Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jefferson Bears Jingle 5K race report

I was soooo nervous for this race! I know that sounds ridiculous, considering I ran TWO marathons this year, and this was a 5K, but I was not running my marathons for time. The only reason I was running this 5K was to get my sub-26 time! I've mentioned before that I hate 5K's, because it feels like a really long sprint--which is HARD. At the marathons, I could relax and have a conversation, and not feel like I was going to vomit.

I chose this race because it was sure to be a super small race. It started at 3:00 pm, which is a late start for me--usually I run at 8:00 in the morning. So I wasn't sure how the time difference would affect me. I like to run on an empty stomach, but I obviously wasn't going to skip breakfast and lunch to do this race. I had a protein shake for breakfast, and a lunch that I'm sure was delicious but my nerves were so bad that I could barely choke it down.
Mushroom soup, Ezekiel toast with sunflower seed butter, grapes, and a Cutie. I bought Maranatha sunflower seed butter, and I like it a lot better than the Sunbutter brand. The Sunbutter brand reminded me of the smell of a farm, and I couldn't get that out of my mind when I ate it. The Maranatha brand just tastes like sunflower seeds--yum!

Anyway, it was raining all morning, and really windy. I kept hoping that the weather would get better before the race, but it didn't :(  I didn't care though, because I wasn't going to let anything stop me from running this race today.
Beautiful day for a race
I dropped off my kids at my parents' house at 2:15, got to the school and picked up my shirt and bib, and saw that the route was the exact same road that I had run my 10-miler on Friday. This race was unlike any other I've ever run before. It was VERY small and intimate--like, everyone knew each other. I was the only one there without a friend or family member. I'm pretty sure everyone was running for fun, and I was the only one running for time. Again, I didn't care! I was going to get my sub-26.
Cute shirt!
I was bummed that it wasn't chip-timed, but because it was such a small race, I figured I could start at the front, so it wouldn't really matter. It was pretty funny, actually, at how small this race was--the race director had a microphone, and announced, "Okay, everyone's here, we're going to start. I'm going to take you over to the start line now." And she literally walked/ran 1/4 mile to the "start line"--which was just an imaginary line in the road. I lined up right behind the boys who looked like they'd be running quite fast. Everyone else looked like they were running for fun, so I didn't want to have to weave around anyone.

The race director said, "Okay ready? 3...2...1...GO!" She started the timer, and we were off. Only one person went past me in the beginning, so I felt like I started in the right spot. Shortly after we started running, the rain really picked up and it was soon pouring. I was totally drenched. It was 37 degrees, pouring rain, and super windy. My hands were frozen, so I pulled my sleeves over my hands, but it didn't help much. I glanced at my Garmin a couple of times in the beginning, and saw that I was running at a 6:00/mi pace--way too fast! I kept reminding myself that I was running my own race, and I didn't have to run that fast.

If I didn't get my sub-26, at least
I looked festive!
I noticed that there were only two females ahead of me, so I was determined to keep it that way. I've never placed in a race, even in my age group. There were about 50 people in this race, so I had a good chance of getting an age group award. The first mile seemed to last FOREVER. I was dying to hear the beep from my Garmin, signaling a mile.

My feet were very, very numb from the cold and rain. It felt like I was running on rocks, because parts of my feet were totally numb, and it was just weird. I finally heard the beep of my Garmin, looked down, and saw 7:58. I ran a sub-8 mile! I could feel myself slowing down, though, so I knew that would probably be my only sub-8 mile. To hit my sub-26 goal, I had to run 8:20/mi, so that's what I was focused on. I prayed that the course wouldn't be long.

The second mile, I had serious thoughts about quitting and turning around. My lungs were on fire, I was SO COLD that I couldn't stand it, and my feet were getting more and more numb. I could see the ambulance ahead, where the turn-around point was (it was an out-and-back route). After the turn around, I heard someone come up behind me kind of loud. Then he was right next to me, and he had a damn dog with him. I try to avoid dogs at all costs when I run because I'm terrified of them, but this husky actually seemed to be really well-behaved, and didn't even glance at me. I was thankful for that, but I was still uncomfortable running next to it.

But that guy kept pace with me the whole second half of the race. I tried to pass him, but I was already running as hard as I could. I kept thinking, "I can't let a DOG beat me!" I finally heard the beep at mile two, and I looked at my Garmin: 8:36. Shit. I knew I'd banked some time in the first mile, but I was going to have to really push it hard to finish under 26 minutes.

I felt like I was dying (did I mention how much I hate 5Ks?!) I finally saw the point where we would turn into the school parking lot, and I ran as hard as I could. I passed the guy with the dog, but he was right on my heels.  I heard the beep for mile three, and saw: 8:16. I could see the time clock at the finish line, and it read 25:14, so I put everything I had into that last little bit, and crossed the finish "line". I think I stopped my Garmin a couple of seconds after my "actual" finish, but I wasn't sure where the line was. There was a guy there collecting tags from our bibs, and he tore mine off. I could barely breathe, and I was SO relieved to be done!
Splits: 7:58, 8:36, 8:16, 7:25

The race director (who is actually part of my wine club!) congratulated me, and I could barely gasp out "Thanks!" I waited around for the awards, because I was pretty sure I'd get something. I was in the top 15 finishers (because I could actually count them while I was running, hahaha), and I know I was the third female overall.

