Downtown Jingle Bell 5k Race Recap

5 Dec

Today I ran the Downtown Jingle Bell 5k with every intention of at least a PR, at most breaking 25 minutes.

Last night I got ready for the race: 

Hooray for festive fingernails!
Totally love the “ruby slippers” headband. It may become a regular wear item.

Then this morning I had my typical long run breakfast, but I ate it two hours before the race to make sure it was fully digested. The race was set to start at 11:15 – I didn’t put a single thing in my stomach after 10 a.m., I didn’t want to risk any sort of stomach troubles during this race.

Breakfast of 5k PR’ing champions – and coffee, of course, in my favorite mug

Before the race I got to meet Jessica and her family. We live pretty close together, so we’re definitely going to try to run together another time (I hope I can keep up!). 

Me and Jessica – you can tell by the socks we both love Target!
Me and Santa Mom – the picture does the hat no justice! It’s sparkly!
 We split up right before the start – Jessica with the really fast people, my bro and I at the 8 minute mile section, and my rents near the back, as they were planning on run/walking the entire race. Huge shout out to mom right now – she ran the entire race, with little to no running training recently, in 38:57. GO MOM!
The ‘rents view at the start

The weather at the start was perfect, roughly 50ish degrees. About a quarter mile into the race I told my brother, I feel much better than I did last week (Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot – I didn’t write about it, it wasn’t worth writing about!). 

Mile 1 – I was right on pace. Bro even said to me, “Nice pace!” My lungs hurt a bit though.  I think it’s because the weather here has been so nice lately (thank you Mother Nature!) that my outdoor runs have not been in temps lower than roughly 55-60 degrees. And my outdoor runs have been limited to once or twice per week since it’s dark out so early. 

Mile 1.5 – I had to start talking to myself. My lungs had warmed up a bit, but I knew that without some really strong mental endurance I would slow down and I would not accomplish my goal. 

Mile 1.75 – The only real “hill” on the course.  I’ve run this course a couple times before, and many of the races that take place in Providence take this exact route, so I was expecting it and prepared for it. I didn’t slow, instead I put my head down, pumped my arms, and focused on running strong up that hill.  I never lost my goal pace for the entire hill (not that’s very long…).

Mile 2.5 – Things start to get ugly (in my head).  My legs were tired (Mile 1 was 7:57, Mile 2 was 7:58), my lungs were on fire, and I had to pee. Yup, I peed before but apparently two cups of coffee and 16 ounces of water is too much, even with an hour of nothing beforehand.  I started talking to myself (in my head) so loud that I don’t even remember what was was playing on my iPod. 

Mile 2.75 – I could see the last corner before the home stretch. I feel lucky that I know this course so well, because that totally helped my mental state. I told myself, “You’re almost around the corner and it’s only 1/4 mile from there.” It also helps that it’s slightly downhill to the finish line. It’s a good thing I was this close, my legs did not want to play anymore. My pace at this point had dropped to 8:20ish, but I was NOT having that. I was so close to reaching my goal, I wasn’t letting out of my sight. I finished that mile in 8:

Mile 3 – I’m around the corner and I can see the clock now. The first two digits on that clock read 24, I knew I was golden. I busted into the finish line sprint (holy 6:06 pace!) and next thing I knew, I was done. 

I finished 3.08 miles in 24:26 according to my Garmin. Official results, 25:12. I have no freakin idea where they got that number from, it’s so far off base to me, so I’m not accepting it. At all. I started and stopped my Garmin on the timing mats, so, I’m taking this 24:26 as my new PR and running with it (pun intended). 

That my friends means, I can tell you this:


Post race happiness

After the race me, bro, ‘rents, and two of moms friends went to lunch. We tried to eat lunch at the sponsor restaurant, but their service was sub-par, so we ended up at Bar Louie instead. It was great, that’s the second time I’ve eaten at a Bar Louie in 2 weeks and I was impressed both times. They even went so far to buy the table a round of drinks because the kitchen made a mistake on my mom and her friends taco orders. They will be seeing much more of my business.

Here’s to wicked awesome PR’s
Turkey, ham, and brie with blackberry jam AND dijon mustard on parmesan bread. It was to die for
Hello Mr. Tall Sam Winter, it’s so nice to meet drink you
All in all it was a fantastic day spent with my family, I’m so glad they join me on my short distance running events. I also decided that I think I’m going to go outfit crazy for all races from now on, planning outfits and painting my nails, and coordinating everything is way too fun.

I’m also glad that Coachy has me do mega awesome speed workouts, without those this PR would not have been possible. Thanks Coachy!

Up next: More marathon training for Marathon #3: Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon in March!

I hope everyone else had an awesome Sunday/weekend!

One Response to “Downtown Jingle Bell 5k Race Recap”


  1. 2011 Races (Year in Review) « Running and Cupcakes - January 2, 2012

    […] Downtown Jingle Bell 5k – December 4: My 3rd 5k PR in 2011 – and my favorite because I broke 25 minutes! Woohoo! 24:25 – Now I have some serious 5k work in 2012 to break that time! […]

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