Jingle Bell Classic 10k

December 13, 2014

I had planned for OUC last weekend to be my last race of the year. But, my friend had registered for this race and then had an injury that required surgery. He wasn’t able to run because of that. I contemplated running or not running for a couple of days. Ultimately, I decided to break the rules and run under his bib. Shame on me; I know.

I arrived at the race about 15 minutes before the race start. I ran the Winter Haven Police Department Torch Run 5k here earlier this year so I know right where I need to go. I am able to use the bathroom before we start (yay for real bathrooms!).

It’s a chilly morning completely opposite of last weekend. I have on a long sleeved shirt and I’m wearing gloves and an ear warmer headband. If I need to take off my headband or gloves, I can put them in my SPI pouch while I run.

The race starts and we head through downtown Winter Haven and then towards the police department. There is a hill to run up as we pass the police department. Then we turn and head away from the start. This is exactly how we ran for the Torch Run. Only, this time we don’t turn around so soon. We continue along the sidewalk and cross the overpass (the overpass is for pedestrian traffic only) to a park. I have no idea where I am. I didn’t even know this existed.

The course for the race is an out and back that runs through some of downtown and then along a trail.

The course for the race is an out and back that runs through some of downtown and then along a trail.

We make our way out this running trail for about two and a half miles. Then we loop back. I make the loop back and climb the overpass again. I know that I have about a mile to go from here. I pass the only water stop for the second time and then continue towards downtown.

Once I am back to the downtown area, I am more familiar with the area. Again, this is the part of the course that is shared with the Torch Run from earlier in the year. I climb the final hill by the lake and then cross the street by Central Park. I make my way around the park and then cross the finish line.

My official time is 1:17:09. It isn’t my fastest 10k but it isn’t my slowest either. I took my time for the most part and just enjoyed the run. I didn’t want to push given the races I have coming up on my schedule. Rather, I wanted to do an easy, maintenance type run. For that, I have been successful.

Now that I’m home, I am packing to go to Universal Studios. My work is having our Christmas bash by treating everyone to a weekend of fun. We have tickets to see the Blue Man Group tonight, complete with an after show Q&A session. They also put us up in the Portafino Bay Hotel and gave us tickets to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. I am already an annual passholder at US/IOA but I am taking advantage of the room because it can be used as Express passes to skip a lot of the regular lines. Staying onsite also affords us the opportunity to enter the Harry Potter park at Universal; Diagon Alley; an hour before the park regularly opens. I haven’t been able to ride the new rides there yet so I am really looking forward to that.

I spent a whopping $4 for this race (for breakfast). I think I may have just broken my bank account!

Gotta run!

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