Seattle Love 'em or Leave 'em Valentine's Day Dash Race Recap

This year's race was a far cry from the last time I did Love 'em or Leave 'em.  I'm SO pleased with how things went down, and it's just icing on the cake that it's such a fun Oiselle team tradition.

Sticking with tradition, I did day of race packet pickup and scored a nice parking spot close to the start.  I love that it's a Saturday race AND it starts at 9:30!  Easy peasy to head over a little early to get your bib and shirt.  I must say, the shirts were a much lighter material and softer this year, maybe because it's the 10th anniversary of the race?  I hope to be able to wear it a bit more for kicking around.

After dropping said shirt in my car, I did a short half mile warm up and then met up with teammates to chat and take group pictures, naturally.

Another thing that's pretty cool about this race is that it is full of FAST people.  I still lined up optimistically at the front end of the 8 minute mile group, just to be on the safe side.  Things get off to a quick and easy start with hardly any weaving.  Then it's pretty smooth sailing throughout the entire course.  It's also probably due to the fact that (unlike many Green Lake races) it's mostly run on the roads around the lake with just a short stint on the running path (that you need to share with the many other folks enjoying the park).

off to a good start - thanks for the photo Irwin!

About a half a mile in, I looked down at my Garmin and felt like 'huh, this isn't too bad' while doing just over an 8 minute mile.  'Juuuuuuuust keep it up' was my mantra.  Which we all know is easier said than done in a 5K.  As usual, that second mile was tough.  I deliberated whether to save some energy for the last mile or to keep pushing it.  I kept pushing it, but I was getting fatigued and just kept telling myself to get to that 'Tunnel of Love' at the end where there's a perfect little downhill to kick it towards the finish.  And I suppose that worked because I kept roughly the same pace for mile three as mile two.

The final chip time of 25:35 gave me a renewed sense of trust in my Garmin.  For the first time in awhile, I actually started it without issue and remembered to stop it on time.  As for goals, I easily met my 'B' goal of sub 26 and was only 6 seconds away from my 'A' goal/PR.  I am very pleased!  My PR race at Fall City Days was a straight out and back, so I think that I'm pretty much back to the level of speed I had THREE YEARS ago.  I might have to run it again and see how I'd do on the same course...

As per usual, the post race festivities seemed to be hoppin' - especially since they added a beer garden this year.  I picked up some KIND bars, some Zico coconut water and a sample of one of my favorite treats: Bark Thins.  There was also a flower truck on hand for all those last minute Valentine's Day shoppers, which was a cute addition.  Really, no matter what they do, this will always be a must-do race!

*Also, speaking of meeting goals, I'd really love it if you'd go on over and register for the Hot Chocolate 5K or 15K (LINK HERE) with the code: SEAHAT2 for a free tech hat.  Even if you've registered already, you can shoot Hot Chocolate a message (via the 'questions' tab on the website) and they'll add it on for you!


  1. Ooo, awesome job!!!!! I love that race but haven't been in town or able to run it the past couple of years. A beer garden at 10 AM? Maybe not so much fun to me, but their post-party has always been pretty great.

    1. yeah, I didn't go for the beer - brunch after with Dawn and fam :) A bloody mary garden would be more my jam ;)

  2. I continue to love our blog and race recaps. Did you get a medal with this one? I swear that pics of medals are like porn for runners...haha. I did the Hot Chocolate 15K two years ago in horrible weather and swore that although it was a really fun race, I wouldn't do it again because there was no medal and the weather is always so unpredictable--but usually crappy in my area of the woods--in December. However, I got the last year about the new 15K finishers' medals, so of course I had to do it again. Wouldn't you know--the weather was PERFECT for a run in December and I got my medal. And they are fantastic medals, aren't they??

    1. I meant to say "your" blog and race recaps, not "our." :)

  3. Awesome job on the race! 5Ks are so hard. I'm jealous of the Oiselle team Seattle get-togethers!