Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bacon Chase 5K 2014

Well hello there!  It's been a bit hasn't it?  I know I haven't written in a while, but I have blogged about every race that me and my mom have done (4 so far!), so I felt compelled to post about our most recent race.  And folks, it was a good one!  It involved a personal record and tons of bacon!
This was the first themed/novelty run, that we have done and we had a blast.  The whole premise of the race was to run your hams off (isn't that punny?!) and then eat all the bacon you could stand at the finish line.  The race bibs even smelled like bacon!
As is tradition, we snapped a couple of pictures of ourselves before the race
And with the really cute pig
After taking our pictures, we went up to the start line.  Now if I could just take a moment to rant...there is a reason why most races have "corrals" that list times, such as 8:00 mile, 9:00 mile, etc. Most people would assume that means that the faster people need to be towards the front of the line, yes?  Well apparently not everyone realizes that it is race etiquette to stay towards the back if you are planning on walking.  Now, don't get me wrong, I don't have a single problem with people wanting to walk instead of run, or people who run slower than others.  When I first started out, I was pretty dang slow, but I realized that and knew to stay towards the back of the group.  So with all of that being said, me and mom positioned ourselves around the middle of the pack.  So they count down, 3-2-1 and we're off!  Except, no. No, we are not off.  We are running into people's backs because the 100 or so people in front of us are walking. 
At the start, you can see me towards the back in the purple shirt. 
So about the first 1/4 mile we are dodging people who are walking.  And these people are walking with friends, so each group was about 3 people wide.  In the shuffle to dodge walkers during the first mile, I lost my mom in the pack.  Because we haven't run a race together in about a year, we had decided that we were going to run our own race since we weren't sure of each other's pace.  It was all pretty frustrating, and I was so focused on dodging people that I didn't realize until I got to the first water table at mile 1, that I had just ran that first mile in 7:42.  Guys, I just need to take a second to retype that...7:42.  I'm almost certain that this is the fastest my body has ever run a mile in my entire life.  I'm certainly not saying this to brag, and I know that to many people a 7:42 mile is pretty slow, but in that moment I felt like these past 2 years of consistent running had paid off.
At the mile 1 water station they had water (duh) and little cups of bacon bits, which was really hilarious and very unappetizing to me at that moment!  That might've had something to do with the fact that I was huffing and puffing, but I was feeling pretty confident and decided to just keep pushing my pace.  I passed by the water station without getting water and thankfully entered one of the tunnels on the course.  The race was held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, so we ran through the parking lot and in front of the grandstands and then through the tunnels where the food vendors are located.  We ran through the tunnels twice and they were gloriously flat and shaded, and a very welcome respite from the sun.
At mile 2, I was at 16:47.  My pace had slowed to about a 9:00 mile, but I was still pretty happy with that pace.  My body was certainly not comfortable at that pace, but according to what I've read, you're not exactly supposed to be comfortable during races.  They are a time to push your body, and I was pushing it for all I had.  I got water at this table and walked a few paces before picking it back up.  After getting water, I rounded the corner to see that our final stretch would be through a black asphalt parking lot.  My feet were feeling pretty warm by now, and I was loathe to leave the shade of the tunnel but I could see the end in sight.  After looking at my watch I realized I could run like a 12:00 mile and still beat my previous PR of 31:00 but I knew I had more in me than that, so I made myself hold the pace of my previous mile.  With Justin Timberlake blasting in my ears, I huffed down that final stretch and across the finish line.  I looked down at my watch and saw 26:02.  I couldn't hardly believe it!  As I mentioned earlier, me and my mom got separated during the first mile, so after having not seen her for about 2.5 miles, I was thrilled to hear my name called out about 20 seconds after crossing the finish line.  She had finished right behind me!  We had both kicked that race's butt!!!
Proudly displaying the 26:02 on my watch!
So with the race behind us, and new personal records secured, we headed to the real reward of the race...the bacon!!!  We both had about 10 pieces of bacon, and it was so delicious!  I was afraid it'd be all limp and stringy and that they'd run out of bacon, but it was really crisp and had a great flavor and they had trays and trays of it!  After sweating as much as we did, the sodium from the bacon was just what we needed to clog our arteries replenish our bodies.  We also got a wristband for bloody marys, but the line was ridiculously long, so we decided against it.  As we were eating our bacon, the announcer came over the PA and said he had something the a participant lost that was very valuable.  After checking our pockets, we realized that my mom's car key was missing!  Thankfully, a good samaritan turned in her key.  That would've been really bad!!!
Overall, we had a blast at this race!  We will definitely be doing it again next year.  For a few things I would've done differently:
1.  I totally would've worn a costume.  There were girls there with pink tutus and pig tails and pig ears, and they looked awesome.  I think it would be really fun to just go all out.
2.  I would've gotten water at the mile 1 water station.  I'm used to drinking water throughout my runs and I think mile 2 would've been easier if I had stopped for water.
3.  I would've stayed with my mom.  Now that we know we're still at the same pace, I think we should stick together at our next race (next month!)
4.  I would've encouraged more people to attend.  It was a very fun and stress free race.  Novelty races are supposed to be fun and to encourage people to be active.  There were people like me who were aiming for a PR, but then there were also people walking it just to have a good time and be active.  I'm all for that (as long as you don't get at the front of the line!) and invite more people to go with us next year.
5.  I would not have shouted those encouraging words to a girl who had stopped to walk.  She then took off like a cannon and beat me across the finish line.  Just kidding!  I will probably still try to encourage people.  I appreciate it when people yell encouraging things to me during the race.
6.  I would've put our key in our gear check bags! haha!
Our bacon chase t-shirt!
Courtesy of

The true reward of my day though was not finishing the race or getting bacon, it was getting to celebrate my niece Mae's 1st birthday!  My sister did such a great job with the decorations and the food and it was great to see so many family members!
Isn't she a cutie?! 
Overall, it was a wonderful day and I look forward to many more races with my mom by my side!  Daily she encourages and impresses me with her determination and commitment to running.
For more information on the Bacon Chase, visit!


Catrina Bradley said...

Way to go Julie Anna and Teresa!!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

So proud of my girls!!!!! Mama

Teresa Close said...

Awe thanks my Jewelzy!!! I love running with you and I was so impressed with your cheetah like speed!!!! And yes, I will definitely leave my key in the bag next time. :0)