Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Race Report: 2013 Jingle Jog for Autism 5K

So sorry for the delay in this post. Saturday through Tuesday proved to be such a busy time for us! I was barely home during my waking hours on every single one of those days. I apologize for the delay!

You already saw what I was planning to wear! The weather forecast was calling for a 100% chance of rain and highs in the upper 40s. It wasn't going to be a very pretty day at all. But I couldn't just not go. This race means so much to me, not only because it was my first ever 5K, but also because the money raised goes to support the summer camp programs for kids with autism in Walton County.

I got dressed in my adorable outfit. You know, I really felt that I looked so cute! :) This was probably my favorite costume for any race. It was so sassy!

Gonna Jingle All the Way!

I got to the race location (where they had set up under the bleachers in an attempt to keep us all dry while we waited for the start) and picked up my shirt and bib. I was supposed to meet some folks from my Moms Run This Town chapter, so walked back to the car to put my stuff away before it was time for the group picture.

On the way back to the car, a lady and a guy were walking in front of me. The lady stopped and turned around and said, "Are you going to wear those bells through the entire race?" I said, "Yeah," and giggled. She said, "Well, stay away from me. It's going to mess up my cadence." I was a bit shocked and tried to laugh it off with her, but really?? This is a JINGLE jog. Wow.

I made it back to the area under the bleachers and talked with some friends while we waited for picture time. Just about the time we did the picture, the sky opened up and the rain just started pouring down in sheets! And then the wind picked up and the rain was blowing sideways (and under the bleachers). I have to admit, I was feeling a little freaked out at the prospect of running in that mess!

MRTT Group Pic #1
MRTT Group Pic #2

We did two pics because some folks missed the first one! :) Santa was happy to oblige us!

About 5 minutes before the race start, the rain subsided. It was very welcomed. This was a new course and it started downhill so I was not looking forward to sliding down the hill in the crowd. The race started a bit late, but not too bad. I didn't wear my Garmin because of the heavy rain, so I really had no idea how fast or slow I was going. I wasn't out for a PR, anyway.

I took off at a pretty good clip, literally jingling all the way! I wanted louder bells and I got them! LOL I wonder how many people ran PRs in an attempt to escape my jingling?? The course was similar to last year's course, just not running up to the high school. It was out and back and then out and back a different road, and then out and back the same road to the finish. I was thinking it would be horribly boring but it really wasn't too bad. One of the benefits of the out and back was seeing the winners. The guy who won was literally 3 minutes (at least) ahead of the next person behind him! It's inspiring to watch all of those fast people, especially since I know some of those very fast people!

My legs were absolute lead. I mean, completely dead. It was 12:30 and I'd been standing around for an hour - not stretching, not warming up, nothing. Just BAM - RUN! Not a smart thing. I really should have warmed up or something. The weather held out pretty well. During the 2nd mile there was some rain but it wasn't too terribly bad. I didn't even realize how wet I was until after the race was over! ;)

I was so not prepared for the speed at which I took this race. I hadn't fueled properly, and there was the aforementioned lack of warming up. I ended up walking up one hill just to catch my breath. I was getting very over-heated in all of my layers! I remembered thinking at one point that if I didn't end up with a sub-30, I was going to be really upset because I felt like crud! And then I remember wondering why on earth I was doing this because I wasn't setting out to do a PR or anything. I really should have slowed down a little so I could enjoy myself! Oh well.

As I pushed to the finish I saw the finish line clock ticking away in the 28:xx range and I started kicking myself for that bit of walking! I had had a chance for a PR and I blew it! ARGH! I ended up crossing the finish at 29:07 which was good considering the conditions and my lack of preparation. I headed straight for the results board. I turned in my card and watched them put my card in the 3rd place slot for my age group. There was a 2 minute difference between me and 2nd place, though, so I was wondering if someone hadn't turned in their card yet.

I got so cold waiting around watching the results board. I hadn't really felt that cold during the race, or even beforehand. But I guess sweat and cotton shirts/Santa hat/socks do not work well together! I debated going back to the car for my jacket (and my phone so I could take pictures of the awards and the results board) but I was afraid they would start the awards and I'd miss it! So I stood there and shivered.

I really shouldn't have waited because I had such a busy afternoon and evening ahead of me, but I simply had to get my award! It doesn't happen very often that I win an age group award! LOL It took awhile to start the awards but once they started, it moved very quickly! I knew several people who won their age groups, and one of my friend/s husband's won the Masters Overall award! I can thank the female Masters Overall winner for my 3rd place award because she was in my age group! Her win bumped me from 4th to 3rd, although the posted results don't reflect that - her name still shows as 1st in the age group as well as Masters, which makes me want to pout! LOL But she finished in 20:41. Join me in my awe of her speediness!

The first place winners in age group got a cute little mug. 2nd and 3rd got medals, which are cool, but not nearly as cool as a cute mug!

Me and my 3rd place medal - my frozen red nose makes me look even more festive, don't you think?

The back of the medal
My 6th Jingle Jog for Autism was fun-filled and rewarding! The worst of the rain held off for the 5K and the course more enjoyable than I expected. I'm so glad I didn't let the weather keep me from participating.

I did learn some bad news about the Jingle Jog's future. The person behind the race is moving away and the race is being taken over by the Council for Exceptional Children, an organization for special education teachers.  So next year it will be called the Jingle Jog for Exceptional Children. I don't know if the proceeds will be going to fund the summer camps anymore, or if it will be going to the CEC to fund their own projects. If the money isn't going to help local autism parents, there is really no reason for me to participate. I will have to wait and see next year, and ask the folks running it then. I hope they will continue to support LOCAL parents of children with AUTISM, as this race has always done!

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