Sunday, December 13, 2009

What a difference a year makes: Jingle All the Way 10k

A year ago I ran the Jingle All the Way 10k; my first race as an adult. Here are my stats from last year:
Time: 55:04
Pace: 8:52
Division (Women 20-24): 110/325
Women in general: 533/2114
5k split: 31:52
A year has passed; I since have run 2 marathons and a slew of other races. I have learned what it means to train; to do long runs and speedwork and figure out proper nutrition and hydration.
Here are my stats from this morning:
Time: 46:01
Pace: 7:25
Division (Women 20-24): 22/402
Women in general: 82/2255
5k split: 23:28
What a difference a year makes! The race went well, to say the least. I went out slow and cautiously: 7:29 for the first mile, and ended up running slightly negative splits. This was a good pace and I felt good the whole time, which is always better than counting down the minutes until the finish! This is a course with a turnaround, and there I heard "Go Vanessa" - it was Brian - my DC race buddy. That was great and lifted my spirits a little. I liked the turnaround because it meant you could sort of watch other runners and be distracted while running. There were lots of costumed runners: elves, santas, etc. One Santa was really fast - normally you don't expect that from someone wearing a full suit, but you never now. Around mile 4, I was "recognized" aka, someone from the Runner's World online community said "You're the medievalist!" That was pretty funny and unexpected. I couldn't really say anything at that point, but I did meet him afterward. The final 2.2 miles were when I really was pushing the pace, and it was a relief to see the finish banner and just throw down the hammer. I knocked off 34 seconds off of my time and set a new PR. Brian set one as well with 47:08, so victory for both of us. However, we had made a bet that whoever "lost" (although I do think we both were victorious) would by breakfast after. So, Brian treated me to breakfast at Busboys and Poets, which was delicious. Somehow, we were seated in a private room, and while it was originally just the 2 of us in the room, more runners from the race kept trickling in (I think it was the closest restaurant to the race), and so we turned into a party room of runners. Breakfast was good, and it was excellent to catch up with Brian. Here's a picture of us from brunch. We're hoping to do another race together early in 2010.
All in all a great race, and a great progress report from a year's worth of work. It feels rewarding to know I'm making great strides (pun intended) and that I can continue to work at knocking off more time.

1 comment:

  1. I'd say a 9 minute improvement is quite good! Congratulations! I think the most gratifying part about your results are that they actually validate all the hard work, sacrifice, and mental toughness that goes seemingly unnoticed to so many. It is an incredible balancing act you do training at such a high level , while managing to be a scholar. Kudos!