Saturday, December 3, 2011

Race Recap: Jingle Bell Run of '11

The Friday after Thanksgiving I was texting Ashley making arrangements for a run together.  She asked if I was planning on doing the Jingle Bell Run.

No - I hadn't.

But after a slight nudge (really - it doesn't take much with me haha), I asked William if it would be an issue.  NOPE he said - so as soon as we got back into town (oh yeah - did I mention we were in the car headed back to KS from visiting the ILs?) I ran off to sign up.  It was the last day to get that done without any added fees.

Ashley also mentioned it was only a wee bit more to sign up for the additional 1 mile race - and that our friend Krystal was planning on running it.  More nudging.  OF COURSE I'll sign up!

The very next morning I woke up in horror as I remembered that William was on call.  YIKES!  Then more horror as I realized I would not be able to go to the race.  I swallowed hard as I thought about the wasted $30.  I didn't save $5 by rushing out to sign up...I had costed myself $30!  ARGH!  So I did what any girl would do and I prayed all week..."LORD!  Please make it so I get to go!  But if I can't...let there be really crappy weather!"

*ahem*

I'm not proud...but yes...that is what I prayed all week.

William texted me around noon on Friday letting me know his cash-strapped coworker was taking his on-call.  (His coworkers all get overtime - William is salary.)

Then I checked the weather...and HOLY CRAP!  It was going to be raining and in the low-mid 30s.  CRIKEY!  What in the WORLD did I get myself INTO!??! I had never run in that cold, nor did I really have appropriate running attire...and the rain would just make it worse.

So I paused and had a panic attack.

Then I took a deep breath and thought about what I would do to combat the cold.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money and half my Christmas list this year contains running attire/gear.  A sweet friend posted some recommended minimal great...gloves, good warm socks and a hat with a brim.  Check check check.

Thank goodness Target is open late.  I bought some gloves and a headband to keep my ears warm.

Ashley also lent me an undershirt.  I felt minimally prepared...but really how prepared does one really need to be?  And it was a small race...I was sure I could survive 4 miles!

I got to sleep in the next morning, shoveled some eggs into the ol' pie hole and off I went.  Early.  Because my living nightmare is not being able to find a parking spot.


Me, Ashley, Krystal and Lacey!

I soon met up with the ol' gang.  Ashley, Lacey and I were doing the 4 miles and then planning on doing the 1 mile with Krystal (who is just getting started in running).

Lacey hoped to make a PR.  Ashley didn't really say what her goal for the race was.  I knew anything I did was a PR - because I have never run a 4 miler.  But once I thought about it...what I really wanted was to run in a similar time as what I did on my 4 mile run last weekend with Ashley.  So 50 minutes became my goal.

The weather was actually not really bad.  It turned out to be a cool 45F with some sprinkles.  The race was delayed 20 minutes due to some lightening, but it was nice we all got to wait inside at Exploration Place.  When it was time we headed out to the race start.

I think we started fairly close to the front, but I wasn't really worried about pacing myself.  I was mostly wondering if I would be able to keep up with Ashley.  That became my stretch goal... ;-)

We all started out together and Lacey soon sped ahead.  Ashely hung back with me for about a mile, then shot ahead after a PR for herself.  Me?  I was working on enjoying the run.  This was more difficult than usual for me - the rain was really messing with my head.  I kept trying to convince myself I wasn't cold.

Then it turned out...I wasn't really cold.  I was hot.  So I had to convince myself I would be fine...for awhile.  Taking my jacket off would require me stopping...and I didn't really want to stop.  I pushed myself.  I finally pulled out my phone and noticed I wasn't really running very fast.  I decided to take a walk break.  Wouldn't you know it?  I forgot to take my jacket off!  I realized it after I started back up, but I was going to wait until I needed to stop again - that rest stop was over!

I actually didn't pay much attention to my phone...I normally check it more frequently.  It was jammed in my pocket for safe keeping against the rain.  When I stopped finally and did get my jacket off, I started to carry my phone like normal.

At mile 3 I glanced down...and really...I was looking to see if I had crossed mile 3 yet.  (Due to it being on a bridge it wasn't marked...)  I also saw something else that made my heart soar...36 minutes...the coveted 3 miles in 36 minutes had been ACHIEVED!  This has been my running goal...oh...since I STARTED!  I had wished I had someone to share my happiness with...when my name was shouted out!  Ashley was about a quarter mile ahead and crossing under the bridge I was on.  I waived back and said "I BEAT MY 3 MILE RECORD!"  She shouted back "WELL DON'T STOP NOW! KEEP IT UP!"

And she was right.

With the 36 minutes under my belt - 50 minutes seemed so doable.  Surely I can run a single mile in 14 minutes!!!

I pushed myself when I found myself on the dreaded hilly stretch that about killed me in my first ever GOTR race.  It was in my head.  I was in a much different place...so I decided I was going to CONQUER THE HILLS!  I put my head down and off I went.

Once I got over and up the last one I took another small walk break.

My victory was within reach...so close...I could feel it!

Off I went again.

Honestly - I don't recall many interesting people.  I think I was too focused on my race.  I don't think this is a bad thing.

I soon approached the finish line and I heard "GO MIRIAM!"  Do you know how nice it is to be cheered?  Ashley was waiting at the finish line.  The clock read "48:30" or something like that.  I sprinted across as fast as I could...I wanted that under 50 minute time!

My total distance ended up being 4.1 per my phone.  I believe my phone. ;-)  And my official total time ended up being 48:40.

Splits:
Mile 1: 11:29
Mile 2: 11:58
Mile 3: 12:19
Mile 4: 12:35

Ashley and I met up with Lacey and Krystal and we all headed off to the 1 mile race.  Krystal was very nervous.  She was in the Prairie Fire Fun Run/Walk in October, but she wasn't running it.  This was her first race where she intended to run.  We all reminded her she would be great.  My favorite was her verse for the day.

I will sing to the LORD,
   for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
   he has hurled into the sea.
~Exodus 15:1 (NIV)

Off we went and Krystal shot out like a rocket.  And she did GREAT!  It was so inspiring!  She had a huge crowd of folks that ran with her (there were 6 of us), saw lots of people along the way cheering her on and even had someone in a car STOP to shout out a "GO KRYSTAL!".  I loved it!  It was a super special time!

We all encouraged her along the way and she did GREAT!  It was SO COOL!

This race was great...of course, I haven't really had too many races that I thought weren't great!  The companionship was great, the record was great, encouraging Krystal was awesome.

And the rain?  And cold?  Well - I'm so happy it wasn't really that cold.  And it didn't really rain that much.  Yes - I was wet. But it wasn't pouring...

And next year?  I want to run in a Christmas themed tutu. :-)

1 comment:

AshleyC said...

I really thought that I'd read this one... hmm. Love it!!! BTW---My goal was to not HATE the race and get a sucky time like the year before! (Mine was like 52!!!)