Jingle Bell 10K
Time: 42:38, a 3:35 second PR!
"All I want for Christmas is a new PR"
That's what was going through my head today as I did the Jingle bell 10K. It's my last race in Michigan, and many of my running friends were kind enough to join in just for that reason- though we're all racing fools. :)
The day was pretty cold -low 20s with a 10 mph wind making things interesting. I changed my mind about three times when trying to figure out what to wear, but one thing I was happy to put on again (that I haven't since this summer) were my racing flats. I haven't done a short road race or speed work since September, and giving up 4-5 ounces per foot made a big difference.
Smartwool socks, CW-X tights, Sugoi top and a smartwool headband completed the picture- all in black. If I didn't get a PR, or even run the race well, I still looked good, and that's almost as important, right? :) I donned my race number and a bell that they handed out so people would know exactly when I'm trying to pass them.
The 5K and 10K all had a mass start, and it was a double loop 3.1 Mile course, relatively fast and flat on suburb roads. My hope was a new PR, but I was uncertain if I'd be able to achieve it- I haven't done anything but easy to moderate runs since my October marathon. Some hills during my trail runs, some faster work during group runs when I had to stop and tie my shoe, and then catch up- but for the most part, easy, relaxed, and low stress base building has been my training lately.
I usually go into a race with three goals- one where I'll try not to feel disappointed "This wasn't my day" goal, a race went pretty well with a few snafus goal, and a "Yay!- I'm not sure I could do that!" goal. My times respectively were 49 minutes, 46:12 (new PR) and something in the 45s.
So, of course, I started off fast. A mass start with something like a fun run can be a bit of a headache, especially since I didn't head up towards the front. I spent the first half mile weaving around people, shooting through holes and generally hoping that people didn't make any sudden lateral moves while I was trying to pass them. My garmin's lap pace kept saying sub-7, which I very much thought was too fast, but my breathing wasn't labored, my gait was smooth, and I was feeling pretty good.
Actually, I was feeling very good. As the miles flew by, I noticed myself being in flow- feeling relaxed, calm, and truly enjoying the sensation of moving they way I knew my body could, but just hasn't in a while. Every so often I'd push a little harder and I find myself needing more air than my lungs could provide, so I slipped back into what I thought of as an "easy" pace.
I also cheered/was cheered on by my friends during the race. That was one nice thing about the race course- I saw almost all of them while I was running. Some of us were only a few dozen yards separated, but we still managed to cheer each other on. I really love my running group, and I'm really going to be sad to leave them. But this was a really good race to send me off!
I finished by just passing a friend who recently qualified for Boston (he finished 5 seconds behind me) and another guy who passed me at mile two and I lost sight of until mile five or so. To add to my sense of accomplishment, a lady runner friend of mine spent the whole race chasing me, and at the end she gave me two compliments: that my form looked smooth and effortless, and that I looked really, really good in tights. I thanked her, and I'm sure I'm must've blushed...
One Caveat- my Garmin said the course was 0.07 miles short, which would add 30-40 seconds...
Cross posted to Live Journal's Runner's community