I am doing a decent job of running a least one race a month. As part of my December Bucket List, I wanted to run a holiday themed race. Lucky for me, a coworker had already formed a team to run the inaugural Jingle Bell 5K benefiting the Arthritis Foundation and invited me to join.
The team named “Brewdolf & the Red-Cheeked Reinbeers” showed up in these awesome red and green tutus. The other girls in the group even picked up reindeer headbands to complete the look.
*The guy in the superhero costume wasn’t on our team but we invited him to join the photo.
What you can’t see in those pictures is that it was FREEZING! Temperatures dropped into the low 30s right as the sun went down. I have to give props to the race organizers. They realized everyone was standing around shivering so they brought out a trainer to rally the runners for a group warm-up.
Then before I knew it, everyone was walking over to the starting line. After the national anthem and traditional gun start, we were off! My reindeer headband lasted an entire block before I gave in and stuck it in my tutu waistband. I had not ran once since Thanksgiving day and I felt it. The trick to an enjoyable race is definitely putting in the hours training before race day. I got an awful side stitch about 3/4 of a mile in and it would not go away. I also definitely underestimated the effect of cold weather on my speed. I was sloooow and my fingers were numb for the first two miles.
I had been excited to run past pretty Christmas lights, but the race route took runners behind business buildings and under an overpass for the first mile. By the time we finally got into the neighborhood, all I could focus on was the flashing police lights from the officers stopping traffic for runners. It was disorienting to say the least. If you have poor night vision at all, I would not recommend this race.
All in all, I was really happy to be done with this 5K. But not nearly as happy as my teammate and coworker, Chris who decided to try and flip/roll across the finish line.
It was so cold that I bee-lined to the nearby M Shack to meet up with my teammates for a beer. I completely missed getting a medal from race organizers in the park. Luckily, two of my teammates talked me into running back to the park and scooping a medal.