The last time I ran this race was November 27, 2015. I ran it one month after running my BQ (PR) marathon at Steamtown and 1 week before my PR half marathon at Rehoboth. It was a great race where I PR'd my 5k with a 24:02.
2015 was such a
good, great year!!
The Jolly Holly is held the day after Thanksgiving at 6:00 at night right before the Christmas parade.
For Thanksgiving this year we had 11 of us at our house. It was fantastic! I really don't like cooking but as I get older I'm so so thankful that my kids, their SO, my parents and my son's girlfriend's family are able to join us. Everyone brought food, desserts and drinks to share. Laughter and love was plentiful.
The next day (which would be race day) I woke up with vertigo. I kept thinking it would go away. I have some strange reactions to food and alcohol. I did some research and found vertigo can be caused by allergies so I popped some Advil and Mucinex and hoped everything would clear up.
As the time to the race got closer the vertigo dissipated by my stomach was still really, really angry with me. I almost pulled the plug on going to the race because I felt so awful. I decided to go and just log the miles that were on my training plan.
I drove down to the start and picked up my bib and shirt and my friend's bib and shirt who was home sick. Did a little bit of jogging around. It was cold! Jogging around was the only way to stay warm!. The next thing I know I'm doing some accelerations. I said to myself "Looks like I'm racing this thing."
I lined up about 4 rows from the front. It's a small race. Many people were dressed in holiday outfits. I was right next to a dad in a Christmas sweater with 3 girls in Christmas tutus. They did a countdown and we were off. The course starts out in a park and does a quick steep climb in the first 1/4 of a mile. My calves thanked me for warming up because they would not have been happy with the steep grade if I hadn't. Since it was cold I was breathing through a buff to try to keep the air warm (so as not to set off my weird allergy attack from breathing in cold air while running.)
After the climb we head straight down the main street of town for about a mile. The road felt like it had the slightest of inclines and we were running into the wind. I got hot fast! I unzippered my jacket a bit and decided I wanted cool air to breathe more than I wanted to not have an allergy attack so I lowered the buff to my neck. I passed the Christmas sweater dad in the 1st mile. Mile 1 came in at an 8:01. Ugh. I thought that was really far off of my 2015 effort.
We made a U-turn and now flew back down the street. It was noticeably easier. The buff around my neck was making me too hot. I ripped that thing off and put it around my wrist. I thought "Well, now I'm committed to having no buff to warm my breathing." If you live with me and have seen an allergy attack you would've been telling me to put it back on.
A lady on the left side of the street yelled out my name. Awesome! Gave her a little wave. I passed by a slowing female. Yippee! The 2nd mile chimed in at 7:45.
By this time my stomach was absolutely killing me. I made a conscious decision to slow down because I was SO uncomfortable.
Mile 3 is special. The course makes a right and goes down a hill for one block where volunteers tell you to make a sudden left onto the sidewalk because the street at the bottom of the hill is open to traffic. So you are literally flying down the hill in race mode when you have to suddenly apply the brakes to make a left and jump up on a curb that has a HUGE hump in it. I managed to navigate the hill, curb and hump. In the next block the course makes a left to go back up the hill. At this point I know we race past the finish line and back to the park for a little out and back.
My mind was screaming, my stomach was rebelling and I thought for sure my left leg would be hurting in the morning.
Shut up and go!
Down the hill into the park I'm dying but I keep going. I catch one of the cute tutu girls and push past. It felt like we ran FOREVER to the turn around cone. Finally I see it. Now it's back through the park and up that little sadistic hill to the finish. A volunteer tells me I'm looking good. I'm thinking surely he's lying. Mile 3 comes in at 8:08.
I will my body up the hill and into the finisher's chute and stop my watch. I'm sure it will say a time of 24:30 or so. I'm disappointed. The volunteer reaches over very cautiously to grab my number. I think I must look like I'm close to puking.
I wander down the street to get my breath back and finally check my Garmin.
10 seconds off of my PR that I ran right after I qualified for Boston. Holy sh!t...
I ended up 5th female and 1st in my AG.
That night when I went to bed I laid down and immediately "ACHOO!" I kept sneezing for the next 48 hours, but it was worth it.