Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jingle Bell Run 5k

Today I, along with 4,000+ other people, ran the 5k Jingle Bell Run in downtown Seattle. I was looking forward to this run for lots of reasons, it was a chance to run on downtown streets, I was supposed to run with friends (unfortunately I wasn't able to find them before the run started), I got to dress up cute in my Sock It To Me red and white striped pirate tights and my Team Sparkle red sparkly skirt, AND I was going to rock this 5k with a zooming fast pace.

My husband and girls came along for support and to run the kids 1k. As I surveyed the swelling crowd I told Matt that I had a feeling it was going to be packed and this might not be the race to get my pride-soaring PR (personal record).

Feeling good pre-race!

I have had a few runs on Alki recently where my pace was sub-9:00 for 3-5 miles and I knew that the energy of a crowd is always good for a little extra stamina.

But then I showed up on the starting line, with allllll of those people. I stood near the 8:00-9:00 min pace marker. My running/fitness coach, who I was hoping to trail, was nowhere in sight (remember, I didn't find my peeps before the race?) and I had no watch, no way of tracking my progress at all. Of course, none of that really mattered because the course was SO packed with people that I very rarely ever felt like I was just cruising. Instead I bobbed and weaved and slowed behind strings of walkers, dogs and strollers and hopped on and off curbs to make my way through and . . . . I made it out with a time of 30:00 on the nose. I was/am so disappointed. I knew I could have had a 26:00 or 27:00 finish if I had been able to actually RUN. It was annoying because the waves of runners were supposed to go according to how fast they thought they would run -- so there shouldn't have been walkers/kids/strollers lined up in front of the 8:00-9:00 min pace marker in the wave I left in. Ah, well.

I wished that I either could have just run what I wanted to or have been able to relax and let go and realize this was not my run to garner my PR and enjoy the crowd. Unfortunately I did neither.

I have another run coming up next weekend and am curious if it is going to be as crowded. I haven't decided yet if I will do the 5k or 10k, either. I signed up for the 10k but am not sure I will be ready. If I do it, the goal will be to finish my first one and feel good about myself. If I do the 5k I will probably secretly hope to get the 26:00 or 27:00 finish I wanted today. We'll see.

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