Jingle Elf 2 Miler

Guess what? I ran TWO races this weekend.  I’m home from the second race (Brian’s Run 5 Mile) and enjoying a well-deserved chocolate covered marshmallow Santa as I type.  I’m SO EXCITED to tell you about how Brian’s Run went but I like to keep things in chronological order so I’ll start by recapping the weekend’s first race.

On Friday night I ran the Jingle Elf Run for the second year in a row.  This 2 mile race kicks off the enormous West Chester Christmas parade which means that the runners are treated to amazing crowd support from the hundreds of families waiting for Santa along the parade route.  It also means that parking in town is insane, but I learned that lesson last year and this year opted to park at my brother’s house and jog into town as my warm up.

Last year I set my (automatic) 2 mile PR at this race with a finish time of 14:33.  This year I was hoping to better that time and I got my wish!!  I started off fast and before I knew it I had completed the first loop around town with a 1 mile split of 7:02.  (Which actually wasn’t quite as speedy as last year’s blazing 6:52… proof that I am making incremental progress in my quest to not start out too fast!!)

Crossing the finish line -- look at the huge parade crowd!

Crossing the finish line — look at the huge parade crowd!

I continued into the second lap, hoping I would be able maintain enough speed to beat last year’s time.  I felt much slower as I entered the long stretch down Gay Street so I tried to focus on the crowd and use their energy as motivation.  I high-fived a few kids and was so relieved when the gentle downhill turn onto Matlack Street finally came into view.  I zoomed down the hill, turned into Market Street, and pushed hard towards the homestretch.  I crossed the finish mats in 14:28… a 5 second PR!!

Jingle Elf Stats_

I ended up 34th overall, 11th female and 3rd in my age group. Not bad! I loved this little race and will definitely plan to do it again next year.  The crowd support is great, it’s an unusual, fun distance, AND it’s a great way to “warm up” for Brian’s Run on Sunday.  More on that race in the next post…

Miles since last post: 15.1
Days since last post: 3
2015 MILES: 1607.1

Past Races:
• November ’15: Trinity 5K (11/7), Seven Summits Turkey Trot (11/26) [5K PR]
• October ’15:
BAAR 5K (10/3), Double OyVey 10K (10/25) [10K PR], Boo Run 5K (10/31)
• September ’15: Run-A-Muck Trail 5K (9/19)
• August ’15:
Boxcar Mile (8/13), Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/27)
• June ’15: Media 5 Mile (6/19)
• May ’15: Broad Street 10 Mile Run (5/3) [10M PR], Rocky Run Trail 5K (5/15), Victory 5K (5/17)
• April ’15: Tyler Trail 10K (4/11) [10K PR], Empower the Children 5K (4/18), Haverford Twilight 5K (4/26) [5K PR]
• March ’15:
Athlete’s Closet March 5K (3/7), St. Pat’s 5K (3/14), Granogue Trail 10K (3/21), Pickle Run #3 (3/28)
• February ’15: Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/7), Pickle Trail Run #2 (2/21)
• January ’15: SRA New Year’s Day 5K (1/1), Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/3), Pickle Run #1 (1/17)
• December ’14: Jingle Elf 2 Mile (12/5) [2M PR]Brian’s Run 5 Miler (12/7) [5M PR], Athlete’s Closet Holiday 5K (12/14)
• November ’14: Trinity Berwyn 5K (11/1)  [5K PR], Metal Run 5K (11/8), Seven Summits Turkey Trot (11/27)
• October ’14: Martin’s Run 5K (10/5), Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/18), Bark in the Park 5K (10/25)
• September ’14: Talk 5K Trail Run (9/13), Run A Muck Trail Race (9/20), Haverford Township 5K (9/27)
• August ’14: Riddlewood 5K (8/3), Radnor Red Steeplechase (8/17), Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28) [5K PR]
• July ’14: Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10), Swarthmore Independence Eve 8K (7/18) [5M PR]
• June ’14: Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1), Media 5 Miler (6/20)
• May ’14: Elwyn 5K (5/3), Run for Victory 5K (5/18) [5K PR], Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30)
• April ’14: Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3), Rick’s Run 5K (4/19), St. Tim’s 5K (4/26)
• March ’14: Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1), Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30)
• February ’14: Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1)
• January ’14: Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4)
• December ’13: Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14), New Year’s Eve YMCA 5K (12/31) [5K PR]
• November ’13: Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2), Turkey Trot 5K (11/28)
• October ’13: Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19), Oy Vey 5K (10/27) [5K PR]
• September ’13: Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21)
• The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Jingle Elf Run (Automatic 2 Mile PR!)

