Monday, December 5, 2011

Jingle Bell 5K Race Recap

Yesterday was my final race of 2011. A few of my Sunday running pals and I, a.k.a. the Rail Trail Chicks, ran in the Jingle Bell 5K in Freeport. The weather was ideal for running, clear and cool, for the 600+ people that took to the street donning bells reindeer antlers, Santa hats, and/or bells on their shoes. The girls and I dressed alike with matching snowflake socks and shirts customized with snowflakes and a Rail Trail Chicks logo!
Jen, me, Jill, and Stacy - aren't we cute?!? (photo courtesy Running With The Girls)
Go Team! (photo courtesy Running With The Girls)
For the race, I knew that if I could stay with Jen, or at least keep her in sight, I'd might just PR this race. However, the last 1.5 miles of the course is pretty much all uphill and this race was going to be more for fun anyway. We joined the crowd near the front of the starting line (or so I thought) and soon were off and running. There were, however, a ton of people in front of us and it took a lot of bobbing and weaving, slowing down and speeding up until the crowd thinned a bit.

I think I stayed with Jen for about the first half mile. I honestly don't know. The race went by pretty fast, so this recap isn't going to have a lot of detail. But I did try to keep Jen in close sight to pull me along at a good pace. Mile one split - 7:17! Wahoo! My fastest split in a race this year. Yeah, so it was downhill, so what?!?

Me (far left), Jen (center) See, not too far behind! (photo courtesy Maine Running Photos)

The course loops around and soon we were seeing the leaders coming back towards us up a hill we were soon to climb. I felt good and was hanging on pretty good in pace. Mile two split - 7:29.

More gradual hills and I started to feel sick from the fast pace (fast for me). And stupid me had coffee earlier that morning. Something I never do before a run...and will never do again. One last hill to climb and I spot Jen's husband, Ward, taking pictures from the top. Ugh, I feel like crap and this is probably going to be a ugly picture, but look - it came out pretty good!
(Photo courtesy Running With The Girls)
Ward was so awesome shouting words of encouragement. Just what I needed at that point! I completely missed the marker for mile three to get my split, but turned on the afterburners when I spotted the clock at the finish and it was in the low 23:40s. I can totally PR! Run, run, run!!!

I hear a guy right behind me saying, "Go, go, go" and wonder if he's talking to me or to himself. It wasn't until later on that I found out that it was another one of Jen's friends that was running.

I was sprinting so hard that I totally forgot to press stop on my watch so I don't know my exact time. Well, gun time was 23:54, which is still a five second PR, but I want to say that there was at least five seconds before we reached the starting line. Jen mentioned that there was an eight-second discrepancy between the time she saw on the clock and her watch (and then the official posted time is twenty seconds off her Garmin time). I think my time is pretty accurate, so I'm going to say that my actual time is 23:49. Good 'nuf.

Another awesome thing is how I fared in the overall standings and age group!

96 out of 609 overall
7 out of 100 in my age group (30-39)
20 out of 394 females

Yee haw! Great way to end my 2011 racing season! And now I move on to my half marathon training program that starts tomorrow! Yea!

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