Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Downtown Jingle 5K Recap

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.


Do you like my Grinch face?

My attempt at going cross-eyed. Apparently, my eyes don’t cross.


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!


The Celebrations Begin!

Today is our friend Dan’s birthday and then Friday is my birthday so this weekend was our birthday weekend together since we wouldn’t be seeing them again until probably Christmas time. Tara and Julie plotted for quite a while to give us an awesome scavenger hunt, with our presents hidden along the way. When Julie and Dan arrived Friday night, we were given a letter and told we needed to leave the house.



Dan decided we would drive instead of just sitting in the car, so we headed out for 10 minutes. When we returned, we beeped the horn and waited for the light to flash 3 times (as instructed LOL). We headed in to the house and began our search. Each clue was well done (as always) and gave us pause on most of them to try to figure out where we needed to go. Some we knew instantly and others were a little bit tougher.



Once we had collected all of our presents and puzzle pieces, it was time for me to assemble the pieces.



I immediately knew what our last clue meant – the cabinet containing my race medals! We found the gifts underneath the cabinet and then headed into the living room to open our stuff. We made a theme for Dan this year (between the gift from Tara and I and then Julie’s gifts) of “movie night”. We gave him 4 blu rays, some new jammie pants, a tshirt and some candy to eat while we watched the movies with him (Wolverine, Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns).



I got some really thoughtful gifts from my favorite people. Julie and Dan gave me framed professional race photos (that they’d apparently purchased throughout the year from the official race photographers!!). Tara made me a photo book of our year and all my conquests in my first year of running. SUCH awesome presents!!


Just ignore my mismatched crazy pajamas!


After we opened our presents, we had dinner and then decided to play Cards Against Humanity. It is SUCH a fun game and so inappropriate. We all have pretty similar sick senses of humor so we had a great time playing it…so much so that we stayed up until after midnight playing it and we actually went through ALL of the cards we had printed from their website. The whole game. The first time! LOL

After some sleep, we planned on heading to T’s Cafe for breakfast. I’d been dreaming of their Ooey Gooey French Toast since the first time we had gone there a month or so ago so of course I had that again. I even convinced Julie and Dan they should try them too so they got them as part of a breakfast meal combo thing. I also decided to try their hot cocoa this time and I thought it was really good. Nothing special, but creamy and delicious. Tara had a peppermint shot added to hers.


Tara’s blueberry pancakes – the size of your face!


After breakfast, we headed home where we dropped off Tara and Dan and then Julie and I went up to Rhode Runner to pick up my bib for the Downtown Jingle 5K this morning. I was also going to have them look at my shoes/feet/gait again because my latest pair of Mizunos seem to bother my Achilles and I can’t figure out why. When we got there, there was a packed house looking at shoes so we just picked up my bib and headed home.

We enjoyed just hanging out and watching some of Dan’s new blu rays. It was a nice low key weekend and we had lots of fun. Next weekend, Tara and I will be doing something ourselves for just my birthday on Friday, so maybe we’ll have one of our adventure dates.

My race this morning was really good and incredibly agonizing when I saw my time. I’ll have a recap soon so you’ll have to wait and see why it was so crazy!