Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jingle Bell Hell Virtual Run Recap

Today Mike and I ran 8.7 miles for the Jingle Bell Hell Run put on by XLMIC at Taking It On.

Image borrowed from Jess

The local run that XLMIC was participating in was a 1/3 Marathon, which is where we got 8.7 miles from, and the virtual run had a few rules to follow. It had to be at least 5K in length, it had to be a challenging course and we had to laugh at least once. I would say that we successfully completed all three of those rules!

When I first signed up for the Jingle Bell Hell Run I was still recovering from my injury and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to run the 1/3 Marathon. I also wasn't sure how hilly the course was going to be able to be since it seemed as if my injuries were triggered by our extremely hilly half marathon in October.

Since I have seemed to recover, keep your fingers crossed, Mike and I decided to give it our all. Mike found a 10K run that someone mapped online and we used this as a guide for our Hell run.


We decided to do our run at Mendon Ponds Park. We are running a 7.5 mile race there on New Year's day and we have heard that it is pretty hilly so we decided to give it a try today! Plus, Mendon Ponds holds a special place in our hearts since we did some of our engagement photos there and we hadn't been back until today.

It did not look like that photo today. It was about 25 degrees outside, but luckily it wasn't snowing. When we got there we decided to drive the course that Mike had found and realized that part of the road was blocked off. We figured out a way to add on the extra 2 miles or so that we needed and then got going.

I wasn't really sure what to expect since my longest consecutive run in the last month or so was just a little under 4 miles. We quickly realized that we were way under 10:00 minute per mile pace. We slowed down a little bit and continued to hit under 10:00 minute pace! We had a good laugh when we were around 9:10 pace when we started the third mile. Mike also made fun of me around this time because my stomach was making funny noises!

One thing we knew was that mile 4-5 was going to be tough, maybe even quite hellish, but we didn't expect it to be a hill in the park that killed us. We still managed to get under 10:00 minute pace but I definitely slowed down to a crawl.

We had to run one portion of the course twice, in order to add mileage, and I was definitely starting to get tired but I kept pushing. Each mile we were under 10:00 minute pace got me closer to the finish!

Once we had .7 miles left I knew I was going to make it. We ended up finishing in 1:24.51!


Lap 1 - 9:43 pace
Lap 2 - 9:52 pace
Lap 3 - 9:30 pace
Lap 4 - 9:56 pace
Lap 5 - 9:36 pace
Lap 6 -9:36 pace
Lap 7 - 10:03 pace
Lap 8 - 9:34 pace
Lap 9 (.7) - 10:00 pace

Total Time: 1:24.51
Average Pace: 9:45 minutes per mile

I'm thrilled with those paces! Our 10K time ended up being exactly 1:00, that's my fastest unofficial 10K time ever! Even with all of the hills we held paces that I haven't been able to hold during long runs consistently. I think that I'm a winter running lover!

When we finished Mike looked at my face and laughed because I had so much salt on it. We didn't bring any fuel or hydration with us and I definitely looked like a salty mess.

To recap:

Distance - 8.7 miles (1/3 Marathon)
Course - Definitely challenging (miles 4-5 specifically)!
Laughter - multiple instances
Fun - Oh hell yes!

Thank you so much XLMIC for putting this virtual run on for us and giving me the opportunity to challenge myself and get a good long run in again!

Have you ever participated in a virtual run/race? Do you get just as excited about those as regular races?


  1. Congrats! I've never even heard of them before, but it sounds interesting.

  2. Doing a virtual race with a friend is definitely more fun than doing it all by your lonesome. Thanks so much for doing it! I am so glad you had a GREAT and hellish run... that is the BEST!

  3. I did my own JBH (5K) today. This is my first virtual race. I definitely enjoy regular ones more, but maybe it had to do with my general state of mind today and the hellish course I picked. But I didn't have anyone running with me so maybe that is the difference.

  4. I have not done a virtual race before. But I don't have someone to run with, so a virtual race probably won't be as fun for me.

    Oh and I heard great things about Mendon. I go to Rochester often cause my bf's mom lives there and she always raves about the great trails at Mendon.

  5. I've joined several virtual races this year and oddly enough yes I get excited about them. Not exactly like a real race but still in a fun way. And the virtual races are a fun way to break up training. Great pace!

    My JBH recap
    [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

  6. Virtual races are so fun - this is my first year doing them as well - definitely not the same as an actual race - but fun to incorporate them into the weekly miles.

    Congrats on a great run!

  7. My first virtual race will be with you and Mike next week and I am looking forward to doing it with the both of you!! I will let you know what I think of it...I am sure we will have some good laughs!!
    Great time on today's race!!!

  8. Great run! I'm so envious that you have a hubby that runs with you. So neat. Love that pix of you two in the park. It was 24 degrees this morning at the start of our Jingle Bell Hell... but I got 18 women to come out and run it with me - so it was awesome!