Sunday, December 09, 2007
Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis
I ran another 5K yesterday, this time the local Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. It was held at the same park as my last race on Thanksgiving Day.
The weather report was predicting rain and in the 30's that morning. Luckily, the rain stopped just before the race but it was still a little bit chilly.
I got there with plenty of time to spare. The registration was inside this boathouse which was nice and warm. I think they had the best giveaway bag of all the races I've been to - Advil, lip balm, a whole bag of cough drops, Centrum multi-vitamins, etc. They call it the "Beat the Cold Goody Bag". I also got a pair of bells to tie to my shoes. The pre-race spread was pretty impressive too - tons of Dunkin Donuts and coffee! Of course, I wasn't about to partake just minutes before the race.
There were a bunch of teams running as well. The best was this group of runners and walkers with line green t-shirts. The front says "Yule Poke Your Eye Out" and the back has "Fra-Gee-Lee....Must be Italian" with a picture of the leg lamp shade. Clearly an homage to "A Christmas Story".
I had plenty of time to go to go back to my car to put my bag, warm up, drink some water, people watch, etc. When it was time for the race to start, they escorted us to the front of the building where the starting line was. And finally we were off.
The course was obviously very familiar to me. The only differences between my last race and this race were the start and finish lines - the whole entire path around that part of the river is 3.65 miles, of which we only ran 3.1 miles (5K).
I took off at a comfortable pace. I just wanted to test my legs at short distance races and then work my way up again to running longer races. There was a lady there with bright fuschia top that was way ahead of me in the beginning of the race. As the race progressed I slowly inched my way towards her, finally passing her at the half way mark.
Then, the young girl. Clearly she was using me as a gauge because she would walk a lot , then sprint off when I got close to her. She would actually look at me then take off. This happened a number of times, until finally she must have ran out of steam because I passed her and never saw her again.
Finally, the finish line was within my sight and I increased my speed. Unfortunately, this long legged woman in silver tights blazed passed me. Good for her, but wait till I get over this injury ;).
I crossed the finish line in around 29 something - about 9-ish min/mile ave. pace (official results still not out). I actually hit 3.1 miles way before the finish line. I think this course was a little bit over again (just like the 5K for Arthritis that I ran this summer). I don't think this course was officially certified. Plus, I forgot to stop my Garmin...AGAIN! It read 30:04 for 3.17 miles, but I didn't stop it until a little bit after my bib ticket was torn off. I backtracked using Sportstrack and apparently I hit 3.1 miles in 29:14 (9:26/mile ave. pace)! I'll take anything at this point!
I'm so pround that I stayed strong this whole entire race. There were times when I wanted to walk. Clearly, I still had a lot of energy but 5K's always play with my head. And I did not get side stitches this time, nor did my IT band act up. Even afterwards, my IT band was mostly fine. A little bit of soreness but not the cramping I used to get. Hopefully, this is a sign of better things to come.
After I crossed the finish line, I had another half a mile to walk back to the boathouse and where I parked my car. I remember them talking about having a buffet lunch across the street. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the boathouse the volunteers have all departed and the registration room was empty. WTF! All the runners that were there just headed straight to their cars. I don't know if they just headed straight home or went to where the buffet was supposed to be. Now, I may be slow but I can't be the very last one! Besides, there were walkers that started behind me! And what about the fuschia shirt lady and the little girl? Or the old guy I passed and the guy in sweats? I would have been happy with just donuts and coffee! Or even water!!!!!!
So finally I just gave up and hopped on my car and headed home. Luckily, I brought water and extra Sports Beans with me, which helped tide me over until I reached my parents house (not too far thankfully!).
I got home and got bored so I had my Dad take a couple of pictures of me hamming it up in the neighborhood. :)
Next week, I have another 5K race in the next town over from this race. I love having tons of choices for races - by my parents in NJ and by me in PA. And I'm not too far from DE or MD either for big races there. Now, if only my relatives in CA would be willing to put up with me for a couple of days ;)..... Anyways, next weekend's race will be my 13th (and my last one) for the year.
The race official results just came out. I came in at 30:09!!! WTF! I KNOW that is not right. I had already crossed the finish line, walked a little to go to this guy to get my bib ticket ripped off, walked a little more then remembered to stop my Garmin which read 30:04. I remember the timer still in the 29 minutes range when I crossed the finish line. Also, it says the girl who finished before me did it in 29:45. There is NO WAY that girl was more than 15 seconds ahead of me! She didn't pass me until we were a couple of feet from the finish line!!!! Grrr!!! Anyways, I'm going with my Garmin data and that's the end of it.
The good news is I came in 41st out out of 155. Gotta love those walkers! ;)