I love to dress up, and I love to run. Yesterday, I got to do both…at the same time! S and I (and his nephew and another couple) ran the Jingle Bell Run, a 5K. S dressed up as Santa and I as Mrs. Claus. I was really excited about this race…I wanted to win it. Lofty goal, I know. I did some research, however, and based on the winning time last year, winning it was attainable. I would have to sprint the entire way and run a 6:50/mile. Very difficult, but not impossible. I ran the St. Patty’s dash (nearly 4 miles) with a 7:04/mile, and I was sick. I really had no other goal other than getting 1st (in my division…not the entire race).
I had a nightmare a few days before the race: I was at the Jingle Bell Run. There weren’t many runners. I was in first, and clearly going to win, but I crossed the finish line going the wrong direction (weird, I know). They didn’t have my time! I told them I won, and they said, “I am sorry, but we don’t know what your time is, so you didn’t win.” It was just horrible. Well, this nightmare almost came true. Less than an hour before start time, and I looked down at my number. It read: Untimed runner. What???? I had most definitely signed up for timed runner! NO! This cannot be happening. This was not just a “fun run” for me. I was a fierce competitor and I wanted to win! (ha…) I tried to remain as calm as possible and figured out what I could do to fix this. I still had time. I race walked to the start area and upstairs where last minute registration was going on. Time was ticking…
Within 10 minutes, I had it figured out. Apparently they ran out of Timed runner numbers, and had to use the Untimed ones. There was a timing chip on the other side of the number, so I was good to go. PHEW!
Waiting at the start, I was glad I had a full Mrs. Claus outfit on…it was cold! I got as close to the start as possible and waited for the gun. I was getting nervous! I had never run this course, and yes, my intent was to sprint, but I had no idea where the inclines were and how to pace myself at a sprint pace. I am NOT a sprinter. These legs are made for distance. I decided I was just going to run as hard as I could, I might throw up, but it was only 3 miles!
And…we’re off! Off I go, running as hard as I can. The start is all uphill! Grrrrr…I was running around a 6:30 mile. Fast. I probably was starting too fast. I continued to run as fast as I could, but for the majority of the race, we were in a tunnel, and I had no GPS signal. I had no idea how fast i was running, but I really couldn’t run any faster. I was getting very, very, hot, and quickly took off my gloves and carried them. It was too difficult to strip any other layers, so I was pretty uncomfortable. Oh, and I had to pee very badly.
There were several women in front of me who looked like they were my age:30-39. A large age bracket, and a difficult one, too. I just couldnt’ catch them. A few others passed me, and I decided, “Okay, I am probably NOT going to win this, so what will my goal be?” About a half mile from the finish, a woman who looked to be my age, passed me and maintained right in front of me. AS I saw the finish line, I thought,”I really wish I could pass her.” I was running fast, and I really didnt’ think I had anything left in me. But RIGHT before the finish I thought, “come on. You can do this!” So, I cranked it up, and sprinted past her right before I crossed the finish line! Wow. I do not know how I did that, but it felt pretty amazing. Everyone else in our group did great, too.
Although I didn’t WIN my division..and I don’t even know if I ever can (the woman who won ran a 6:10 mile. WOW), I felt good about my run. I ran hard, and it was the fastest I had ever run for that distance. I thought I had broken a 7 minute mile, but my pace was 7:01. Next year, I DO break 7 minutes. 🙂
Time: 21.46 7.01 pace
6/609 women 30-39
24/2463 all women
I am pleased. I am going to try to do more of these shorter races. It’s really good for my training!