On Sunday, I ran the Downtown Jingle 5K in Providence. It was the last in the series of holiday themed runs (Monster Dash, Turkey Trot, Jingle 5K) and my last race of the year. Because of the cold weather I’m not great at running in and my hip and knee still being sore, I had no aspirations to break any records. I just wanted to have my fun and finish the race, like I have been lately.
The race start was at 11am, which is good and bad. It’s great because you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to start prepping and bad because it’s smack in the middle of the day. A lot of the races I’ve run that are put on by Run Rhody start at that time.
The weather was pretty decent for the time of year. It was overcast and cold (I think around 33 at race time) but thankfully there was barely any wind. The Turkey Trot was the same temp and sunny, but that wind was brutal the last time so I was glad there wasn’t any!
As per usual for PVD races, we parked in the Providence Place Mall parking garage (a nightmare built by man) around 10am. We walked over to the Convention Center, where the start and finish line were, and walked around a bit. There was a small set-up of vendors (maybe 5) near the registration tables so I checked them out and then we just hung around and people watched for a bit. I like these races that we get to hang out inside until race time because I can then easily stay warm until go time, plus you can use real toilets!
Around 10:40 or so, we headed downstairs and I began warming up. I think I headed outside around 10:55 and got in line with the massive horde of Santas, elves and people running in their PJs. There was one woman that even had some sort of Christmas music playing thing attached to her PJs that I kept hearing whenever we’d pass each other throughout the race. My costume was kind of a hot mess of whatever I could find that I liked. I wore a Grinch tshirt over my warmer stuff, reindeer antlers that had noses that lit up and my own Rudolph blinky nose (that would later prove to be a part of my undoing!) plus the little string of jingle bells they gave us with our bibs.
They sang the National Anthem and then started back up with playing Christmas music. I believe we took off across the start line to Bruce Springsteen singing Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, but now I can’t remember! I started out with my nose on because I knew Tara would be taking pictures, but it quickly proved to be a hinderance in my breathing ability, so it only lasted until we got around the first corner and then I wore it around my neck until the end.
I was having a lot of trouble breathing at the start because of the cold, but once I pushed through the first 1/2 mile or so I settled into a groove and warmed up enough that it felt a little more comfortable. Unfortunately, that’s when all hell broke loose. Or rather, my bra did!
I have this sports bra, which I absolutely ADORE, however the last one I bought hasn’t faired as well as the one before it. I realized about a month or so ago on the treadmill that the velcro on one side doesn’t stick very well as it came undone while I was running at the gym. It hadn’t happened recently though so I figured I was fine and I was waiting until after the holidays to get a new one for myself. So, here I am running along, haven’t even reached mile 1 yet, and BOOM! My bra strap unhitches itself. Holy hell! Now what am I gonna do surround by 1100 other runners?!?
I slowed down to a quick walk and grabbed the strap and managed to put myself back together on the move. This ate up valuable time, but I didn’t have a goal in mind so I figured it didn’t matter. Little did I know how much it would.
I got into a groove and just enjoyed all the costumes and jingling around me. I thought the jingles would annoy me, but I found it oddly soothing. There was a hilarious sign just past the 2 mile sign that said “Smile if you’re not wearing underwear”. The rest of the race was fairly uneventful until just before mile 3.
I figured there would be pictures taken at the finish line, so I thought I would put my nose back on for the pics at the end. This is where further unraveling of my race would happen. Think back to what I had on my head – antlers, ear buds and a nose that went over my ears – all tucked into my headband. I tried to pull my nose back up over my ears, but got tangled in my ear buds. Then my antlers starting falling so I had to grab those and I believe it was during this time that I dropped one of my gloves. I had to stop and pick that up, then finally wriggled my nose up just in time to see Tara, Julie and Dan on the sidewalk.
I crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin. I grabbed a water bottle and then walked down the chute trying to figure out where the end was so I could meet up with everybody. Once we all met up, I looked down at my watch and saw: 34:29. Son of a…!!!! I knew in the back of my head that my 5K PR was 34:26 since I had just recently looked over all my races. I was SO disappointed. If any single one of those wardrobe malfunctions hadn’t happened, I have no doubt I would have had a PR to end the year. My official chip time then came in an email later: 34:28. Even more devastating. That means a tiny 3 seconds is what prevented me from reaching my PR. THREE. SECONDS. I told everybody this and then continued to mutter all the way back to the parking garage about 3 seconds. So not cool.
Overall, I thought this was a fun race. It wasn’t hugely scenic, and running over a certain cobblestone street is no fun, but it’s still better than that course in Pawtucket that I ran the week before. Run Rhody definitely puts on some great races and I would consider doing this again next year.
Moving on, I now have next year to look forward to. I’m debating doing the Frosty 5K on New Year’s Day as my first race of the year, but haven’t registered for anything yet. I’ll soon be making my fun list of races I wish to run. My ultimate goals for the coming year: finish a half marathon and finish a Tough Mudder. I could care less about times. I just want to prove to myself that I’m capable of completing them.
Bring on 2014!