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)

Turkey-Trotting my way to a 5K PR!

On Thanksgiving morning I ran the Seven Summits Turkey Trot 5K for the third year in a row. When I run the same course multiple times I love comparing my splits and stats from each race:

Turkey Trot Stats 2013-15

Comparing races is even more fun when you run a new personal best!!! 😄

Matt and I arrived at Wilson Farm Park about an hour before the race started, just in time to get a good parking spot and admire the view across the park. It was 39° and sunny… perfect conditions for a 5K.

Pretty Morning for a Turkey Trot! 2

After a year of consistent speedwork and interval training and some faster race performances this fall I went into Thursday’s race believing that I was capable of running a PR. The race got underway just after 9AM and I crossed the starting line with 842 other turkey trotters, eager to see how the race would turn out!

Turkey Trot Start

Where’s Annie?

Run the first mile with your head…
In 2014 I clearly remembered wishing that I had started the Turkey Trot faster to take advantage of some early downhills. With that in mind, this year I pushed myself a little more than usual in Mile 1 and was happy to see a first split of 7:20.

The second mile with your focus…
As the second mile began I focused on my running form and cadence and was surprised to realize that I still felt comfortable and in control. The course wove back towards the parking area and I saw Matt cheering me on. (I couldn’t hear him over the tune of Elle King’s Ex’s & Oh’s , though.) After what felt like a strong second mile I was thrilled when my watch beeped a 7:22 split!

And the third mile with your heart.
I got a spurt of energy after seeing my second mile split and entered the final mile feeling optimistic about my PR chances. Then some gentle uphills began and I realized how tired I was! I felt slow and kept checking my watch to check my average pace for the final mile.

On the fly, I had calculated that I needed to stay under 8:00 in the final mile to get my PR… it was going to be close! I somehow found some extra speed and was relieved when my Garmin reported that I had completed mile 3 in 7:51.

The final tenth of a mile was an absolute blur. During most of the race I had been just behind a man pushing a double stroller (wow!) and as the finish line came into view he picked up his pace with an impressive kick. I decided that I had a kick left in me too and went with him. We were neck and neck for a few seconds before I blasted by him in what felt like a dead sprint. (In the man’s defense, he had to slow down slightly to safely cross the timing mats!)

Turkey Trot PR Finish!

I could not see the finish clock through most of the homestretch. I had not looked at the total time elapsed on my watch so until the final moment of the race I did not know if I was going to PR. Then the clock came into view and it was in the 23-teens!! I zoomed across the line and stopped my watch at 23:16.XX. An 8 second PR!!

According to the official results, my clock time of 23:21 was good enough for 113th overall, 35th female and 3rd in my age group! Bizarrely, the official results display my chip time as 22:45 which I know is wrong, so for the sake of my PR I’m saying that my time was 23:17 since that’s what I had on my Garmin. Strange that the chip time was so off but I am quite pleased with my new PR nonetheless!

My next race is TONIGHT!  At 6:30PM I’ll be running the Jingle Elf 2 Miler to help kick off the Christmas Parade in West Chester, PA. This is another repeat race for me… I’ll find out soon if I can beat last year’s 2 mile PR!

Miles since last post: 88.6
Days since last post: 19
2015 MILES: 1592

Past Races:
• November ’15: Trinity 5K (11/7)
• 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)

Double OyVey 10K Recap and a New PR!

Yesterday I ran my first road 10K ever! After two challenging trail 10Ks earlier this year I was fairly sure that the easier road surface would enable me to run a new personal best, but I had no idea what a realistic 10K goal was. Here were my goals going into the race:

  1. “A” Goal: Sub-50. Again, I had no idea what I would do in a 10K but this seemed like a challenging goal, much like the sub-25 minute 5K time that I chased down during my first year of racing.
  2. “B” Goal: Beat my Broad Street Run 10K Split. I thought I remembered getting a 10K split of 52:30-ish during May’s Broad Street 10-miler so I decided this time would be my second goal to beat. (Note: After yesterday’s race I looked up my actual Broad Street stats and realized that my 10K split had been more like 50:24… sort of glad that I didn’t know that was the real goal going into this race!)
  3. “C” Goal: Beat my previous 10K PR of 58:34. My old PR was set on a hilly trail course at the Tyler Arboretum back in April. If I can’t beat this time on the road something is wrong with me!
Double OyVey 10K Finish!

Spoiler Alert: I finished in 49:50!!!!!
(Photo Credit: Ohev Shalom)

Sunday’s Double OyVey 10K was hosted by Ohev Shalom Synagogue in Wallingford, PA. The race began at 10AM and I started off conservatively with a relaxed first mile split of 7:52. Just after mile 1 the 10K runners veered off from the nice, flat 5K course (a course that I PR’d on back in 2013!) and plunged down a steep hill onto Avondale Road.

We wound around on Avondale for a mile or so, passing under the Blue Route (I-476) and by the Thomas Leiper House. Mile 2 beeped by in 8:04. We eventually emerged out of the woods and onto quiet neighborhood streets, where the course proceeded to climb, and climb, and climb. Up up up! At the top of the hill my watch finally reported that Mile 3 had taken me 8:41 to complete.

I glanced at my watch to see my 5K split and was dismayed to see 25:16. That sub-50 goal was looking less and less attainable. Nevertheless, I knew I had a lot of downhill ahead of me and I was pretty sure that I was currently the first place female on the 10K course. I ran on, trying to keep up my cadence and carefully watching for the white arrows on the road that would indicate my next turn.

Mile 4 clicked by in 8:06. Not bad, but the course’s steepest hill awaited me on the climb back up Avondale Road to 320. This climb felt HARD and I focused on putting one foot ahead of the other while listening to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” — isn’t it funny how you remember some songs so clearly during a race?

Mile 5 beeped by in 8:38, with a total cumulative time of 42:26-ish. If that time was correct I was way off my sub-50 goal and running even slower than my Media 5 Mile race from June. This was disappointing, but I knew that my watch was somewhat off as it hadn’t been lining up with the mile markers that I saw out on the course. I pushed on, telling myself that I only had one flat mile to go.

Mile 6 was the hardest mile for me physically. After the climb up Avondale my legs felt heavy and my whole body was fatigued. The final stretch of neighborhood seemed to last forever and I really focused on trying to get my feet down on the pavement as quickly as possible. Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” helped me with fast turnover… don’t judge me, it is the PERFECT upbeat, fast-cadence song!  😄

OyVey 10K Stats_

At long last I reached Rt. 320 and took the left turn into the Synagogue’s parking lot. The race organizer passed me in the final seconds and I attempted to pick up my pace to stay with him… but mostly I was just relieved that it was a man – not a woman – who was passing me right at the end!

I felt my watch vibrate for mile 6 but didn’t bother to look because I had just spotted the finish line clock. It was ticking away at 49:40! Up until that moment I did not believe that sub-50 was within reach, but when I saw the clock I started sprinting for the finish, eager to earn my shiny new PR. I crossed the line in 49:50, first female and third overall in a very small field of 10K runners.

Overall the Double OyVey 10K was a great race with very friendly people and a low-key, relaxed vibe… AND a cool name! The course was certainly not easy, but 10Ks are rare in the western Philadelphia suburbs and I was very happy to finally get a chance to race this distance on a road course. Now I’m looking forward to the mental boost that Sunday’s race will give me when I return to a “mere” 5K next weekend!

Miles since last post: 80.8
Days since last post: 17
2015 MILES: 1412.8

Past Races:
• October ’15: BAAR 5K (10/3)
• 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)