Bacon Hill Bonanza Recap

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 but… the 5k is an out and back and mostly flat.

5k – not as flat as it looks

So I changed my mind again and registered for the 5k and then planned to run 7 hilly miles after.

I ran this race for the past four 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 pie as first in my age group for the past four years. 28:56, 28:01, 27:54, 27:32. 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.

But I woke with a horrendous headache and an upset stomach.  I thought about an DNS for about a second.  Anyway it was only a 5k and I knew that running could make me feel better.

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 the past two years, it was cold and I resorted to capris. This year, the race was scheduled at the end of April instead of the beginning. So you would think that it would be warm out already …NOT!!

This year I decided to  continue with the capris. 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 and a jacket.  (Spoiler alert: it did warm up but the wind made it feel cold.) The best part about today’s weather was the sunshine.  It had been days since we had had any.

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 but windy… Brrrr!!  I quickly put on both of my jackets and got my shirt and bib. I also dropped off my free raffle ticket.  (They had some really great prizes.)

I wasn’t sure that I would know anyone at this race since the runners that I usually run this race with were not coming (Holly who was in the Turkey Trot training group and now the FRW training group said that she had to work this year. Another runner friend, Sue, whom I am running Brooklyn with was in Florida and my friend Judith just ran the Boston Marathon.) So I just stopped by the timing truck to say hello to my FTC coach who as usual asked me if I was going to PR.  I replied: “I doubt it but it’s all about the pie.”  You get a pie if you win your age group. And I wanted to keep my pie streak going.

Then I ran back to my car to keep warm until almost time for the race to start.

At the last minute, I decided to shed my jacket and tossed it under a tree.

Although I prefer to start most races near the front, there were sign with paces. I was embarrassed to stand with the 7 minute runners so I moved back to the 9 minute mile sign. That’s when someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was Maureen, a friend that I ran the Shape Half with last year.  She is in my age group and a lot faster.  Fortunately for me, she had decided to run the 10k.  We chatted until the race began.

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 supposedly had killer hills but 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.

Unlike last weekend, I really slacked off on my weekly runs.  In fact, I didn’t run Wed, Thurs, and Fri – yes three days in a row without running which is so unlike me. Part of it was weather-related but mostly I just didn’t feel like it.

I loved all the signs along the route. Many of them were riddles.  I wish I could remember them but they were a nice distraction.


the cloudy sky pics are from last year

This one as my favorite:


The wind was annoying. It was at times hard to keep moving forward. And my legs really protested my attempt for speed. I felt my short lay-off.

There were volunteers on the course calling out times.  I was shocked at how fast my first mile was because I was really struggling.

Eventually we turned around and headed back… It would seem natural that now the wind would be at our backs.  But no, it seemed to be blowing from the side.

There was a water stop but I wasn’t thirsty and just wanted to get to the finish and warm up. I realized quickly that I had gone out too fast.  I could not keep up that pace but may be just maybe I could finish fast enough to win that pie!!

the finish line is right next to the cemetery

As I approached the finish line, I realized that I may even PR!! Holy Cow!

I crossed at 27:04 Gun Time.  I beat my 2014 5k PR time by 7 seconds!! I was in shock.

I glanced at my Garmin which would have been chip time and it said 27:01.  I ran to tell Patrick. He grinned that “I told you so grin.”

I grabbed my jacket, put up my hood and immediately made a bee line for the chocolate milk. Boy, was it good. I had 3 cups.

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

PR + chocolate milk makes a happy runner

I hung around the finish line though I was pretty cold (because of the wind). I did bump into another runner that I knew. She was waiting for her husband to finish the 10K so we waited together.

Here comes Maureen with a great finish time as well.

Finally they posted the results. Mine was listed as 27:04 and I was first in my age group. Maureen was first too. We were both glad that we had chosen different distances. That way we both won our age groups.

Two years ago, 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 Maureen and her friends. And I won a pie again!

Check out those race times.  If I had not Pr’d, I would not have won this year.  I always say that it’s not your time but who shows up. (Everyone in this group is new to this age group.  I age up in a few years!!)

Race Splits:

mile 1- 8:44
mile 2 – 8:56
mile 3 – 8:56
.11 – 8:30

27:01 (Garmin time)

fueled by sunshine!

All in all, I loved this race. I will definitely do it again…maybe even the 10K someday. I was thrilled with my time.  A course PR. A 5k PR. What could be better?  More importantly, I felt like I didn’t go all out and who knows maybe there is a sub 27 5k in my future???

I put the pie in my car and contemplated my planned 7 additional miles.  The scenery is beautiful here but with the wind, I decided to drive to some place where I would be more sheltered from the wind and where it would be flatter.

2016 pic

So I drove to the Zim Smith Trail. It is lined with trees, flat, gravel coated and there’s the incentive of a post run treat at Leah’s Cakery.

Scenes from my run:

It was tough.  My legs were tired and stiff so this was a walk/run at best.

10 miles done! Hooray!

I’m also linking this post with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

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


22 thoughts on “Bacon Hill Bonanza Recap

  1. I don’t know, I read this as you were struggling because you were pushing yourself, even if you didn’t realize you were doing that at the time. As your PR’s get faster and faster, you do have to work harder to get them…and to me, you worked darn hard and totally earned that PR!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everyone who runs says that it is really tough. I would do it if I weren’t training for a half and need to add some easy miles after. My legs would be toast since I never train on hills.


  2. What a beautiful race setting! And I know several athletes who swear that chocolate milk is the best thing to eat/drink after working out because it has protein and carbs to restore the glycogen efficiently. Win win for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s awesome that you won a pie (what kind was it!? 😛 )! :O! And I would be so on board with chocolate milk after a run! It’s such an awesome post-workout recovery snack! Great job on your PR, and that food sounds so good right now!

    Liked by 1 person

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