The Last PR Of 2013

My last race of 2013 combined a few things I love running, libraries, and dogs. (The race includes a 5K, kids runs, and a race with your dogs.) The Jingle Bell Classic replaced the Shamrock Walk And Run. The new race added a 10K which was perfect because my 10K PR is so old, that running at an easy pace, I knew I would be faster.

The race took place in Winter Haven, Florida, which is a quick 15 minutes from my house. The parking was perfect and there was no traffic to speak of. The course is an out and back that takes you around Lake Silver.

JIngle Bell Classic 10K Course

I live in the land of many lakes and always enjoy water views on any run.

The weather was a perfect and I felt great the entire time.

Things I Loved About The Jingle Bell Classic

$35 entry fee

Proceeds benefit the Winter Haven Library

Long sleeved tech shirt with this guy on it

Jingle Bell Classic 10K Mascot

Race started with a Fiat done up like a reindeer

Close to my house

The only thing I can say that I didn’t love about this race is that somewhere just before mile five, a volunteer shouted that I was almost there just two miles to go. I looked at my watch hoping that he was wrong. (He was thankfully.)

JIngle Bell Classic 10K Splits

I have to share my splits because I never see numbers like this. This race is the ultimate confidence booster. It really makes me feel that the past six months of training has made a difference. For awhile, I thought I would never get faster but I have. I am still on the slow end of the scale but the difference between now and where I was a year ago, is vast. So lesson learned, hard work actually pays off.

My official time is 58:10 which means I obviously have Ninja-like skills at stopping my Garmin. I also came in second in my age group, which will probably never happen again, so I will enjoy it.

I Might Be Getting Faster Or The 5K I Ran On No Sleep

I recently ran the last race of my favorite 5K race series, The Watermelon 5K Series, put on by the Lakeland Runner’s Club. (I previously wrote about races one/two and three.) It is a wonderful series that helps keep me motivated through the sweltering Florida summer and is like $30 for four races if you register early.

Even though I feel faster lately (this is completely due to some breakthroughs with my new running group), leading up to Watermelon 5K Race four was not ideal. Months earlier, I bought tickets to see The Killers at Hard Rock Live. Very exciting, but of course it was the night before the last race. My friend and I stayed for the entire concert. I didn’t drink at all, which was a first for me (not because I’m some huge drunk but because I do like a few beers at a concert). After the second encore, we decided to leave but there was a torrential downpour. I mean it was biblical. (Also it was truly hilarious to watch quite a few inebriated people staring out the doors and trying to decide what to do.) Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal but Hard Rock Live is located in Universal City Walk. That means we had to walk about two miles in the pouring rain to the parking garage. So we ran. (I am kind of glad that I was sober, would have been much more annoyed about this after a few.)

I got home around midnight and promptly passed out. (The concert was awesome and they played every song you would want to hear.) Somehow, I was able to wake up at 4 AM and got my butt out the door. I am not someone who does well with little-to-no sleep but I paid for the race and was going to run it (unless I slept through my alarm which I thought might happen.)

So the plan going into this race was to finish. Not die. Not pass out. Not fall asleep on my feet. So, it was a success there. Somehow, maybe it was the lack of sleep, I ran my fastest 5K ever.

Watermelon 5K Race Four Splits

Official time 30:43.

Watermelon 5K Race Four 2013 Finish

Not sure how I seemed to finish with no other people.

I loved that they took free commemorative photo’s of participants after the race was over.

Watermelon Number Four 2013 DinaRuns Picture

For running the series, I did get this awesome woman specific tech shirt.

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K 2013 Shirt

This is my second year running the Watermelon 5K Series and it is starting to mark the end of summer. Until next year, it was fun huffing and puffing my way around Lake Hollingsworth.