Race Report: Jingle Bell Run 5K 2017

Official Results:
Time: 31:41 (2:20 slower than my 2016 race)
Pace: 10:12
Overall: 62/148

Watch Results:
Time: 31:47
Pace: 9:53
Distance: 3.21 mi
Heart Rate: N/A

A: 29:59

What I ate the night before: Qdoba burrito bowl
What I ate on race day: nothing (I had the burrito bowl at like 10 PM so I wasn’t hungry)
What I carried with me: Nothing

What I wore: hoodie, t-shirt, arm warmers, tights, buff (as headband)
Gadgets: GPS watch

Discussion: This race is confirmation that I need a break. It was even slower than last week! I do have some suspicions that the course was a bit long. Well, either the course was long, or the course last year was short. Either way, the turnaround was at the top of the first hill into Leif Erickson park, rather than at the base of the hill as it was last year. I really hope this course was long because otherwise my PR is invalid. Who cares, it’s not a world record. I’ll stick with it.

I didn’t run the day before the race (well, except for like 0.3 mi on a treadmill at my local running store – I bought a new pair of road shoes yesterday and tested them out with a quick run on the treadmill), but I had gone through a streak of running 10 days in a row. It wasn’t hard running, but I normally do not go that long without a rest day. I doubt it made a huge difference, although my hips were a bit sore by Wednesday or Thursday.

This morning I woke up and really didn’t want to get out of bed. I did manage to arrive in Canal Park in time to run just over a mile to warm up. The warm-up felt slow and my stride didn’t feel effortless. So, bad sign.

After I finished my warm-up, I met up with friends inside the Sports Garden. This is one of the nice perks of the event – an indoor place to gather beforehand. It was already like 32 F so I had decided to forgo gloves (last week my hands got really warm about 2 miles in), and I actually felt a little TOO warm even with only lighter layers on, after just a warm-up.

We were busy taking a picture when the race started – we thought we had more time, but as we were trying to move up in the starting line, we realized the race had already begun. I ended up being walkers again for the first 0.08 (by my watch) miles. Oh well.

I thought I was doing a pretty good job of running hard, but not too hard. This was my first time on this section of the Lakewalk since it was heavily damaged during a storm in October. It’s sad to see there’s still so much work to be done to restore parts of it. The path did have some rocks (and broken glass!) on it in spots, although I can’t say it affected my race trying to avoid the detritus. I just sucked.

I really thought I gave a more even, more sustained effort, but I guess I didn’t. I am tired, but last year I set my PR even though I had a cold (a cold that ended up knocking me for a loop the next couple of days, causing me to have to go home sick from an all-week work training in Edina). I’m frustrated that I’ve backslid so much on my speed, but it’s a learning experience. If I want to race middle distance races, I either have to do some occasional speedwork, or adopt a different attitude toward races.

I’m taking 2 weeks off from running now, starting tomorrow. Hooray!

Race Report: Jingle Bell 5K

Official Results:
Time: 29:21
Pace: 9:27
Overall: 57/167
Gender: 35/124
Division (F 30-39): 16/46

Watch Results:
Time: 29:25
Pace: 9:31/mi
Distance: 3.09
Heart Rate: N/A

A: 29:29
B: 29:59

What I ate the night before: carne asada skirt steak and instant mashed potatoes
What I ate on race morning: granola bar
What I carried with me: nothing

What I wore: hoodie, tank top, tights, buff as headband, gloves
Gadgets: GPS watch, fitness tracker


Rita and me after the race. Last time we saw each other, we covered 10x this distance. At more than 2x the pace…

Discussion: Well, I did it! Finally under 30 minutes!

It’s fairly amazing that I did, since I have been sick and I have been light on training for November. This confirms my theory that I was held back mentally, rather than physically, from reaching this rather dubious milestone. But hey, I don’t care if it’s dubious, it was a big deal for me! Now I guess my goal is to never go under 30 minutes for a 5K again unless I’m wearing a bizarre costume, running on a technical trail, or running with a friend for fun/to pace them. Which, I can’t keep a consistent pace, so I should not pace other people.

I didn’t sleep that well the night before the race, and I didn’t feel super fantastic when I woke up. I had a bit of a stuffy head and a runny nose. I had planned to get up a bit earlier but hit the snooze so I could rest a little more. I didn’t need much time to get ready so I don’t know why I planned to get up early. I guess because I like to hit snooze. I love running local 5Ks because they’re so easy to get to. I was there in 5 minutes, parked right across from the Sports Garden, where I checked in and then warmed up. Yup, I warmed up! And then had a good race! Hooray! I ran at a very easy pace for about 10 mins and then returned to the Sports Garden (indoor staging area, so nice!) to meet up with my friend Rita, who ran the Wild Duluth 50K with me. We haven’t seen each other since the race, so it was good to meet up. She has done like 5 races since then, because she is a bada$$.

I don’t have much to say about the race itself, because I sorta no longer see the point in a mile-by-mile discussion of a 3.1 mile race. I started out kinda quickly, at a pace that felt good, but it was hard to hold it. And there were certainly times when I looked down at my watch and realized I was not holding it, and I thought the race was out of reach. I had planned to try to run a race based on actually completing 3.2 miles in under 30 minutes, because I ran this same course back in October and my watch measured 3.18 miles so I was thinking I was on pace and I was not. I noted, however, that the turnaround was slightly closer this time than it was last time. Not .09 mi closer, no, but it was strange not to have the exact same spot. The finish line might have been slightly farther back, or the course marker could have taken a slightly different route (there are a few spots where the most direct route isn’t exactly clear, as there’s an open space to cut through and then there’s no set spot to jump off the boardwalk portion of the Lakewalk onto the paved portion). Not a big deal. I’m sure GPS error accounts for most of the difference.

Next time I’m really trying to PR in a 5K, I need to get up early enough to eat something that’s going to actually have time to kick in. I ate a granola bar, yes, but while that prevented me from a growling stomach, I don’t think it had time to break down and get converted into energy.

I’m pretty sure I’ve prolonged my illness by running this race, since I’m feeling tired and listless, but we’ll see. Not good if I have, since I have a work trip and long training all week, and there’s nothing worse than sitting in a training listening to some boring lecture with a foggy head.

That’s it for racing for 2016. I’m happy to have ended it on a high note!