Jingle Bell 5k Race Report

I really had no idea what to expect from this race...

I'd been a good boy, basically not allowing myself to go fast since the marathon a month ago. However, I have been putting in mostly 30 mile weeks of mostly trail running, which had healed my aches and given me some greater leg strength than I'd felt in some time.

And then last week, work gobbled up more time than I typically allow for it and it gobbled up one of my runs. And then on Wednesday, messing around with the kids, I banged my knee. Hard.

Thursday and Friday, I had precious little time to run and when I was tempted to - noticed my knee was still rather messed up. Two good reasons not to run. I listened to them. Saturday, the knee felt 95% better but I figured running the day before the race wouldn't help, so that was that: 3 days in a row with no exercise for the first time in who knows how long?

I did this race last year in 22:37. This year, I was aiming for sub 20:00, but again - I really wasn't sure where my fitness was. Decided to go out @ 6:15 and see what would happen.

Went out with the high school kids and eased up to come into the mile at 6:08. A bit too quick. Came into the second mile in 6:25 - concerned I was losing steam. But the third mile was mostly downhill and I brought it home in a nice 19:47. My first time under 20 minutes in a 5k in about 18 years or so.

FIRST translates this to about a 3:12 marathon, so that means that I haven't lost any fitness in the past month, which I attribute to the trail running. Obviously, I've lost endurance, as I haven't gone long in quite a while. But endurance isn't my weak point, so that doesn't bug me. 3:12 fitness a month from the start of the marathon plan is a-ok with me.

You can read other race reports on this one from either Eric or John.

Soooo grateful to be back to a normal week. Here's hoping for normal hours and multiple trail runs.


  1. Nice Race, I am wondering about your trail runs. Do you work those into your Marathon training schedule to mix it up? If so, how frequently do you run trails? Are they on the shorter runs?


  2. Hi Alex,

    On my last marathon, I used a non-technical Rail-to-Trail trail for nearly ALL of my long runs.

    I haven't used any technical trails for marathon training, but my next schedule is going to include 1-2 easy runs per week, which I'm going to try and do on the technical trails. Much easier on the shins and good for leg strength.

    Though I've been tempted to use trails for the more intense workouts - tempos/intervals - I tend to be a bit geeky about my splits for those things, so I find myself avoiding the trails for those.

    Good blog, btw! I've added you to my reads.



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