What REALLY happened at the Jingle Bell 5K Run….


December 10, 2013 by Ray Yanek

red stocking

A mental transcript chronicling the events leading up to and during the Red Stocking Jingle Bell 5K Run on Saturday, December 7th, 2013.

Two Weeks Previous:

A 5K run for the Red Stocking charity?  Only 20 bucks?  AND I get a nifty long sleeve t-shirt?  Oh yeah, sign me up.  It’s going down…

The Night Before…

Friday Dec. 6th 3:34:  Hmmm.  Race is tomorrow at 9 am.  Forecasted temperature is 10 degrees, one below if you count the wind chill.  Yeah right.  Time to drink beer and fake a hamstring injury…

Dec. 6th. 6:17 pm:  What’s that you say?  Will I partake in the quaffing of an imperial stout?  Why my good man, I would be honored!  ‘Imperial’ means, what again?

Dec. 6th 8:07 pm:  Maaaaan, I’ll run that 5k tomorrow.  Wind chill of one below?  Pffft.  I’ll run that shit  backwards.  Wearing ass-less chaps.  Hell yeah I’ll put that on Facebook. Tomorrow morning, you gonna be calling me “The Polar Express”, baby.

Morning of the Run

7:30 am:  I put what on Facebook?  Son-of-a—

8:15 amOkay, doesn’t look that cold out.  Windows only mildly frosted.  Wind chill still in the positive. Sun shining.  I’ll throw these jogging pants on, a hoodie, stocking cap.  Nice.  Feels good.  I’ll go start my car and come back in and a have nice cup of coffee.

8:15.45 amMore clothes.  More clothes.  A LOT more clothes.  Except a jock strap.  Definitely won’t need a jock strap.

8:45 am (At the starting line): Madre con Dios, it’s COLD!! And I look like that bundled up kid from A Christmas Story.  I can still fake a blown hammy, right?  There’s no shame in a blown hammy.

8:50 am:  Look at these people here.  Wearing all their hoity-toity running gear, prancing around like a bunch of hippy-ass reindeer… I know they’re looking at me.  Making fun of me. “Good Luck!” he says to me.  Yeah, your momma, Skippy.

8:52:Stay warm”?  What the hell’s that supposed to mean?  You making fun of my outfit?  What?    Oh, it’s on now.  I’ll see you and your Steve PreFontaine-looking ass out on the route.

8:59: Yeah, that’s right.  Polar Express about to leave the station.  Toot, toot, bitch!

The Run…

9:03 am: Oh God.  Shoot me.  Shoot me right f-ing now.

9:04 am:  No.  Fight through this. Just keep a nice, easy pace.  It’s cold but lungs aren’t burning yet.  And there’s an ambulance here.  A nice, warm ambulance.  Maybe they have hot chocolate and sweet, sweet oxygen… No! Stay focused, damn it!

9:06 am:  WTF?? Seriously?  You want me to run up that?  What kind of sadistic bastard puts a viaduct in the middle of a 5K race course?  What am I running in? The f-ing Hunger Games?

9:08 am:  At the top. Finally.  Oh god. The air. It burns… HEY, LADY! I’m not hyperventilating! I just ran up a mountain! QUIT FOLLOWING ME WITH THAT PAPER BAG!

9:08.30 am: No one’s following me.  I’m all alone out here.  Just me and the caribou and… No wait.  There’s no caribou.  They won’t even come out in this God forsaken wasteland.  Mind playing tricks on me.

9:15 am: Ouch. Son-of-a-bitch.  Ouch.  Ow.  Shit.  Was that my patella that just fell out of my pants?

9:16 am: Mustache. Frozen. I hope that’s not snot. I’M A PONY!  A PRETTY, PRETTY PONY!

9:16:30 am:  Shut up mind!  You’re getting plenty of oxygen.  Greedy bastard…

9:17 am:  WTF?? Seriously?  You want me to run up that? Again?  Who puts a damn viaduct in the middle of a 5K race course? 


9:25 am: Breathing.  Hard.  Sunglasses.  Fogging.  Can’t take them off. Don’t want people to see me crying. . .

9:27 am: Hey, that’s the end.  Right there.  Holy shit, maybe I can make it.  Second wind—no, no—the arctic wind.  i am one with the arctic wind.  It will lift me and carry me forth…  

9:28 am: Oh that’s bullshit!  I saw that guy push the finish line back…

9:29 am: HA!  I finished!  IN YOUR FACE! Who da man?  Who da man?  And where’s my damn t-shirt? And the ambulance?  Come on, quit hiding the ambulance…I think I blew a hammy…

Okay, so I may have taken a little bit of a dramatic license (or maybe not…), but as you can perhaps tell by the abysmal time I posted, this was my first 5K run in a while.

But I’m glad I got back out there, even if it really was bitterly cold.  It felt good and I had a lot of fun—almost as much fun as I had writing this.

So thanks for indulging me and giving this a read.  Stay warm!


14 thoughts on “What REALLY happened at the Jingle Bell 5K Run….

  1. Shawn Hudachko says:

    Cracked. Me. Up. Seriously. I’m sitting in a recruiting station in Palo Alto, CA in my uniform about to debrief a young Marine on his day and i’m dying laughing….moved the finish line….awesome. Thanks for this.

  2. jenbr323 says:

    Two words…



  3. This is hilarious. it sounds similar to how I prepared for my last 5K…I thought I couldn’t run the race because of a technicality, so I pulled an all-nighter and ran a mile before the race even started…

    • Ray Yanek says:

      Wow! I can imagine the thoughts that were going through your head through that one. Bet you felt pretty good about the whole thing when it was all over though, huh?

      • Yeah, I was seriously questioning my sanity the entire time. I was happy to finish though! A 5K is a nice distance because even the horribly unprepared can finish without injury.

      • Ray Yanek says:

        It is a good distance. And when it’s not below zero out it gives me almost the exact right amount of time to put on some headphones, put the body on autopilot, and just let the mind go.

        That’s my zen thought for the day…

  4. Jim says:

    Great Ray! This is the real you. STOUT🍺

  5. P Liegl says:


    5K Run (H—!) I thought it was a 5K Walk. Finished in under an hour and was positively exultant
    that I had completed it!!!!
    I was last across the line and still took second place in my age group (no comments from you
    young punks—–.)

    Wait until next year, snow, sleet, wind chill ….

  6. […] was my first outside run in awhile. (Minus the mid-winter disaster that was the Jingle Bell run that you can read about by clicking this… I did a little over 3 miles and threw in a couple of wicked hills.  I was feeling it, let me tell […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,407 other followers

%d bloggers like this: