Friday, January 1, 2016

Fairfax Four-Miler Recap (2015)

In the days leading up to the Fairfax Four-Miler, I found that I was having trouble generating the same level of enthusiasm I had for the race in 2014. When my packet was inadvertently left out of the group packet pickup, I even took it as a sign that maybe I should skip it this year, and stay home with my family and my sick kitty. A few things helped get me out there:

  1. Rick and Freddy picked up my packet for me after Freddy's haircut - thanks guys!
  2. I saw a post on my friend Lisa's twitter feed that said "Make your last run of 2015 count for 2016!
    • After reading that, how could I make my last planned run of 2015 a DNS (do not start)? 
    • I haven't ever had a DNS, and it would be a real cop out to take one just because I was feeling a little sorry for myself.
  3. Freddy helped me play with glow-stick accessories to jazz up my outfit.
  4. I knew there was a great group of ladies that I was meeting up with for the race, and they always bring joy and support into my life. Running with them would be good for my soul.

Glow-stick & Other Accessories

Glow-stick accessories make this nighttime race even more fun. Although I am reminded each time I am out there on the course that it is pretty well lit in most places, so the glow-sticks don't really carry the same impact as actual lights. Maybe I'll remember that for next year. Here are some of the fun things we made:

This was my favorite accessory - a rainbow flower.
I used safety pins to put it on the front of my shirt.

Freddy used these triple connectors to make me rainbow bracelets

I found a way to make a tiara of sorts out of the headband accessory

This is the more traditional "mouse ears" version of the headband

Freddy came up with the idea of using the double connectors to make a single bracelet.
It gave you the flexibility to adjust the size and they laid better against my belt.

Here's my ensemble (I ended up adding a glow-stick necklace at the race)

These aren't glowsticks, they are finger lights.
Susan got us a whole box which we put on our fingers and shoes.
I left them on my shoes so I can turn them on when running in the dark.

Deb & Laurie model flashing snowflake headbands Molly got at Meadowlark.
They looked great out on the course! More impactful than glow-sticks.

The Race

I met up with my friends in the Safeway parking lot that is a couple of blocks from the race. We shared accessories and helped each other get festively decked out for the run. The Safeway parking lot is easy to exit after the race, close to many stores with bathrooms, and only a couple of blocks from the start.

From left: me, Lucy, Laurie, Norma, Laura, Deb, Roz, Shawn

I knew I wasn't quite in PR shape, so I ran one of my favorite kinds of races - social at the start, competitive at the end. Deb and I ran together for the first 3 miles. Deb moved to Lesotho just as I was getting to know her. I wanted to get to know her better and really enjoyed sharing some conversation with her for most of the race. 

Then for the last mile, I ran hard to see what I could do. I got progressively faster over the mile, and for the last tenth I went from an 8:30 min/mile pace to 6:30. That little burst of speed at the end felt good. And Rick texted me that I "beat" his time from his New Year's Eve race - the catch being that his race was a 10k, while mine was 4 miles. But I'll take it!

Crossing the finish line
photo courtesy of Pacers Running

Post-race photo - note the banana in the upper left corner. There were 4 of them!

The official Pacers "Photo Booth" picture

This colored fountain close to the finish was mesmerizing
After the race, some of us went home, some went off to other parties, and some went out for a beer before heading for home or other parties. Last year I went out for the beer, this year I really wanted to get back home. I was so glad that I had pushed myself to come out and race, and I let that be enough. Driving through my neighborhood on the way home, I was struck by the beauty of the Christmas lights lining the streets. I felt peaceful and grateful. 

Happy New Year to everyone - wishing you a runtastic 2016!


  1. What a fun race! Several of us had flashing snowflake headbands, which I was glad to have, since my Glow Sticks were mostly duds. Happy New Year!

    1. Definitely fun! I added a picture of the fantabulous flashing snowflake headbands.

  2. Great post Kim. Yeah, I've been in races where I just did not feel up to it prior, then was glad in the end that I did run it.
    Love the glow sticks and finger lights (they are new to me). They would have made the race fun and unique.

    All the best in 2016! :)

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Carl. It's always nice to know others have had a similar experience. I think the finger lights came from this website, fyi:

      Wishing you all the best in 2016, too! Looking forward to reading about it on your blog.

    2. Just checked it out Kim. Amazing....they are sold by the dozen! :)