Even as little as 13 weeks ago I think I would have looked at me crazy if I told you I was going to enter a 5K fun run. Well on Sunday 12/12 I did just that. Seattle’s Jingle Bell run is the biggest of the arthritis foundation’s fun runs in the country and over 10000 people turned out for the 5K run and walk. Many people dressed up in fun Christmas related costumes.
My sister Becca and I showed up for the run at about 8:30 am. It was about 39 degrees so it was still very cold out. We walked around in Westlake Center picking up jingle bells and I pinned them to my running shoes. The first wave of runners (sub 8:30 minute miles) had already left as we made our way over to the starting line. We waited about five minutes for our wave of runners to start. About a minute before the race was to start everyone jingled their bells and let out a roar and then we were off. It took about a minute to make it to the starting line. Once we got there it was still really crowded but things started to thin out as it was all up hill from almost the start. I left my sister behind as we headed up the hill. Toward the top of the hill we turned off and entered a tunnel onto the Interstate-5 express lanes. Everyone yelled as they entered the tunnel and then a chorus of Jingle Bells started out from the crowd. Just before I entered the tunnel I checked my heart rate and it was up in the 180s. This was a bit worrisome as I usually peak out in the mid 170s in my workouts. I vowed to keep running until the first mile mark. At the first mile mark my time was 12 minutes – nothing close to a world record but I was happy to keep going. About a minute or so later I did move to a walk. A few minutes later we hit a downhill and there was no way I was going to walk downhill considering that I just ran all the way up a hill. Once I hit the flat I walked and ran off and on. About the 1.5 mile mark my sister caught up to me. It was great to have her there as I as so tempted to cross over the line of those returning from the turn around point. Right before my sister found me a group of people came by singing the 12 Days of Christmas. Also I had been trading places with this mother and child that had been just skipping along hand in hand. That is not something that increases your morale but I was happy to see them enjoying themselves. We hit the turn around point at about the two mile mark. This was a 16 minute mile. Becca and I rand and walked the third mile. We hit a short by steep hill and I vowed to run it. Once we hit the top it was a quick turn and then another and the finish line was in sight. Near the finish a lady in front of me dropped her glove and I doubled back and picked it up and caught up to her. Becca and I crossed the finish line at about the 43 minute mark doing that last 1.1 miles in 15 minutes. I attached a photo of us that was taken at the finish.
Overall I was happy to have done it and having Becca there was really helpful. One of my goals going in was that I run the first 20 minutes but I fell short of that. In my training I discovered that in my left leg I got shin splints when I ran outside and off of the treadmill. My best time outside was 42 minutes so I was happy to come close to that. My shin splints did not kick in bad until around the 2 mile mark. I also got a strange side ache but I was able to stick that out. Hopefully by the time St. Patrick’s Day comes around I can run in another 5K, run for at least 20 minutes and have a much better finishing time. This race did not do the chip and I am not sure if they publish the results. I would not be surprised to find out that I was the slowest in my age class but would be something to improve on also.