Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Race Report: Jingle Bell 5k

The transformation is complete. You know your life has changed when you look up races to do for fun while on holiday with your family.  When we decided to go to Arizona for the holidays, I made a special request of my family to do a 5k run with me while we were there.  My mom agreed to do the race with me!  So off we were at 6:15 on a Saturday morning during vacation - mo, dad, sister, and Ralph, the puppy.  We had an hour plus drive to the race venue at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix.

When we arrived, mom and I picked up our race bibs and shirts (impressive since we had registered the day before).  I did a bit of a warmup run around the parking lot and some A's, B's, C's and strides.  By that time ewe had only a few minutes to go until the start. I had lost mom in the chaos of the start line, but I made a new friend and we chatted about holding a 6:45 pace or faster.  We also talked about taking it out easy, but he forgot about that at the start.

As the race started, I reminded myself of the plan: get faster each kilometer and try not to go out too hard. We pretty quickly turned onto a hard dirt path, which would be the run surface for the vast majority of the race. It was a little muddy in spots due to the rain a few days before, but we were blessed with gorgeous weather. It was cool and sunny with mist rising off the desert plants.

The first mile went well and right on pace. I stayed relaxed and held back. As we started the second mile, things got a bit harder with a run through a gully - up and out- twice and lots of twists and turns that made it harder to keep the momentum going. As we hit the start of the third mile, I reminded myself that I could do anything for less than 7 minutes and that I really ought to pick up the pace!  With a quarter mile to go, I passed a girl wearing lime green compression socks. I was feeling good. But then she surged past me just as we approached the last turn to the finish. The announcer said, "here comes the first female finisher!" And I wanted to kick myself for passing her too early and letting her beat me!  In the end, I finished second for women with a new personal best of 20:56.2. I met up with dad, sister and Ralph at the finish, grabbed some water and went over to watch for mom.

I saw her come running around the bend and she shouted to me that she had been running the whole way. I was so proud of her!  After I saw her, I took a shortcut to the finish to watch. She finished with a time of 32:20.4!! It was so exciting. She crushed it and came in 10 minutes faster than her goal. This was her first real run in a long time, but she is in good shape from working out regularly. I'm so glad she ran it with me and excited that she also plans to do a triathlon in the summer!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!! I hope you're all having a lovely season and cherishing time with your family and friends!!


  1. Awesome race!! So fast!! Congrats great finish! So fun for your mom too!!

  2. You are a bad ass woman, Kelsey. Your speed is so impressive and inspiring. Arizona obviously didn't know what hit em'! :) Glad you had a wonderful racing experience and SO COOL that your mom ran the 5K too!! The weather looked perfect.