Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Nicolet Bay 5k Race Recap

I really love Door County. If you've never been, I highly recommend visiting, especially for the Door County Half Marathon & Nicolet Bay 5k race weekend.

This year's race weekend started with dinner at Julie's Park Cafe in Fish Creek. The food is nothing to write home about but the restaurant has a spaghetti special for runners. It's pretty basic food, which is just what I like before a race.

One of the nice things about the Door County race is that there is a late start time - 10:15am for the 5k! - which means Mom and I actually got to sleep in quite a bit. About 2.5 hours before the race start I ate a Picky Bar and a banana, which is a pretty standard race day breakfast for me.

I had been worried about the weather during the week leading up to the race but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. It was a gorgeous morning for running with temps in the low 50s and plenty of sunshine. While we waited for the race to start, Mom and I walked over to the beach and as we got ready to take a selfie, one of my former coworkers, Dan, appeared! It turns out he was racing the 5k, too, and was kind enough to take a nice pic of Mom and me.

I felt pretty relaxed lining up at the start since my only real goal for the race was to run faster than I did a few weeks ago. I wasn't worried about racing anyone around me so imagine my surprise when I found myself the first female about one mile in. I figured it wouldn't be long before another woman would get past me so I enjoyed it while it lasted. And sure enough, shortly after I was passed! At this race, though, it wasn't a big deal and I decided to stay calm and keep running my own race.

Before I knew it, we were at the halfway point and soon were heading back toward the finish area. I love this part of the race because you get to see everyone else who is running. Although I must have been in a bit of a fog for a bit because I didn't see Dan until he was pretty much past me. I saw Mom, however, and waved hello!

I actually felt pretty good during the last mile of the race. I know the course pretty well so knew about when the finish line would appear. My legs also felt like they were finally hitting their stride and I was able to pick up the pace into the finish line.

I achieved my race goal of running faster than I did a few weeks ago! Although it still wasn't a good time for me, I'm making progress toward getting my speed back. The paces for the mile splits weren't great but still a step in the right direction - I like that I was able to get faster each mile of the race!

As always I ran back on the course to run Mom into the finish line. She was doing great and really picked up the pace during the last half mile of the race. Way to go, Mom!

After the race, Mom and I went back to our hotel, showered, then headed over to Fish Creek for lunch, shopping and walking around. We ate lunch at the White Gull Inn, which is so cute. I had chicken noodle soup and a cheeseburger, which totally hit the spot!

Looking back, I think the rest of the trip highlights involve eating. Haha. Mom and I went to The Chef's Hat later that evening to share appetizers and dessert. Everything was super delicious, especially the Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bar. I forgot to take a pic, but it was sooo good. It had a graham cracker crust, peanut butter filling and chocolate topping. Amazing!

Possibly my very favorite place we ate during the trip was Mother's Day brunch at Alexander's. There were so many delicious-looking options on the buffet. Mom and I both started with a salad plate and then moved on to the hot food. The salads were really good - my favorite one was Broccoli Waldorf Salad. The hot entrees were also great - my favorite things were Eggs Benedict, a Seafood Stew and, of course, bacon :)

On the drive out of town, Mom and I stopped at a shop to buy Dad a cherry pie for watching Eddie, as well as jugs of tart cherry juice, a few jars of cherry salsa, bottles of cherry wine, etc. Basically everything cherry since that is one of the things Door County is known for!

It was such a great weekend that I'm already thinking about how I'd like to get back to Door County again this year. I definitely recommend adding this race to your calendar and also staying an extra day so you can take in all Door County has to offer!

My questions for you:
  • Have you been to Door County? If so, what places do you recommend to dine/shop/visit/etc.?
  • Do you tend to negative or positive split 5k races?
  • Where are you racing/traveling in the upcoming season?

I'm doing Kings & Queens Half Marathon this weekend, Bellin 10k in June and Rock 'n' Roll Chicago 10k in July!

- ST


  1. Great job on the race. You are on your way back! I have lived in SE Wisconsin my entire life (except during my military days)and I have never been to door county. The closest I have come is Green Bay. It is on the list of places to go though.

    I have a couple more weeks of tapering and then it is Buffalo marathon time! Followed up a couple weeks later by Ragnar Chicago. I have 22 total miles for Ragnar Chicago so I will have to find a way to recover quickly.

    Have fun at the King & Queens half marathon. Lighthouse events does a great job with the winter series I have to assume they will do a great job with this one also!

    1. Thanks Bob! It sounds like you have a lot of distance coming up in the next few weeks. Best of luck to you at your upcoming races :)

  2. Awesome job!
    2nd place overall and 1st place age, you rock!!!!!
    Yay for running a race with your mom!
    10:15 race start, maybe it's the part of me that hates to wake up, but that just sounds awesome, I'd sign up just for that, LOL LOL
    But seriously sounds like a great race, and it obviously suited you well, look at those awesome times girl! Congrats!!!!

    1. Thanks Kristy! I think more races - especially ones that are not during the hot summer - should have later starts. 10:15 is perfect for a spring race :)

  3. Great job on this race, too! My last few 5Ks have been right after a half marathon or trail race, so my legs were heavy. In a perfect world I'd run negative splits, but usually I start too fast, pay for it in mile 2, but I can usually make up for it in the last half mile.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I've found the best way to negative split is to line up further back than I usually do. This forces me to start slower and then speed up throughout the race :)