A few people from work decided to run the annual Jingle Bell Run in Port Orchard as a group, so I joined in. I figured any time around 18 minutes would be very good, considering I've done no training for any kind of tempo.
It was a relatively nice morning, a little drippy and cool but nothing extreme. I parked at SKHS, anticipating a big crowd downtown, and jogged a mile to the start line. Met up with co-workers and milled around with some other friends I found, checked in, warmed up another mile. I thought the race was a 1 p.m. start, so I was ready to go. But they held everything after the kids' race, and waited until 1:30. Oh well. Tucked into the second row, smaller field than I expected.
I let the high school kids scream out ahead, made the start comfortable. By a mile in I was about 5/6 place, and working a good comfortable pace. I more or less held the position and held the pace the entire race. I never felt like I was falling apart, but the extra gear clearly is not there right now. It's a very flat out-and-back course, so it's simple in the mind and as I returned I was ejoying cheering and giving high fives to people on their way out. Cruised in a few seconds behind the fourth-place finisher.
So it was an excellent day for having not raced for so long, and great for the confidence to know I'm not too out of shape. And nothing hurt, which was a real success and makes me feel good.
Stood around for a bit cheering the Girls on the Run kids, then jogged back uphill to SKHS.