The director waited for everyone to finish, and I just kept getting colder and colder while I waited in the gym. My teeth were chattering so loudly, I'm sure everyone could hear them. I couldn't stop trembling, and my whole body was shaking. Finally, they started the awards. First, they had an award for best costume. There weren't many people who entered for that:
The two candy cane ladies won. Then they announced the top male and top female. They gave medals to the top two in each age group. My age group was 30-39. I wasn't very surprised when she called me for FIRST PLACE, because the race was so small, but it was still very exciting!! This was my first award I've ever gotten for a race.

I was completely soaked to the bone, and I desperately wanted to leave to pick up the boys and take a scalding hot shower. But because the race was so small, everyone would have noticed if I left after I got my medal, so I hung around for a few more minutes ;)

Overall, the race was totally miserable--freezing cold, pouring rain, and super windy. But despite all those uncontrollable things, I'm glad I did it! I reached my sub-26 goal. And I experienced a very intimate race, which was pretty fun!


  1. Congratulations! I was so excited as you were sharing today's story... What an achievement!

    So proud of you - you are such an inspiration to so many of us!

    Nitty Gritty Momma

  2. Congratulations!!! Running in the rain is something I just haven't done. But it supposed to rain off and on all week here so I may just experience it for the first time.

    Awesome job! And your running outfit was adorable.

  3. Congratulations!! It is always fun to place in the age group or, for us oldies, to win the Masters!! Sometimes, especially when the weather is bad, you just have to show up to win your age group. I'm sure this is only the first of many age group awards you will win!! You looked so cute in your green and red!

  4. What a great post! The run sounds like so much fun and I love the running costumes! Congrats on your win!

  5. Oh Katie--I couldn't be any prouder of you if I was your Mom!! What a time you had. Your weather sounds like ours in Nebraska today. Super cold and windy but we didn't have the rain. You must have been so miserable. But YOU DID IT!! I wish I had half of your determination. And you looked super cute in your red and green running outfit. Nice going-- you KILLED 26 minutes!! But did you ever warm up??

  6. Congrats Katie! A PR and an age group award, what a fabulous Christmas present :) Way to go!!

  7. Congratulations Katie, Niecy

  8. WAY TO GO KATIE!! In crappy conditions no less!

  9. Congrats all the way around! Cute medal. I got cold just reading about how cold you were. Hope you warmed up quickly.

  10. CONGRATS!!!!!
    you are such an inspiration! Your rocked it!I am still trying to run a sub 30 5k and you keep me motivated and believing that i can someday!

  11. Congratulations! I can only dream of someday getting a sub 26. You have worked so hard to achieve this. Way to go!

  12. Congrats!!! What a trooper! I don't know how you guys up north do it with the cold weather!

  13. great job and great post - kept me in suspense!

  14. Wow, kudos to you, Katie!! And I agree with other comments, fantastic race report. :) Btw, the 5K plan is going well - slowly but surely! I've started a weight-loss blog here: if you ever want to check in. ;)

    Take care!

  15. Congratulations Katie! That's a fantastic time (I have PR envy!)!! Love your outfit too! I'm making a sparkly red skirt (from your pattern!) for my Christmas Pudding Dash on Saturday! The weather is supposed to be similar to your race - I hope it clears up! Running in wind and cold rain is no fun! Well done to you! You're such an inspiration to me!

  16. Wow, that's great, you kicked (your own!) butt :D I'm really impressed with your perseverance. & fantastic that you came first :) What a cool medal too.

    I'm loving that tree costume, go that person!

  17. I laughed out loud at the dog comment! I hate dogs too, and it's a pretty unpopular sentiment. I live in Germany right now, and the Germans are big on dogs. They take them everywhere: stores, restaurants, etc. It makes my 2 year old scream bloody murder. It's really bad when I'm running, too, because the dogs often charge at me, pretty much making me pee myself.

  18. Congratulations, Katie!! I cannot even imagine running in those cold temps and pouring rain! I'm glad you achieved your goal. :)

  19. It was miserable here yesterday! Fantastic job in spite of the nasty weather. I have a huge "congrats" smile on my face - what a nice way to begin the week. Yet another huge goal checked off the list. Well done!

  20. I knew you could do it! Now, imagine what you could do in OPTIMAL conditions! ;)

  21. Great job Katie! You are an inspiration for sticking with it!

  22. Well done! I've never really gone for speed, because I'm always worried I won't be able to finish. Good for you for trying to achieve your goal!

    And I just love your outfit!

  23. Woo Hooo Congratulations!!!! So awesome!

  24. Those costumes are great up in that picture!

    Talk about rough running conditions! Rain is one thing, but rain and freezing weather?!? Crazy.

    Awesome you got your goal!

  25. Yay congrats on the PR in the freezing cold and rain! I don't blame you I wouldn't want to run with dogs either and sure wouldn't want a dog to beat me!!

  26. That is awesome!! Congrats on taking home a first place medal AND a new PR. As always, you tell a great story--I really enjoyed the read...and I cringed at the dog, too, lol!

    Great job!!

  27. Nice job! I hope you were able to warm up when you got home!

  28. YOU ARE AWESOME!!! With all you've accomplished and all you continue to do - you inspire everyone who reads any of your stories. Congrats, Katie! You ROCK!


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