Race shirt giveaway
The Jingle All the Way 5k was held at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford, New York. Race Awesome, a local race organization, produced the event. They did a great job, from the constant email reminders to the wood burning grills (complete with marshamallows!) on race morning to the free available online photos! I emailed Corey, the Australian born Volunteer Happy Athlete Guide of the company, to get permission to use the photos on the blog. He readily obliged, explaining the photos are there for the taking. Race Awesome doesn't believe in charging athletes extras (ex., service fees). They want the experience to be positive pretty much in every aspect. Thanks, mates! (Yes, I'm fluent in Australian)
I had high hopes for this race because my recent training runs had been at pretty nice paces. I thought for sure I would finish under 22 minutes, but alas, this was not to be the case. And what would explain my failure to launch, you ask? I was not completely hung over like during my last 5k attempt at Robert Moses State Park. I was not undertrained like I was for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I mean this was a 5k, for Pete's sake. I chalk up my sub-par effort to good old fashioned poor pacing and wind.
I met my buddies, The Emerging Runner and The Petite Pacer before the race. It was a chilly 34 degrees. We spent some time in the ER mobile and in front of the wood grills to keep warm. We lined up at the start before I could succumb to the smoke inhalation. I stood up front, while my friends hung back. Theirs was the wiser choice. JC, TPP's significant biker, showed up and greeted me from his nifty two-wheeler. He rode the course and showed up during the race in all the right places to give his support.
Before I could say "Pace yourself", we were off. Now from what I knew about 5ks, you pretty much could run them "all out". Meaning, run them as fast as you can. Well...I'm not so sure. We immediately scaled a small hill. I was running at a good clip, sucking in a lot of cold air. The course led us on the roads within the park. I guessed I was around the third overall woman at this point. I hit mile one at 6:54. Great! Until it turned not so great. Mile two took us down an out and back straightaway on a partially graveled surface. The lead runners annoyingly passed me on the left. Even more annoying were the women passing me on my side and ruining any chances of an overall award (Disclaimer: The word "annoying" in referring to faster runners should be interpreted as "I'm so incredibly jealous of their amazing athleticism"). I hit the two mile marker at 14:56. Oh well. I never really warmed up and the air still felt bitterly cold in my lungs and against my face. My chest felt tight and tingly. I convinced myself that I might have a heart attack if I pushed too hard, so I happily entertained my preposterous idea and ran the last mile at an easy pace. I saw the finish clock in the distance and accepted that a PR was out the window. My time was 23:29. I ended up 1st in my age group, top 6% of the women (9 out of 144), and top 10% overall (24 out of 222). So although I finished two minutes slower than I had hoped, my statistics were still good. Most important, I beat my 13 year old's 5k time that she ran in early November by one second! Just kidding. A little. Am I a bad mother? Don't answer that.
The first incline after the start.
Finish line chute
TPP, who seems to be on a wave of fantastic racing, PRd, despite partying the night before. ER also had a successful run, achieving his goal on very few miles of training.
I am having my own private party in my head,
as you can see by my extremely amused expression.
TPP was an engaged guest to my party.
ER declined his invitation.