Sunday, December 9, 2007

Jingle Bell Run

Took most of the week off of training -- Wednesday was our rest day, and then on Thursday I decided to do a 25-minute XT on the bike downstairs. We had early dinner plans on Friday, so gave ourselves another excuse, and then decided we should rest yesterday. So we haven't been particularly dedicated.

However, today was the Jingle Bell Run. Another chaotic mass run, full of people who have no business 'dashing' (sir, it's clear to me that you don't run an 8:00 - 9:40 mile...), confusion at the start, and a real bottleneck at the finish where we had to walk the last 100 feet or so.

But still -- we took the bus down, as did a lot of people, which is always humorous for other riders. Wil and I both wore red and white stripey tights, black shorts, black tops, black jackets, and furry Santa hats. LOTS of people in Santa hats. Lots of bright green race shirts. And lots of antler headbands. (None as majestic as mine from a few years ago...)

A little confusion at the start -- we couldn't get over to the road when the green wave started, but just got swept along towards the back of it. As usual, lots of white wave and a few red wave stragglers all around. We headed "up" 5th, which Suz felt was "down" because it's headed south. Still, it was a slow, steady uphill. We were so crowded, however, that we really could only walk. Fine by me -- it was our "brisk warm up". Then things loosened up a little, and we lost Suz and her cousin Steph. We were also finally able to "run".

Fifth Ave peaks around Marion, and then it was a downhill to Cherry, where we got on the I-5 express lanes. Lots of whooping at the tunnel entrance. We were running steadily if still pretty slowly, given the crowds. Someone started singing Jingle Bells, which was nice, but we were moving faster than that group so we lost them after two choruses.

We ran along the express lanes for quite a ways, passing the 2-mile marker before the turnaround. I heard a woman say "It's all downhill from here!" -- which was funny because we were actually going uphill. A short while after we'd made the turn, we saw S & S and we cheered each other on. Then there was an offramp with a hill, then a dip, and then another hill, all of which we ran.

Then around the corner, and then one last left turn and we could see the finish. I said to Wil "Shall we do our sprint to the finish -- you know, leave nothing in the tank." He laughed, mock protested, and then we took off. Whee! We were fast! We were gazelles! We were... stopped in the finish line bottleneck.

But we were done. I stopped my watch and then the iPod -- 35:26. For all of the forced walking, we were still 7 minutes faster than our St. Paddy's Day Dash time. Also, we felt really tired after St. Paddy's Day... and today we both feel really good.

We got water and bagels and then headed back up the street so we could cheer S & S -- running in to the delicious and delightful Lori Vos and her husband, funny that -- and then got to whoop and holler for them.

All in all a good run. Lori told us that the third place runner came in at 16 minutes. Sheesh. I'm still pleased with our effort, and super proud of Suz for running today. Also looking forward to our next events -- the "resolution run" 5K on January 1.

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