat that covered my ears and a turtle neck. I was COLD!!!!!!!!!

long sleeve women shirt

I wasn’t sure that I would know anyone at this race since Holly who was in the Turkey Trot training group and now the FRW training group said that she had to work this year and couldn’t race. And many of the locals were running Dodge the Deer today.

So I stayed in car to keep warm until almost the last minute.

On my way to the start, I bumped into Elsa, an SRM and we chatted but she was running the 10k so I proceeded to the start line alone.  Then I saw blogger, Judith (a recent BQer) so I lined up with her.

At the last minute, I decided to shred my jacket. I kept on my gloves and shivered.

Soon it was time for the race to start. The pastor read a prayer, the church bells rang and we were off.

The 5k was an out and back. The 10k veered to the right and supposed had hills and breath taking views.

I decided to go out fast. I always have positive splits so why try not to. It isn’t as flat as the map shows. The hills are rolling throughout but not that bad. Even I could run up them.

I loved all the signs along the route.


This one as my favorite:14002247934_c17e330207_z

The wind was a killer. I was freezing. There were volunteers on the course calling out times. I occasionally glanced down at my Garmin to make sure I was running in the low 9’s. My biggest mistake was running the first mile in the 8’s!!!

Eventually we turned around and headed back… The wind had calmed down and I was actually very comfortable.

I stopped for water and walked for a little bit. Not because I was thirsty but because I was was out of breath. I never seemed to get into my groove. I guess I need to do some speed drills, Patrick.

I thought I had gotten a second wind but then again, I was winded. I even walked close to the end so that I could at least sprint through the finish line.

I knew at this point, there would be no PR. That was fine because I wasn’t expecting one.

the finish line is right next to the cemetery

As I approached the finish line, I realized that I could still finish under 28 minutes and I did! I crossed at 27:30 (according to my Garmin)!! And I was pleased.

I grabbed my jacket, put up my hood and immediately made a bee line for the chocolate milk. Boy, was it good. I had at least 2 cups.

They had the same great food (chili, muffins, cookies, fruit) as last year but no vegetarian dish and no pizza. I had some cookies, chili and a corn muffin.

I hung around waiting for the 10kers to finish though I was sooooo cold .

Elsa smiling but not happy about all those hills

Finally they posted the results…Mine was listed as 27:32 and I was first my age group.

Last year, it was so cold that they let you just get your award and leave but this year, we had to wait and they announced them one by one.  Brrrr…

I waited with Sue (my roommate for the Shape Half in NYC) since she was winning one for the 10K.

And I won a pie again!!!

it’s homemade and delish!


Race Splits:

mile 1- 8:34
mile 2 – 9:01
mile 3 – 9:01
.14 – 8:09

27:30 (Garmin time)

All in all, I loved this race. I will definitely do it again…maybe even the 10K someday. I was happy with my time. I didn’t go all out but I did beat my time for this course from the last three years. Hooray for a course PR.

I put the pie in my car and contemplated my planned 8 additional miles.  The scenery is beautiful.

2016 pic

But I was just too cold. It was still in the 30s, windy and cloudy. So I left.  I had several offers for running partners on Sunday and the weather was predicted to be sunny and in the 60s.

As I drove south, the temps seemed to rise. It was now in the 40’s and it looked like the sun may come out so I stopped at the Zim Smith Trail to get my long run for the day over with.

Well, to make a long story short, it was one of my worst long runs ever.  After 2 miles, my legs wanted to be done. It was not warm. It was windy and the sun didn’t come out until I was almost done.  But I am stubborn and just ran a little, walked a little and didn’t quit until I had finished 7 miles.  The plan was for 8 but it wasn’t going to happen today. The good news: Nothing hurt – not my back, not my feet, nada.

Scenes from my post-race run:

When I was done, I was so annoyed that I only grabbed a chocolate milk at Leah’s Cakery.

Why did my long run suck?

I run better with company.  It keeps me going.  Also I was probably tired from the 3 miles at race pace beforehand. Do I regret running the 5k first?  Not at all.  I have the same plan for every weekend.  A race and miles after.  My next half marathon is not a goal race.  It’s is just for fun.

After a long soak in the hot tub, I was revived enough to go out to dinner and drinks with my hubby.

I am sharing in the support love by linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by

Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

 Happy Running! Did you run or race this weekend? Do you have spring weather yet?


19 thoughts on “Bacon Hill Bonanza Recap

  1. You ran a fabulous race! I think you paced it very well 🙂 I often try to go out fast and see if I can hang on…I did it yesterday! Sometimes I can hang, so why not try right.
    It has been very Spring like here but I really am not ready for summer humidity, but it is really cold there! Congrats on a job well done


    • That milk is the best – right from a local farm.

      If only the weather were like today then it would have been a good race.

      I hope you have good weather for your chocolate race. Isn’t it the rainy season in Seattle? Hope not!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cold milk on a cold day — it’s just not for me. And that’s what makes the world go round.

        Just like here, Seattle can be iffy this time of year. But it doesn’t actually pour there a whole lot; it’s usually off & on drizzle. And sometimes the weather is great around that time of year (just like here).

        There’s a reason the race is called Mud & Chocolate, though!


  2. Oh, I would be motivated by fresh chocolate milk – and would love to win a homemade apple pie! I always need to underdress for a race because I get so hot when I run. It does make for lots of shivering at the start.


  3. What’s not to love about this race, The homemade goodies and the fresh dairy chocolate milk would so have me signing up! I love when they give out food as awards!!! I don’t much like a 10AM start but if I had to drive it would make it much better! You aced that 5k and I’m just in awe of those paces! Congrats dear lady!


  4. How great that you embraced your positive splits and just went for it with this race – and it paid off! Congrats on first place and the pie, YUM. Also, any race that has chocolate milk afterward is a good one in my book. 🙂


  5. This is just a great recap Darlene! Huge Congrats on winning your age group 4 years in a row! So very inspiring! Even though you had doubts about your pace at first, you totally rocked this race! Absolutely love it!! Way to Go!!


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