Saturday, December 15, 2012

Jingle Bell Hell 2012 Race Recap

Borrowed from Jess
Distance: 3.27 miles or 5.26K
Elevation Change: 200+ft
Weather: 37 degrees, 11 mph winds, hail
Time: 47.5 mins
Laughed: Yes
Hell: Yes!!

This year I have been really terrible about my running (even terrible about my walking for that matter), so when I heard about Jingle Bell Hell 2012 from XLMIC and RunWithJess, I just knew I had to commit and see if it would help me get back on track with my outdoor exercising.

As you can see from XLMIC's post linked above, you had 10 days to complete the run (virtually) if you I really had no excuse. Since I devised a route on MapMyRun that would allow me to start not too far from home, there was no reason I couldn't get out at do the route a few times before I actually timed myself. Did this happen? NOOOOO! It did not.

If I had been smart, I would have done the training and the race itself all last weekend, when the sun was shining, and the afternoons were hitting a balmy 56 degrees...but I chose to do yardwork instead. So I do take full responsibility for the HELL portion of this experience, but then that was the point so I guess I can't complain too much.

Okay so in my fit of procrastination, I ended up having to do the race with no preparation today. I am still proud of myself that I did get out and do it, so I guess I have that.

Elevation Chart
I am not posting my route on here since it is close to where I live and I am weird about that whole TMI thing when it comes to the Internet, but up above you can see the elevation change I snipped from MapMyRun. It isn't a super steep route, but you do go pretty much uphill the entire first half (and no I didn't run out and back, it is an actual loop) and the steepest part is when you first walk out the door.

Add to that, it was only 37 degrees out, with 11 mph winds. I didn't get a block before it started to hail on me, and the hail lasted pretty much the entire time. You can see in this picture below my wintery running gear along with some hail in my hair.

Haily hair
The only thing I can really give myself credit for (besides getting out and doing it) is being prepared for the weather. As you can see from the gear picture below, I was not messing around.

1 long sleeve quickdry shirt
1 long sleeve quickdry running shirt
1 long sleeve rain slicker
1 ear warming band
1 set of running gloves
1 set of running socks
1 set of Saucony running shoes
1 set of running tights
1 set of soccer warmup pants
1 reflective belt
1 flashlight
1 cellphone
1 watch

Recap: First off, it took about an hour of talking to myself to be convinced I was actually going to do this. Next, it had to be afternoon (which I assumed would be the warmest part of the day) and it had to be after I had some food so I would have enough fuel in me to stay warm and run/walk the route. So about an hour after lunch, I started to gear up.

Slightly snowy mountains
Once fully equipped for whatever Mother Nature was going to throw at me, I realized in my last check before heading out the door, that my iPod was not turning on. I had told myself last night to make sure to charge it, but I didn't really think it would be dead, because I hadn't been using it much lately (since I wasn't walking/running). A quick plugin with the charger confirmed my diagnosis, and it was indeed lacking in battery life. This was almost a breaker for me...I considered not doing it, because I knew how hard it was going to be with music, much less without. But I quickly made up my mind to go without, and just chalk it up the Hell portion of the ride and had my first laugh of the experience.

Xmas decor along the way
Left the house feeling warm enough, and headed towards the start location. First mile is pretty much an uphill hike, and my nose and eyes were running in no time (didn't remember to bring the hankie). So the sniffing began, and so did the hail. This is where I had the second laugh of the experience...because I knew that it was my own damn fault I was experiencing any Hell at all and that just seemed too funny at the time.

By the end of the first mile, I was warmed up and had hit a flat spot in the course. This is where I left a course I knew, onto a course I had only really looked at on a map. The road was 40 mph with a very skinny shoulder. I was glad I was wearing my reflection belt and had my Surefire flashlight so I could hopefully keep from getting run over. Fortunately there wasn't a lot of traffic, and I am sure those that went by were wondering what crazy drugs I must have been on.

Snowy moutains to the other side
Got to the corner, made the turn onto another road. This one was 45 mph, but at least had a designated bike path for me to stay in (not separate from the road). Managed to not get killed, and found sidewalk just before turning for the downhill portion of the run. This is also where I got the majority of my running in. I wasn't sure when I started out (because I had never done the route before), if I was going to run any of it, and I was glad to have the opportunity to run part of it, even if it wasn't as much as I would have liked. It did keep my final time down lower than it would have been, had I walked the entire thing.

Managed to run most of the second half, and made my way back towards the finish as it started to hail harder, get colder, and get darker. I took a few pics along the way, as you can see, some of them are not super sharp, but you get the gist. At one photo spot, a lady said hello and then asked me if I lived around there....not sure if she was worried that I was a criminal, or if she was looking for a friend. Either way, I was on a timer so I didn't have time to say much more than "Yeah, over that way" as I pointed behind me.

Got back just as street and Christmas lights were clicking on, and that brought one more smile to my face. I knew it would be toasty when I got inside, and it was. I felt great that I got out there and did it today, and finished it. Even though it wasn't my best 5K time, I was satisfied that I accomplished it given no training time, lousy weather, and no music.

Last Year on In My Words...Races

1 comment:

XLMIC said...

Favorite part? The haily hair!!!!!
Second favorite part? That you DID IT!!!!! Thanks so much for participating :) I'm really impressed that you went without the iPod...I can imagine how close to a deal-breaker that was!