This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Jingle Bell 5K Race Report

This was me and CJ's sixth race in the Second Empire Grand Prix series.

The morning started out pretty cold, 33 degrees, despite a 10:30 start time. I layered: tights, with running pants over tights; long (cotton) socks over my tights to keep those tucked in and not a single piece of skin showing. Then I had my running tank, an old wick long-sleeve shirt with another one over it, then my fleece jacket. I put gloves in the pocket for later and added a beanie cap on top of my head. The whole time I layered my clothing, I mumbled how I need to forget that my body temp changed in any way. I'm still the same person I was a year ago.

CJ's BFF "R" was staying the night, so she joined us for our morning adventure to the race. No, she wasn't running it. But we all got in the car and headed for Saint Mary's School, where the race would take place.

It was, surprisingly, crowded. Tim decided to drop CJ and I off in front of the school, since I still had to get us registered. As he pulled over, a volunteer was frantically waving us away, thinking we were going into the school.

This would be the first of my bah humbug attitude.

I got out of the car and tried to, as politely as I can be when I get annoyed, that we were not going into the school. Let's just say that this went incessantly too long for her to speak to me and, while I was not overly gruff, I was tense...

So CJ and I are in a building to register. I learned the sometimes overly-complicated process from the Free to Breath race.

The registration forms are on a table, with a big sign that has the fees listed for each race, and who to write the check to. Because I am a participant, I don't bring my purse but one check to write the amount for me and CJ.

The registration fee states $25 for the 5K. I write the check out for $50 and get in line to get our bib and chip.

CJ is first and they give her everything, including her shirt. The only thing CJ gives a crap about with these races? She wants the shirt. I didn't pre-register for the Turkey Trot, so she didn't get her shirt right away for that race...and was none-too-happy with mom about the fact that I didn't pre-register for this one.

But it looks like I am off the hook when they hand her a shirt. Then they get my check for $50 and the woman looks confused. She starts talking to the folks around her and now, bah humbug attitude # 2 hits me.

I find out that the shirt is $5 extra, over the registration fee. So it should be $60 for two fees and two shirts. They all stare at me like "What do we do?" And I just glare back like, are fricking kidding me?

And I bit my tongue so hard that it bled (exaggeration). Perhaps the christmas spirit _was_ in me because I didn't want to start bitching at volunteers with elf outfits on...but what I wanted to say was "You're stupid sign says $25. Why don't you add $5 for a t-shirt?" They took the shirt out of CJ's hands and put it back. Fucking assholes. I would have donated more money if they had just given it to her.

We make it to the start, hoping to find Tim and the gang so I can get him to get her a shirt before they run out. I noticed that, over the course of the morning, maybe due to my anger issues, I was quite warm. Hmmm...I think I overdressed, I think to myself. Fortunately, we see Tim and I hand over my jacket and Tim directs him to find her a shirt.

The race is on and it takes a good few minutes for us to cross the timing mat. It was a very slow start but once we got a brisk pace, I asked CJ if it was too fast or too slow. She said it was fine. This surprised me because it did feel fast, for what we have been doing these past races.

CJ turned to me about 3/4 mile into the race and said "Hey, isn't that Frank?" and I look ahead and sure enough, there's my ex-running buddy Frank. I thought "man, he's taking it slow today" because while we were running briskly, we were not running that fast. I would later learn that he was way behind us in the beginning and then ended up running around 26 minutes.

The route was awesome. It's the same route that the old Second Empire 5K used to have, which is rolling but not that hilly. One funny memory of this route was the time $Bill, Tim and I were running the Second Empire 5K years ago...we ran like a bat out of hell and the first mile split was called out to us and the guy said something like "7:50" and I remember we all reacted like "WTF? We don't run that fast!" It ended up being my PR race for a long time...

Anyway, towards the end, I could hear CJ starting to get really tired. I didn't want to say anything because when I do, she gets upset. I just wanted her to keep going without me disrupting it and then if she felt like she needed to walk, I would let her know that we were a 1/4 mile away.

When we turned the corner to the finish, I finally said to her "Look, the finish is right there" and then she took off. I kept up for a bit but at some point, I just couldn't get my legs to sprint as fast as she could. I noticed the official clock and just turned to 29, so I was a little disappointed that we didn't beat 29 minutes, as fast as it felt to me.

I found out that we were several seconds behind the timer because our chip time was 28:35 (my watch was 28:34). Woo-hoo! I was so proud of her...again.

Afterward, we headed to Krispy Kreme for a donut celebration. She's still in 4th place in the series and overall, it doesn't look like she is going to place. The three girls in front of her are just faster. But regardless, she's trying and being competitive about it.

And she's getting the shirts, which we were able to get after the race.

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