Ever since I ran the Half Marathon, I’ve been wanting to do a 5K. I knew from my training that I had improved my speed, but the question was how much? I also wanted to run a race with my husband, so when he told me “his kids” (from school” were running the Asheville Jingle Bell 5K I knew I had to sign up. I also knew I wanted to wear a costume, after all with a name like that I needed jingle bells.
A $1 Santa hat, an Alabama tube top turned into an elf skirt with a pair of scissors and jingle bells, a cute pair of socks and some ribbon was all I needed. Right before the race I almost lost a bell, so I decided to secure them with safety pins, it was a good call.
The night before my husband was telling me he wasn’t going to run. I gave him a no nonsense speech and told him he didn’t have to do the timed race but that I expected him to run. After all I signed up because I knew he would run too. So he came. At the last minute I handed him a seasonal apron when he told me he didn’t have a costume and off we went.
The race was small, about 200 runners met at the Montford Recreation Center. Perfect sun and temperature in the low 40’s greeted us. There was tons of Santa hats and reindeer antlers. I met up with some colleagues from work and my running team as well. When the starting time drew near, I was surprised to find out we were starting on a randomly drawn line on the road. While the race was chipped, it is only based on the gun and your arrival under the gate. I even mapped the run and it looks more like 3.07 than 3.1 mile. Who cares the hills made up for the difference in my opinion.
I was lucky enough to place myself toward the front, so when I started I probably only had 10 people or so in front of me. Two kids were flying up front, I had a few women around me. I wasn’t too worried about the first mile, it takes time for everyone to settle into their pace. The first mile was mostly downhill but I was still surprised at the mile marker when I glimpsed at my watch to see 7:15. Wow, I did not think I could keep up at that pace the whole time. But then again it was worth a shot. So I tried to keep it up as we hit the first uphill. I had about 4 girls around me at that point and easily passed one of them who had likely started too fast. I kept up with the other girl for a while until the next uphill.
As we hit mile 2, I was still under 8:00 pace with my time reading at 14:40 or so. There was only one girl with me at that point. I wasn’t sure who else was ahead of us but I could only see one other guy. She was ahead of me and putting some distance. I did almost catch up with her, but on the last hill to the finish she suddenly took off and finished really strong. At that point I felt close to puking and knew I couldn’t push much more. So I just let it go and ran my own race. I heard someone say: “You’re the first girls”. Wait? Say what?
I ran to the finish line, looking at the clock with a very pleasant surprise. I caught up with the other runner and gave her a high five. She smiled and told me how she heard me coming behind me and knew she had to give it a push to win. Oh yes because she did win, first place overall for the female, which made me 2nd female overall!!! I was lucky that she older than me which allowed me to finish 1st of my age group.
I finished in
A whooping 7:15 pace. Needless to say I’m thrilled, a great PR even if the race wasn’t exactly accurate mileage wise.
I got the great fun to cheer all my friends arriving to the finish line as well as high five my husband who was running with the kids. Now first the amusing part, not only did I win first of the 25-29 age group but I also won best adult costume.
Number of Finishers in this Division (5K Run/Walk): 157
Weather conditions at the start: 38 degrees F, 73%RH, calm winds, clear at 10:00am start
Age Group Division for this Race: Female 25 to 29
Overall Winner of this Division (Female): 22:31.5
Total Finishers in Age Group Female 25 to 29: 12
Your Finish Time: 22:33.9
Your Calculated Pace: 7:15/mile
Your Overall Finish Position within Division: 8
Your Overall Finish Position within Division & Age Group: 1
Overall Finish Position Percentile, all age groups: Top 5%
Overall Finish Position Percentile, your age group only: Top 8%