Sunday, December 11, 2011

Race Report: 2011 Jingle Jog for Autism 5K

This race holds such a special place in my heart because it was my very first 5K back in 2008, and it's the race my big kids ran for their first 5K in 2009, and because the money raised goes directly to support autistic individuals in the local community! When I was released to run, I was really glad that it was in time to participate in the Jingle Jog. But after discussing with friends who have successfully recovered from ITBS about how to balance training and recovery in time for Goofy in 4 short weeks, I decided that I needed to walk this race. It was a hard decision because this year, for the first time, I was planning to really see how well I could do. 2008 was the first time I was racing, 2009 I ran it with Riley, and 2010 I had already done 7 miles before I got there and my legs were tired. I really, really wanted to see how fast I could do a 5K now. Alas, it was not meant to be. But I was OK with it. If I've learned nothing else over the last two months, it's how to put aside a short-term goal in favor of a long-term one!

Since I wasn't going to be running, I decided to get busy with the cute costume! I wore my green sparkle skirt (that was purchased as part of my Ariel costume for Princess 2012 which I will not be attending) and some cute socks I found on clearance at Target. I wore my new Injinji toe socks that I got at the MCM expo underneath the cute socks to prevent blistering. The santa hat topped off the ensemble, though I think a cute bell or something around my neck would have really made the outfit. Will have to check Target clearance this year and see what I can find for next year!

My BFF decided to walk with me, since she had already done 11 miles of her scheduled 16 miles earlier that morning. We met up with a lady from the Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics group and one of her friends, and we all walked the Fun Run together. I had asked if that would be OK so BFF could get closer to her scheduled miles, and they said it was fine as long as I didn't win! Yeah, no worries! LOL We walked the entire mile at a pretty good clip and my knee didn't even twinge at all!! YAY! I stretched it out a little while waiting for the 5K to begin, but it really felt fine. BFF and I walked the 5K just the two of us

The course was slightly different this year due to some issues with permits, I think. Overall, I like the course better, except for the fact that there were a couple of places where you have to share the trail with folks coming back on their way to the finish and you have to go single file on the path (or go into the grass/dirt). If there were slower people (and surprisingly there were, even for us!) you had to slow down and wait until you could find a good place to pass. Had I been running for time, I would not have liked that one bit. But since I wasn't, it was only a minor annoyance.

My official time was 44:30, which works out to less than a 15 minute mile - SO awesome!! Even better is the fact that I didn't have a single bit of knee pain at ALL!! It was fantastic! It was really hard not to try to run, just a little bit, even though I felt good. But I kept thinking of my ultimate goal! :)

One other best part of the whole experience was the race shirt - back to long sleeve again this year and the theme is PENGUINS!! And the colors are my shades of blue that I like so well! I'm not sure they could have made it more perfect if they had consulted with me beforehand! Isn't it great?
It was a great day and a great race, even though I didn't break any land speed records or run a PR or win an age group award! The weather was beautiful; I wasn't in pain; I got to catch up with my BFF for the first time in a long while; and the shirt rocks!! Can't ask for much more!

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