On Friday night I ran the Jingle Elf Run in West Chester, PA.  The 2 mile race circled through downtown West Chester and kicked off the borough’s GIGANTIC Christmas parade.  I had no idea how big the parade and surrounding festivities were going to be beforehand but let me tell you, West Chester takes the holidays seriously!

After driving around for 25 minutes trying to find parking (and finally ending up on the 6th floor of a parking garage because the first 5 were completely full already!) Matt, Piper and I finally arrived at Chester County Running Store to pick up my bib.  Despite a steady drizzle West Chester’s Market Street was already packed with spectators at 6:15 (the parade didn’t start until 7:30!) and there were TV lights and stages and barricades everywhere.  It was a very exciting atmosphere for a race!

Piper and Annie after Jingle Elf

Promptly at 6:30 the race began and 181 runners (many dressed as elves) surged up Market Street towards the TV lights.  The race course was 2 laps around a nice, easy-to-remember rectangular route that was relatively flat and wide with nice turns and fantastic crowd support.  We ran west on Market, turned north on New for a block, then came east on Gay Street, West Chester’s main restaurant and shopping area, before a quick turn south on Matlack which brought us back to the bright lights of Market.

I had never run a 2 mile race before Friday so I knew that whatever I ran was going to be an automatic personal best.  My goal was to beat my 5K PR pace of 7:36 but I also really wanted to break 15 minutes.  I went out FAST, knowing that I only had to maintain my speed for 2 miles instead of the usual 3.1.  I was wrapped up in the crowd and festivities during the first mile and didn’t notice how fast I was going until my Garmin beeped my first mile split… 6:51.8 !!!!!  Yep, pretty darn fast.  I was going through the TV lights when I saw that so if anyone took a picture of me I’m sure they couldn’t miss the big grin on my face when I saw that split.  😀

Of course after my blazing fast first mile I still had another to go.  I really tried to stay strong for that final mile but let me tell you… Gay Street seemed much longer the second time around!!  With about 1/4 mile to go I saw Matt and Piper cheering me on from the sidewalk and I picked up my pace to the finish (I tried, at least).  My garmin chirped a 2nd mile split of 7:24 shortly before I crossed the finish line with an official time of 14:33.  Yes!!!

Jingle Elf Stats

If someone had told me that I needed to run 2 miles with a 7:08 average pace I probably would have been a nervous wreck before the race.  But just going out there and doing it felt great!!!  I ended up 34th overall, 11th woman and 3rd in my age group.  Also I got to hold a snuggly, sleepy Piper on my lap on the drive home so I definitely went home a winner.  🙂

My next race starts in 2 hours… it’s the 5 mile Brian’s Run, also in West Chester.  I think my legs have recovered from Friday and I’m hunting for another PR… wish me luck!

Miles since last post:  36.3
Days since last post:  8
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.87
2014 TOTAL MILES: 1656.3

Related Posts:
•  Seven Summits Turkey Trot (11/27/14)
•  Metal Run 5K (11/8/14)
•  Trinity Berwyn 5K (11/1/14)  [New PR!]
•  Bark in the Park 5K (10/25/14)
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/18/14)
•  Martin’s Run 5K (10/5/14)
•  Haverford Township Day 5K (9/27/14)
•  Run A Muck 5K-ish Trail Race (9/20/14)
•  Talk 5K Trail Run (9/13/14)
•  Pickle in the Streets 5K (8/28/14) [PR]
•  Radnor Red Steeplechase 5K (8/17/14)
•  Riddlewood Swim Club 5K (8/3/14)
•  Swarthmore Lions Independence Eve 8K (7/18/14)
•  Cam’s ‘Moonlight’ 5K (7/10/14)
•  Media 5 Miler (6/20/14)
•  Radnor Conservancy 5K Trail Run (6/1/14)
•  Rocky Run 5K Trail Run (5/30/14)
•  Run for Victory 5K (5/18/14) [PR]
•  Elwyn 5K (5/3/14)
•  St. Tim’s 5K (4/26/14)
•  Rick’s Run 5K (4/19/14)
•  Las Vegas Security 5K (4/3/14)
•  Color Out Cancer 5K (3/30/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet March 5 Miler (3/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1/14)
•  Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4/14)
•  New Year’s Eve 5K at the YMCA (12/31/13) [PR]
•  Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14/13)
•  Turkey Trot 5K (11/28/13)
•  Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
•  Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13) [PR]
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
•  Run-a-Muck 5K (9/21/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)