Disclaimer: As a Fit Foodie Ambassador, I received complimentary entry into the weekend’s events. As always, all opinions are my own.
This past weekend I participated in my second Fit Foodie weekend, which was held at the Mosaic District in Fairfax, Virginia. This neighborhood features specialty shops and restaurants, and was once again the host for the Fit Foodie race weekend. My weekend kicked off Friday evening at the “Party with a Purpose,” which was held on the patio at True Food Kitchen. After almost three weeks straight of rain almost every day, Friday afternoon and evening was actually quite pleasant (sunny and the temperature was in the high 60s), but as the evening went on we could feel the weather change and knew that rain was once again on its way.
Back to the Friday night party though. Friday evening I met up with fellow ambassadors Deborah, Mar, and Colleen, and we were treated to delicious appetizers at True Food Kitchen, including tofu lettuce wraps, mini quinoa burgers, and hummus with pita bread and vegetables, as well as samples from race weekend sponsors Lorissa’s Kitchen and the American Lamb Board. We also got the opportunity to mingle with Boston Marathon winners Bill Rodgers and Caroline Rotich. It was a fun evening filled with good company and good eats. You couldn’t ask for much more!
Saturday morning I woke up to pouring rain and the temperature in the mid-50s. Since last Wednesday, I had felt like I was getting sick (I woke up Wednesday with a sore throat and started to feel congested on Friday). I knew running in the rain wasn’t going to be my smartest decision, but as an ambassador I didn’t want to back out of the race. I made a last minute decision about what to wear for the race (long sleeves with capris and a hat to keep the rain out of my face), got ready, and was out the door by 6:45. The race started at 7:30, and thankfully Deborah had picked up my race bib and shirt the day before and brought it to me at the party, so I didn’t have to worry about picking up my bib that morning. I easily found parking in one of the Mosaic District parking garages, and then made my way to the Target lobby to stay dry and warm for as long as I could before the race started. Inside, I met up with Deborah and Mar, as well as a coworker who also ran the race. It was only a few minutes before the start of the race when we all headed outside to the start line.
Since I wasn’t running this race focused on speed or finish time, I didn’t set any goals for myself prior to the start of the race. Because of how crowded the course was for the first half mile or so, and how slow my pace was initially, I’m glad that I went into this race wanting to focus on having fun. The course itself is two loops, the first loop, approximately two miles, goes through the shopping area and residential area of the Mosaic District, and then the second loop, or last mile, repeats the shopping area part of the course.
Even though it was pouring for the entire race, I successfully avoided running through any major puddles for the first two miles. Then just after passing the mile two marker, I was unsuccessful in avoiding a puddle, and my feet were soaked. After that I continued to hit puddle after puddle, and not only were my shoes soaked but they also became heavier with each puddle that I hit. Somehow, I still managed to cross the finish line in 30:38 (9:53 pace).
After the race, I received a bottle of water, a hand towel, and a bag filled with delicious goodies. I immediately made my way back towards the Target lobby in an effort to step inside for a moment and regroup since I was soaking wet. I ran into Mar, and we decided to take a quick walk through the finisher’s area, where lots of race weekend sponsors and local restaurants had tables set up with a variety of foods to sample. While walking around, we ran into Jenny.
Even though the weather was miserable, which is beyond anybody’s control, I still had a great time again this year at the Fit Foodie 5k. While the course is far from stellar (it isn’t scenic, has a lot of turns, and several narrow parts), its the after party that makes this race experience worth it for me. Even though I was soaked from head to toe, and freezing, by the time I made it back to my car, I’m beyond thankful for the opportunity to have been an ambassador again for this race series. I hope to be able to participate again in the future!
QOTD: What is your favorite post race treat?