Yesterday, I ran the Jingle All the Way 8K in downtown DC with a running friend. I was a naughty girl the night before the race and stayed up WAY too late and my speed suffered as a result the next day. Note to self: a good night's sleep does improve physical performance and is a necessity before running 5 miles.
Although I woke up to pouring down rain yesterday, it stopped by the time we arrived in DC, which was fortunate because I really didn't want to run in the cold rain. It was damp and rather chilling to the bone on our walk from the car to the start of the race, but by the time we were at the start point designated by pacing markers (we started at the 10:00-10:59 minute mile marker), there were tons of people waiting to start and it wasn't all that cold to me. This was a very festive race. People dressed like elves, santas, reindeer, and many were wearing hats and accessories to show their Christmas spirit. I even wore my reindeer headband to be a good sport.
During the race, I remembered what I had read about devoting miles to people that you love. It helps to focus attention to form and speed and when I get fatigued, thinking of that person helps me to continue to perform my best. So, by the time I saw mile two I remembered this idea and so my second mile was devoted to my Uncle Scott, who told me the night before the race to "run really fast." I devoted my third mile to my dad and when I started feeling lethargic I thought of his positive phrase: "I can, I am, I will."
My fourth mile was devoted to my brother and his girls. A lot of time when I run, I think of my brother and our memories together. There have been times where I've nearly hyperventilated because I've held back tears thinking about how much I miss him. That's why I also devoted that mile to his girls, so that I wouldn't get too sad. They are living reminders of him and I am so grateful for them.
Despite the dreary weather, the race went reasonably well. I finished in just over 48 minutes, which is slower than I've run in other races, but considering the tiredness factor, I'm okay with that pace. I placed 391st out of 977 females in the 25-29 year-old category. Meh, right around the middle of the pack.
Also, a brief rant about Pacers' events. First of all the race started about 15 minutes late, which is not cool in my book. I want things to start on time. I've allotted a specific amount of time to this and if I am there on time, I expect things to get going as planned. Also, when I went to pick up my "race packet," they handed me my shirt and bib and pointed me in the direction of the bags and safety pins. I had to put my own packet together! I paid $35 to participate in this event, the least they could do is stick the damn t-shirt in the bag. Okay, rant done. All in all, it was a fun time.