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.

Happy Hour

I actually did something on Friday after work other than putting on my pajamas, eating Subway, and catching up on TV with J. Being a year out for the 2012 Presidential Campaign, the ground work is being set-up, to start organizing. I met with one such organizer yesterday to discuss how I could help and get the Polk County Young Democrats involved.

We met at Ave Bar in Winter Haven.

Ave Bar Winter Haven Florida


Ave Bar is located next to Arabellas which is on my want to try restaurant list. I was surprised that it was so crowded. The place was packed!

I ordered a Blue Moon.

Blue Moon Beer

It was yummy.

I took a look at the menu.

Bistro Pizza Winter Haven Florida

It was pretty extensive and mostly Italian. Definitely worth a return visit for dinner.

I ordered the Caprese Salad. If I see this on a menu, I almost always order it. It contains all of my favorite things which are cheese, basil, and olive oil. (It was good minus the fact that I burned to roof of my mouth a few days ago shoveling a too hot burrito into it. So of course the acidic tomatoes and balsamic vinegar mixed with beer and an orange was burning! Oh well, I was hungry and thirsty so I took it like a champ.)

Ave Bar Carpese Salad Winter Haven Florida

I didn’t stay out too late. J was waiting for me with Subway, Chuck, and my pajamas.

Do you have a go to meal that you always order?