I finished out my 2009 racing year this morning with the Anoka Jingle Bell 5K. I've done this race a couple of times before and really like it. It's at my old high school (which I graduated from just a couple of years ago, of course), most of the race is on a paved trail along the Rum River, and it's just the right size - not too big, not too small. I set my current PR (24:45) at this race last year and was hoping for a new PR this morning.
Sophie and I were at my mom's after Thanksgiving, so instead of driving 70 miles to Anoka, I left her house at 9:20 and was at Anoka High School by 9:25. Registeration, bathroom, and about 8 minutes of easy jogging for a warmup and I was ready. I remembered my Garmin this weekend and was hoping a visual reminder of my pace would keep me moving.
What is up with race amnesia? I did not remember this course as hilly at all. And then we turned onto the path along the river and started with the rolling hills. I felt like I managed the hills well and ran the first mile strong at about 7:45. I started feeling it the second mile. This is an out and back course, so I felt a surge once we hit the turnaround point and I knew we were on the way back. But I still managed to slow down a bit in that second mile. The third mile, I was done. Less than a quarter mile from the finish, I walked. Seriously. Just stopped running and walked. When I realized what I was doing, I got my ass moving again. Ran up one final hill and saw the finish. Crossed the line at 25:28. So much for a new PR . . . but for my second 5K in less than a week, not too bad.
It's been a fun year of races. I'm looking forward to running some easy base miles in December and the first part of January, and then ramping up the runs for marathon training. 2010, here I come!