Jingle Bell Run 5K
Red sparkly skirt courtesy of Team Sparkle
We left the house almost a half an hour later than I had planned on leaving. Guess that’s what happens when you have kids but luckily the race was about a half an hour away so I was still going to make it on time. We got there at what seemed like a good time as we were able to find a parking spot right away. The small parking lot we parked in was full by the time we left the car not even 5 minutes later. We made our way to the pavilion where participants were picking up their racing packets. I got in the long line and waited, and waited, and waited. Once I got closer to the table where the packets were, I realized what the hold up was: disorganization! This was their 20th year doing this run so one would think they’d have their system down by now. There were three women at the table and, instead of having a designated area (one or two of the women) for pre-registered participants and one (or two) for those registering on race day, we all had to wait while people signed up for the race. Not only that, but the women at the table were scrambling and clearly flustered with their crappy set-up. When it was my turn, the woman in the middle crossed my name off the master list, the one on the right gave me my number and looked through boxes to get my shirt. When I thought I was good to go, one of them asked (can’t remember which) if I got my bag yet and I responded with “no” and they both bent down to get one for me. Good grief! Put the bib, shirt (you register your shirt size so this is completely doable) and everything in the bag with the name on the bag or something. Or have an assembly line type of deal going on that isn’t all over the place and makes sense chronologically. As if a SLOW & disorganized pick up wasn’t enough, I was really irked when I discovered I only had three safety pins in my bag for my bib. It wasn’t a huge deal as three pins worked fine but I was already irritated so you know how that goes. After it was all said and done, it was almost race time and there was no time for a real warm up. Ugh. I did some quick dynamic stretching and, within 5 minutes, it was time to start. Before I continue, I realize we left a lot later than I had planned to, but we still arrived there with a half an hour before race start time and I figured that would have been plenty of time to get things and do a warm up/stretch before the start.
I left my husband and kids and made my way through the crowd of runners getting ready near the start line. They played the Star Spangled Banner, said a few words and we were off. I took off a lot faster than I have in previous races. I guess a part of me was sick of being conservative in fear of burning out too quickly and, after having such an awesome week pull of PRs, I wanted to see what I was made of. I’ll be honest, there were a few times I was ready to stop running but I found people to pace with and pressed on. Eventually, I was passing the people I was using as pace buddies and kept on going. The more I ran, the stronger I got. It was strange but awesome.
Today’s race was a 5K, a 10K and a fun dog run as well. It was fun to see the dogs and various costumes as I made my way back toward the finish after the mid-point u-turn. Thinking about it now, perhaps the anticipation of what I was going to see next also kept me going today. As I neared the finish, I could barely see the timer (I’m blind! lol) but I thought I saw something in the 20’s. Adrenaline went through my body at that point and I found a pocket of energy I didn’t know I had. I started to speed up little by little and then I saw the timer and it was 30:xx. Oh yeah, I had it! I really picked up speed and sprinted as I neared the finish line. My watch read 31:13 when I stopped it right after passing the finish line. Holy cow! I was ecstatic!! I found my husband and made my way toward them and started to gulp my water. My husband informed me that he missed his photo op of my finish because I came in earlier than he (and I) expected. haha! He was helping our son with something, happened to look up and there I was past the finish line so he snapped a few pictures.
Missed finish: You can see my Santa hat above the photographer
Making my way toward my groupies
We hung out for a bit while I hydrated myself and waited for the results to be posted. When I left, the results said I crossed at 31:12 (PR) (10:03 min/mile; also a PR) and was in 147th place overall. The official results show the same time, 145th/346 runners in the 5K and 15th/25 in my age group. The first, second and third place winners in my age group finished in 23:51, 23:55, and 24:34. Dang! I have a lot of work to do if I ever want to medal around these parts!
All in all, it was a great race. The weather was perfect and I didn’t overheat with my festive attire, which was a concern of mine. The only issue I had was my Team Sparkle skirt rode up my waist as I ran. Their sizing is weird and they say to go by hip size because of the way they’re made. I have very large hips/butt compared to my small waist and I followed their guideline and got a large. I now wonder if I could have done away with a medium instead. I’ll have to test out a medium in the future and see how it works in action.
Looking back at all that I’ve accomplished since my first 5K seven weeks ago, I am very proud of myself. Hell, looking back at all I’ve accomplished since I started running (C25K) four months ago (TODAY! holy cow, just realized that!) makes me feel awesome. I’ve managed to take of 4:01 off my first 5K time, shed inches from my body, and, though I can’t quite see it yet, replace fat with muscle. Along with continuing to improve my physical fitness, my next goal is to run a sub-30 5K. I can do eeeeet!!!