Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Oh What Fun It Is To FINISH!! #JingleBellRun

Oh what fun it is to FINISH!!!
  This was the scene 7 years ago as I crossed the finish time for the first time!! LIKE EVER CROSSED A FINISH LINE. I look back on this picture and I have so many different emotions about it.

1. I wore the LONG SLEEVE Cotton Event Shirt. I was so proud of it. I would NEVER wear a cotton tshirt when I run now!! My pants were some kind of weird cotton-type material. I didn't own any dri-fit or running clothes. Seriously, I had a runner bib too?!? I had no idea that I had to pin it on my shirt. This was all so new. I'll never forget it...I was #309.

2.  My shoes were 2 1/2 sizes SMALLER than what I wear now. Oh how I learned the importance of the right fit over the years. I hated the thought of having to wear bigger shoes. I suck it up now and it phases me zero. I'm a tall girl with big feet, therefore I wear big shoes but I do not get shin splints, ankle/knee problems....The injury-free trade off is fabulous and the right shoes are everything.

3. December 1st, 2007 was my 35th Birthday. I was making a statement to the world. I had been a stay at home mommy to my babies for years and I desperately needed some "Kristin Time". Boy oh boy did this day ever change my life!! Now I look forward to birthdays just so that I can move up in my age bracket. How crazy is that?? I WANT to be 50 so bad that I can hardly stand it!! I wanna bring home the bling, baby!

4. My first official finish time was 35:57. I was proud. I was devastated. I ran. I walked. I could not understand how people were finishing with any times any lower than mine. 35:57 was all I had in me. I almost threw up. I ate like a horse after the race was over. My legs and thighs hurt for days after this race. I loved every minute and knew that I would not give up until I finished a race in under 30 minutes. I had a new goal. I wanted to be able to run an entire 5k without stopping. I reached that goal the following April. It took me four months of hard training but I did it.

5.  I SCRAPBOOKED  this monumental event AND bought the race photo!!! Who has time to scrapbook anymore?!?! And who really buys their race pics after every race?? I wish I had a million dollars because I would so go back to every race I ever ran and buy my pics. I would buy all of my running friends pictures too....I think one million bucks would cover it. ;) Our race pictures are out there in cyber race photo land just waiting for me. :)

Railroad Park Birmingham, Al.
New home of the Jingle Bell Run 
      Fast forward 7 years later and I'm still running the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis 5K benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. This is an excellent cause to run for...I have several friends whose kids suffer from this awful disease so I like to support this race!
At the Start Line with the twins.
The Start Line.
     In Birmingham, this race has previously been located in the Southside area. This year, it moved locations to the new Railroad Park downtown.  I love this location....the course was super flat and fast. I ran the fastest 5K that I've ran in a long time. 

     My official time was 25:15!! I was SOOOOOO excited about that!!  I officially shaved off 10 minutes from my first 5K time. I could not have been happier. I've been working on speed at the gym so it's nice to see my work paying off. Now if I could just start seeing those abs...still working on that. grrrr.

25:15 is still not fast enough to place in my age group for this race...1st place ran in 19minutes.
There's no way I'll ever be that fast!!
My Aunt placed in her age group though...Boo for me but yay for her.
Not too shabby for a 60year old! (She's my moms' twin) #GoodGenes
The Course:

     We started out at Railroad Park (which is adjacent to the new Regions Park Baseball Stadium), ran a few blocks and then headed over towards Boutwell Auditorium, passing the legendary 16th Street Baptist Church, newly renovated Lyric Theatre and the beautiftul  Alabama Theatre. After that we were running  towards UAB.
Lyric Theatre
   On the streets of Birmingham,  I tried and tried to get a clear pic of this guy in front of me. He had HO HO HO on his hiney and I thought that deserved a spot in my blog. ;)

Post Race:
     After running around the UAB area, we headed back towards downtown and finished at Railroad Park.  Domino's Pizza, Otis Spunkmeyer muffins, bananas, Pure Protein Bars (Strawberry and Chocolate Peanut Butter), Dasani Water, and Powerade were all waiting for us at the Finish Line Festivities. Impressive Spread!

     There were lots of costumes at this race, tents set up for some of the kids with Arthiritis who had formed teams and Santa even had his own race for the kids....a Santa Chase!
Post race festivities at Railroad Park.
I snapped this pic towards the end...there were many more people immediately following the race!
I thought these guys were pretty cute!
They covered all of the Christmas Characters. ;)
Matchy Matchy with the big dude.

No race would be complete without at least one Selfie.
Speaking of scrapbooking, I ran into one of my favorite running friends Gretchen McElveen!
Check out her blog....She's pretty famous in that world. :)
     I'm kind of sad to tell the 2014 running year goodbye. I've had a REALLY GREAT running year but by telling 2014 goodbye, that can only mean one thing.....HELLO 2015!! I've already got some fabulous races on my calendar for next year and I will definitely be running the Jingle Bell Run again next December! I'll be there will bells on! :)
This was the official cotton event tshirt this year. 
For more information on this race in your area and the Arthritis Foundation, please visit Arthritis.org.

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