The Arthritis Foundations’ Jingle Bell Run was Sunday. Took a look outside about 11am and it looked pretty ok outside. I left for Onondaga Lake Park at about noon. Hmm, drizzle all the way down. Wait a second, that’s not just drizzle, there’s some snow mixed in.
I was planning on wearing shorts and a long sleeve running shirt (over a short sleeve running shirt.) But after hanging out pre-race, I decided that shorts weren’t gonna cut it and switched to tights. As race time drew closer, the drizzle picked up a bit. Teeth chattering, I decided that I was also gonna keep the windbreaker that I planned to shed.
I was pretty glad I kept all the layers. For almost the first half, I still had trouble getting warm enough to feel comfortable. Need to get some friction on the shoes to get them to soften up. My toes also felt a little numb for a while.
After firing past some slower traffic out of the gate, I was able to get a comfortable stride dialed in. A head wind breeze made the drizzly snow kind of annoying. Felt like my lips were freezing up a bit. I was worried that I’d start drooling uncontrollably. Thankfully, that didn’t seem to happen.
I worked my way to the half passing a few folks here and there. Then I found my challenger for the second half, right before the turn around. She was moving a long a pretty good clip, just a little faster than I was comfortable with. So the race back to home base on.
Right after the turn around, my car key (have to run with it my hand, can’t that the flopping around of having it a pocket) slipped a bit in my hand. I adjusted my grip and somehow it pop out of hand. Doh, that’s gonna hurt. I slammed on the brakes and back peddled a few steps to grab the key. My challenger got about another 10 paces out.
The way back was a little more pleasant without the head wind. I could feel face again and it felt like I was building up a little heat. Keeping one eye on my challenger and the other on other passing targets, I worked my way back up. There was some traffic from the 5k race to work through, but nothing too bad.
On the final 90 degree turn off the main trail by the Salt Museum, I caught up to my challenger. Unfortunately, I was pretty much spent at that point. She took off in the last 100 yards, I gave chase for about 75 of those yards, to catch up. She squeaked through the gate about 2 steps ahead of me.
This was the first race I’ve done that used disposable timing tags. There’s an RFID laminated to the back of the race number. As far as I can tell it worked fine, except at the end you have to deal with race crew tagging you with a ping pong paddle shaped device after you pass through the gate. I was little scared about running one of these taggers over, because they were only about 10 feet beyond the gate. Kinda hard to stop all my flubber that fast.
So, how’d I do? 47:37. Not a 10k personal best, but a best for the Jingle Bell. I’m pretty pleased. It was good for 40/133 overall, and 4th in my age group (sadly, there were only 5 in my age group). Full results are here.