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Santa Hustle!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

I got up early this am and was ready to go by 6am. Problem is race didn't start until 9. Guess I was excited. Today is Dec 1 and I promised myself last night that this will be my best month EVER on Spark. I don't break promises. So I was really ready for this race. I opted for the new shoes (yes the shin split ones but I did do the Hot Chocolate 5K in them).

After driving hubby crazy for a bit, we got to Soldier Field at 7:30. They had lots to look at and do before the race so we were walking all over. They had music and inflatable Rudolf, Sana, and snowmen. They also had live Reindeer. So here's the before race picture:

Finally it was time to move into the corrals. They were set up by mile time. I wasn't certain which one to pick but something in me opted for the 10m30s corral. It was fairly fast moving up to the start.

Where's Kitty?!?

The run was great. I didn't have much of a strategy. I just set out at what felt comfortable. I had Pink in my ears and just moved to the beat. Very close to the beginning of race we went under McCormick Place. It was a rather dark tunnel but that is where I saw a guy in front of me with reflective strips down the back of his pants. He had a good pace and I thought about how I had paced with the other fellow at the HC 5K. So I started following/chasing him.

Got to mile one. No biggie, actually felt good. We (Pacer and I) were running on the "shoulder" of the path. Kind of a packed earth trail - much easier on my legs. So I just kept following. There were points I was even with my chosen pacer and points I was right behind him.

As we rounded mile two. I was still feeling ok. No pain but really sweating. Grateful for the water. I almost lost my pacer but caught up next to him after the water station. About half way through mile two I started to feel it and was afraid I was going to lose pace.

That's when I found out my "pacer" was very much aware of me. He got next to me and said "you following me" - I nodded. "You ok" - nodded (even though I wasn't). "I'm getting sore, can you keep us going?" - nodded again. Ok, now I HAD to keep going.

We kept running side by side - never breaking pace. We passed 3 mile and just a few minutes later we could see the finish. He asked if I was ok. I looked at my watch and I was at 25 minutes with the finish in site! I said "yeah and thanks for my best time ever! I'll beat my last 5K by at least 3 minutes". He smiled and said "good for you! See you at the finish" He TOOK OFF. I felt so honored that a stranger had maybe give up some time to keep me going - I just laid it all out. I crossed the finish in 27m 50.18s - 5 minutes better than my best time ever.

So talk about happy! Here's my Finisher's Picture:

Can you tell I'm BEAMING!

Then hubby and I went to Chinatown. We walk around a bit and then had a great lunch. Made for an awesome day. I was so pumped when I got home, the FPT got her three mile WALK (there was no running this afternoon). Now I'm going to watch MIB3 and try to calm down.

Yeah, I really believe December is starting off really well.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SOULFISH80 12/4/2012 9:51PM

    This blog gave me goosebumps and I almost feel like I could cry! 5 mins off your best time, that is insane good! I am soooo happy for you! Way to SPARK up December!!!

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DISAPPEARING1 12/3/2012 11:14AM

    I love hearing stories like this!!!!

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JECKIE 12/3/2012 11:01AM

    Wow, awesome! Nice job!

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LEB0401 12/3/2012 8:38AM

    WOW!!!! Your finish time is incredible!!!! GREAT JOB

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KJELLYBEAN15 12/3/2012 8:23AM

    Woo-hoo! You are so awesome! What a wonderful feeling that must have been. And whom ever that man was, way to go for him. Thanks for posting the pictures. You are beautiful.

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ALWYS-LKN-UP 12/2/2012 8:57PM

    OK, truth be told, I'm totally stealing the term 'AWESOMESAUCE' from Teeny Bikini here on SP. That's what you are - AWESOMESAUCE!!! WTG on the PR & also keeping the mystery pacer in your sights! emoticon

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DOGLADY13 12/2/2012 8:06PM

    Yeah!!! You have totally inspired me. JECKIE and I are doing the Somerville Jingle Bell run on December 16. Your Santa outfit totally rocks. I'm going to copy it.

The man who paced you is totally cool. That feels like one of those pay it forward things.

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NYC_NATIVE 12/2/2012 7:09PM

    You are so cute in your Santa hat! And way to go on this race! Setting a new personal best is so gratifying. Congrats!

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PRNCSCUP1-2FULL 12/2/2012 5:25PM

    Awesome Kitty! congrats! Wish I could see that beaming smile! What a nice guy too! This will definitely be your month! WooHoo! I am beaming for you right now!

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FLEURGARDEN 12/2/2012 5:13PM

    Woo Hoo! Great job, Kitty!

(My cats are still confused that someone named "Kitty" could like dogs at all.)

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EVER-HOPEFUL 12/2/2012 4:27PM

    emoticon you are one awesome kitty. emoticon

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DOTTIESPLACE 12/2/2012 2:36PM

    Way to rock it, Kitty! Amazing!

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JUSTME29 12/2/2012 11:54AM

    What a great day! I'm glad it went so well.

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TWEETYKC00 12/2/2012 11:47AM

    SWEEET! You totally rocked, I knew you could do it! It was great that you had a great pacer there with you at all times. Relax a little now, you deserve it.

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 12/2/2012 11:08AM

    Awesome job!!! Love the outfit!

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CBGBG5 12/2/2012 11:06AM

    loved this!
"where's kitty?" that is so freakin' funny!
this blog inspires me and makes me happy for you.
i hope you remember that pumped feeling from this one!
You ought to be proud of yourself!
YOU did this!

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WICKEDMELISSA 12/2/2012 10:15AM

    Awesome Kitty, Merry Christmas, (that was no stranger) see now I really do believe in Santa Claus. I'm so happy for you. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TINY67 12/2/2012 9:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TAMELA_B 12/2/2012 8:42AM

    Way to go! What an awesome way to welcome in December. You're gonna rock this month!

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HZGLORY 12/2/2012 3:24AM

    Kitty, what a great blog. I have a 5K walk next saturday and you make me really wish it was this Saturday. You do look so cute in your pictures and you are one tiny thing now girl. I loved the go along info in your blog, that was great and made me feel like I was behind you watching you two pace each other. This will be my first official 5K so I am really looking forward to it. You make me excited for mine and almost wish I was a runner (almost I hate running) I have asthma so I don't do so well running. Happy first day of December, what a way to start it off and yes I did light my fire today!!

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MERRY_XMAS 12/2/2012 3:08AM

    Damn it, girl! You made me cry! I'm so emotional when I hear about people who help strangers...

What a race! Congratz for your time!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A-NEW-TARA 12/2/2012 1:08AM

    emoticon What a great race!! Perfect way to start the month off, here's to a great finish!

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FUSIONFITNESS3 12/1/2012 11:56PM

    emoticon That's emoticon .
Awesome for you and how awesome of a stranger to come "alongside" you during the race.
Thanks for letting us share in your very successful Santa Hustle.
What a fantastic start to December.

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VTRICIA 12/1/2012 11:47PM

    Great story! And I adored MIB3. emoticon

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LIVINGFREE19 12/1/2012 10:58PM

    That is so awesome!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 12/1/2012 10:21PM

    GREAT JOB!!! Glad things went well! :)

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CANDYCANE2B 12/1/2012 10:01PM

    Oh that is sooo AWESOME!!! Isn't it nice to know someone was concerned enough for you that they kept pace with you until he was sure you would be able to finish the race! That's so special!!!

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JUMPINJULIE 12/1/2012 9:53PM

    I'm so happy for you that is so awesome you rock. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!. Sorry to many O's and explation points. emoticon

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NKOUAMI26 12/1/2012 9:43PM

    emoticon emoticon

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APED7969 12/1/2012 9:40PM

    Great way to start December! Amazing how much easier it is to run faster when you have some help!

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MICHELLE_391 12/1/2012 9:27PM

    Ok, first of all, let me say that you look friggin' adorable in a Santa hat! So people were dressed up? What a way to make running fun.

Congratulations on making a new best time and ENJOYING it!

Happy December to you!


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1CRAZYDOG 12/1/2012 9:19PM

    Outstanding, awesome, wonderful job!

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OPTIMIST1948 12/1/2012 9:12PM

    Love, love love the kindness of strangers! What a great way to start the month!

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SPOONGIRLDEB 12/1/2012 9:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Dontcha just love emoticons???

But they express what I want to say exactly - it looked like you had a blast, and what an awesome job! Way to start off December!!!

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LESLIELENORE 12/1/2012 8:42PM

    emoticon That was terrific that your pacer was aware of you and kept with you! Makes you believe in the goodness of humanity. What an amazing pace you set. Truly awesome! (And you looked really cute, too.)

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BEARGODDESS 12/1/2012 8:10PM

    Fabulous!!! You look adorable in your Santa gear! I'm SO proud of you!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDY_54 12/1/2012 8:06PM

    Totally awesome! How cool was that of the stranger asking you if you were okay and kept pace with you--love it! Mostly though, I can hear the joy in your blog coming through the screen. So motivational! Happy that you had a great race (and fast, too). You've got a fantastic start to the new month--keep up the emoticon work!

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PMRUNNER 12/1/2012 7:49PM

    You rock! Great job! Nice to have your own pacer for the race too!

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DALMOM2007 12/1/2012 7:47PM

    OMG! Your blog is absolutely inspiring! Congrats on your run. and you could not have asked for better weather today in Chicago! It was such a beautiful day! What a way to start out the month! And the other runner that inspired you to get through it...what an awesome memory!

The pictures are great, and yeah....I had to put on my sunglasses because you were beaming so much! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONMYMEDS 12/1/2012 6:55PM

    I love a good running story!! Awesome job, wow. That's a really good run. And in a Santa costume no less. Outstanding!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WARRIORGIRL121 12/1/2012 6:31PM

    Kitty, I loved this blog! I'm so proud of you! YOu did awesome! and you look amazing! I love you in the red jacket and Santa hat! Sweetie you look beautiful! Great blog! So happy you had a great day!! That's wonderful! WOO HOO! emoticon Karen P.S. Let me know how MIB3 is - I haven't seen it yet. Saw the others... always loved Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

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