{The Ugly Sweater 5k-2016}


Last Saturday the husband and I ran one of my favorite races to run.  It has become a holiday tradition for us most years and happened to be my first post-baby race at six weeks postpartum.  Since I have a significant diastasis recti and had been doing mostly run/walking intervals, I knew I wouldn’t be racing this race.  My goal was to run the entire thing at whatever pace needed to stay comfortable and I did just that.

Fresh falling snow was beautiful (and slippery) so maintaining a comfortable pace wasn’t too hard because slow going was needed.  It was a date 5k and the first time the husband and I had been kid free since early August. We finally got to have an adult conversation without a toddler or baby interrupting us or demanding our attention.  Two hours away feels like a long time when it’s been 4.5 months since it last really happened.  

This report had no mile splits or specific details as I just ran comfortable without a watch and enjoyed my husbands company.  Some of my favorite highlights of this race include the following:

-photos with santa and the Grinch before the race

-the course!  The race starts at Myrick Park and runs on the marsh trails (love this route) to Riverside park

-Christmas lights lit the entire route of the 5k

-a finish in Riverside Park in a light tunnel is pretty cool along with the millions of other lights

-hot chocolate in a heated tent after

-a drink chip for a free Pearl Street Brewery beer available at several local establishments included in race swag bag

-free hat instead of a shirt

My least favorite part: to save time the husband and I parked a vehicle at the start and the finish instead of using the shuttle that took racers back to the start. This was a great plan except…I brought the key to the other car on the run.  Post-run in the freezing cold we had a vehicle with our coats in it, but the key to the car at the start of the race. So wait outside in the cold for the shuttle we did instead of grabbing a post-race date drink.  We laugh about it now! 

This is a wonderful, festive and organized race if you live in the La Crosse area.  Plus it gives me a place to sport my Christmas Procompression socks I love so much!  I highly recommend both.


{Ugly Sweater 5k-Updated!}


Sunday was the Ugly Sweater 5k held in La Crosse each year.  In past years the race has been referred to as the Rotary Lights 5k.  This year they changed things up a bit adding some festive fun with ugly sweaters. Let’s just say my sweater was UG-ly!

Since it was cold outside with a windchill of -8 degrees, we put on our warm layers including my super warm base layer from Target that I bought that very day.  Once again, I have not put laundry away in a while and I could not find a lot of my layers.  This shirt stays in place, is fleecy warm on the inside, wind resistant, and so cozy all for $19.99.  Keep in mind it is snug and tight like a base layer should be.  I did go up a size and could have went up two sizes for a bit of a looser fit.  You can find it online here.


After some quick photos at my mom and stepdad’s house we were off to the race.  We got to packet pick up, picked up our race numbers, and waited inside the warm lobby of the Radisson.  With the race start just steps out the door, we enjoyed the warmth until we absolutely had to head outdoors.




The sun was setting and we were jumping up and down like most runners were doing our best to stay warm.  Lucky for us ugly sweaters are surprisingly warm.  Garland, too.  My holiday Pro Compression socks offered some added warmth and fun to the outfit.   I love these socks, and if you are hoping to also make sure to use coupon code BLG13 to get 40% off and free shipping on your order.



Santa started the race-gun and all.  Sort of a disturbing sight to see Santa shooting a gun in the air, but I get he isn’t the real Santa.  The real Santa is obviously far too busy to be at the starting line of the Ugly Sweater 5k.




The gun went off and we were off.  The race started in Riverside Park, took us onto the pathway along the frozen Mississippi, and then lead us onto the La Crosse River Trails.  We clicked off our first mile on the snow covered sidewalks and trails in 8:06.  At the halfway turn around we ran around a North Pole sign with the sounds of holiday music nearby.  We kept up the pace and ran back along the trails finishing under the Rotary Lights lighted canopy.  Then it was time to enjoy the lights and our new Ugly Sweater mugs.






Race perks included a mug with free hot chocolate after the race and a chip for a free Pearl Street Brewery beer later at your choice of local bars.  Love me some Down Town Brown-Double yum!!  Can’t wait to drink out of my festive mug this holiday season!




Ugly Sweater 5k
Age Group-9/112

Festive Running to All and to All a Good Night!