Monday, December 10, 2012

Jingle Bell 5k Race Recap

I had signed up for this race awhile ago. Since my fitness has dropped off a bit in the past month, I knew a PR was out of the question. Instead, I wanted to have fun with this race. I had emailed the race director to see if dogs were allowed, in hopes of having Pepper complete her first 5k. They said dogs were not allowed (even though there ended up being more than 1 dog out on the course). I know Amanda has been doing some speedwork lately, so I had messaged her to see if she wanted me to help pace her to a PR. That didn't work out so well in February, but we decided to try it again this time.

On race day morning, it was freezing and rainy. Not really ideal racing conditions and I think we all thought about going back home and to bed. But we were all out there and ready to race anyways. This was a Christmas themed race and those are always my favorite! I drove to the race with my friend Kate S. and we met up with a bunch of other FN Runners when we got there.
Pre-Race photo with the FNRC
Can you spot the bloggers??

Race day packet pickup was easy and we got the chance to warm up in the gym while waiting for the race to start. Considering the weather, this was definitely a nice perk. I found Amanda and we headed towards the start line. There weren't pace signs but we made sure to start in front of the "competitive walkers" sign.

The gun went off and my Garmin was having trouble locating satellite and getting a pace. It was clocking us at a 16:00 mile to start, which was a bit nerve wracking. I tried to make sure we didn't waste too much energy weaving. I tried to stay in front as a guide, but I told her that I would do the weaving and to try to take the straightest path forward. As I am apparently not a great pacer, we took the first mile way too fast at 8:10. Oops! I'm blaming it on my Garmin. I looked at Amanda when I realized my error, but we slowed down a bit, once I had a better gauge of our pace. The second mile had a little bit of an uphill and there was a young boy who fought hard to not get passed by us. Lol. We passed him and I tried to gauge how Amanda was doing. Her previous PR was 27:55 (about a 9:00 pace). During the second mile, I could just tell that we were going to get that PR. Despite our first mile mistake, I could tell it hadn't taken too much out of her. Having paced Amanda during our previous race (and been with her during the final miles of a few marathons), I could just tell. I think I even told her that we had this. She was going to PR, I could just feel it. We clocked our 2nd mile at about 8:40. That was much more comfortable.
Thanks to a running group friend, we were able to get this SWEET action shot.
Look at that smile on Amanda's face! She know's what she's on pace to do. :)

For the last mile, I told Amanda that we wanted to try to pick off people as we were going along. Our goal would be to pass the person in front of us. This race was crowded enough to give that kind of motivation, but not too crowded. We passed some folks and I tried to give a range at how close we were to the finish. When we had a half mile left, I tried to continue to be motivational. (You know, typical "Kelly" energy, I guess you could call it.) We pushed towards the end. I told Amanda to "Go as fast as you can! But I know you probably already are!" Amanda admits to not having a kick so I was happy we took the 2nd half of the last mile a little quicker. The last mile was clocked at about 8:30. Amanda's Garmin finishing time was 26:12. (The race was gun timed so the official result was actually 26:22.) That is a PR by over a minute and a half. I was so happy for Amanda because I know she has working on this goal for over a year. I was so happy I could help her get there! :)
Post-Race photo... in all her PR glory! :)

I know we are all guilty of sometimes being too married to a pace that it holds you back. I'm kind of glad we took the first mile too fast. Amanda even said that her Garmin was clocking us at 8:10 and there was no way that could be right. It was right, lol.

After the race, we headed back to the gym, hung around and enjoyed the post race swag. There was soup, hot chocolate, pizza, Powerade, ClifBars, and cheese. I didn't try much of the food because we had planned to go out to breakfast afterwards. Quite a few folks in our running group got some awards (including a big PR and age group award for Maggie!) so it was definitely a great day for the club. After some cheering and photos it was time for breakfast.

In summary, I think this was a good race and I would probably do it again. I only wish it would I've been chip timed from the start. With so many people (about 400 participants), it definitely disadvantaged the average runner, who wouldn't start near the very front. The warming area and post race swag were some of the biggest perks.

19 comments:

  1. Amy B @ Second City RandomnessDecember 10, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    I'm loving the socks you guys rocked. Jealous.

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  2. Love it! Thanks. A few things... that run photo of us... that smile... I was trying not to drop dead.
    I seriously did think my garmin was wrong the first mile! I thought 8:50 or so! Lol. But it's good to know you can accomplish more.
    You are an awesome person to run with.

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  3. Haha, Target definitely made some money off of us and our sock purchases!

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  4. Haha you loved it! :) To feel like you're running an 8:50 but actually running an 8:10... How cool is that! :) I'm glad you think I am awesome.

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  5. Regarding being "married" to a pace ... I think this is a big advantage for heart rate running (or running blind and going by effort). I often have my Garmin on my HR-only screen, and leave it there during races, so I don't know my pace unless I look at it during the few seconds it displays my split at each mile. However, I think for some races I have been "married" to an easier heart rate that I could have done. So we all hold ourselves back in different ways. But the more I run by HR, the more I learn how hard I can push my HR.

    Anyway, congrats to Amanda!!! Glad you could meet your race goal, even if it wasn't "your" goal. I think pacing someone else can be just as fun!

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  6. you are so festive looking it makes me smile!!

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  7. Yay! Good job pacer and congrats to Amanda! I took my friend out too fast in the last 5K I paced her on, but I am happy I did - she PRed by a lot more than she wanted to ;)

    Too bad it was not chip timed! One of my fave races is not so I always start by the front and feel like such a phony ;)

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  8. Congrats to you for being an awesome pacer! Way to push Amanda to a huge pr!

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  9. That is a good point. If you don't run by pace, but by HR, you're still "married" to something. :) When I run things by feel, I usually surprise myself (Shamrock Shuffle, Hot Chocolate 15k)...

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  10. THANKS! Some of these items may seem familiar this upcoming weekend. JUST SAYING!

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  11. Thanks! Now that you mention it, I remember reading your race recap! You are not a phony--you are a smart racer! :)

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  12. Super sweet of you to help her! And it was great seeing you out there.

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  13. Thanks Amanda! I was so happy with the results as I know Amanda has been trying hard to get it. So happy I was able to help her! :)

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  14. Yay Kelly! Awesome work - you both ran an amazing time!!

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  15. Great job, and I LOVE the outfits! HEHE!

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  16. Thanks! I was really happy to help Amanda reach her goal!

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  17. A lot of people were interested in where we got our Sparkle Skirts.

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  18. Awesome, congrats to Amanda! I love that she said no way 8:10 was right and it really was, such a great feeling. Your outfits and braids are super cute.

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