The Atlanta Jingle Bell Jog 5K came 10 days after the Turkey Trot 10K! I managed to PR even though my main focus was to have fun. Can you think of a more beautiful sight than 100s of Santa Clauses running the streets of Atlanta? Yes, you probably can but I bet it won’t make you smile or chuckle like we did running a 5K. I saw a lot of dog walkers and people out brunching pull out their cameras when they saw us coming!

5k race
100s of running Santa’s


Participants received a Santa suit, beard, hat and jingle bells for our shoes. I wore the Santa top and hat and my favorite Target leggings. I loved that the announcer called out runners who didn’t dress up (all in good fun). DO NOT be that runner that doesn’t wear the Santa swag!

5k race
Excited about the PR

The race started and ended at Piedmont Park. We ran down Piedmont Ave and 10th Ave, which are pretty flat. The rest of the race was in Piedmont Park so it was a calm vibe and I’m sure the people at the park had a good time watching us. I didn’t see a location that had results but they did post them later online. They only listed gun time, I don’t know how I feel about that. It took abut 1.5 minutes for me to get to the start line once the “gun” went off.

postrace fuel
Look at this post-race spread offered to participants!


After the start of the race, I found a gal I wanted to keep pace with. I chose her because she was fast and kept looking at her watch so I assumed she was intentionally keeping a good pace. At mile 2, she stopped! I don’t know why but I never looked back and never saw her again. I was “on my own” for the rest of the race.  I did not look at my Garmin during the race. I focused on form, breathing, and mantras (that didn’t seem to work). I felt tired and like I was working hard. The urge to walk was fierce.


After going through the finish line and looking at my splits, it made sense why I felt like I was working hard! 9:11 is my fast pace when I train. The only other time I hit 8+ minute miles was in the Big Peach Sizzler 10K. I still consider myself a newbie. I’m learning what it feels like to run at race pace. I’m still working on the mental aspect. I need to get over the metal hurdle of looking at my watch. I was worried that if the pace was fast, I would get tired. On the other hand, I worried that if I looked and it was a slow pace, I would feel defeated.

  1. 9:11 pace
  2. 8:10 pace
  3. 8:28 pace (I was hurting and almost walked a few times)
  4. 7:01 pace


  • Gun time 28:06; 4th in my age group (I believe there were over 100 ladies in my group)
  • Garmin time 26:39
5k medal
Another medal earned.

With this race under my Santa belt, I learned a few things. I have a few weeks to work on them before my next 5K on January 1. In the meantime, half marathon training is in effect so I’m off to a good start!

Have you unintentionally PR’d during a fun run?

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