We postponed the Jingle Bell Hell run on Saturday morning, and I can't say I was disappointed. However, come Sunday, the rain had come to an end and I was anxious to get outside and "run it out". Running always help me release tension, physically and emotionally. Like everyone, I had CT on my mind. (See here for a new virtual race honoring the victims of Sandy Hook)
The theory behind the Jingle Bell Hell is to map a hilly course (hell) and challenge yourself. I used the same course as last year, weaving within the hill-packed Springdale Cemetery and circling through the Glen Oak Zoo. I'm always surprised how many friends join me in this challenge, but the 2nd annual Jingle Bell Hell run in Peoria had a strong turnout once again. We lost a lot of people with the date change (rainout), but picked up a few too.
For those wanting two loops of hell (equally a 1/3 marathon), we started at 7:00am. A second group started 45 minutes later and completed one loop (4.5 miles). The objective was to all finish relatively at the same time so we could celebrate our feat together... with hot cocoa and Christmas cookies!
|JBH Aid Station!|
I started with the early group with hopes of doing two loops, but honestly, I wasn't sure how far I would be able to manage. My head cold made it difficult to breathe normally, and the day before I got a wonky feeling in my right knee out of nowhere. So I took the run easy, walked up a couple hills that I usually would run. I slowed down my pace and just enjoyed the morning chatting with my fellow Sole Sisters. The knee seemed to work itself out, so I did continue on for a second loop. We ended up with 9.2 miles, slightly over the 1/3 marathon mark. It was a great run morning with special friends!