Even though my only thought as the biting wind whipped all about was, “This is SO dumb. Why am I DOING this?”, I braved it anyway and ran the 5k Saturday afternoon. My time was nothing stellar–right around 44:00. The frustrating part that the course and a few other things slowed me WAY down. I might have been able to shave minutes from my usual slow pace, but I’ll never know. I guess when it feels like it’s 5 degrees outside, your body is willing to go as fast as you want it to so the race is over sooner rather than later.
Things started off well enough until I realized we wouldn’t be running on the street. Once I navigated a narrow sidewalk and was able to take to the snow to pass a couple of herds of walkers [I’m not sure why walking four wide on a narrow sidewalk is necessary, but it appeared to be to most], I encountered a bridge. A snow covered, icy ridden bridge. I slipped a few times and had to slow to a walk to make it across without falling.
Once the bridge was crossed, I was still trying to dodge walkers and before long, the elite runners were heading toward us. An out-and-back course on a bike path isn’t really ideal. I ended up running down and embankment and running on the street that followed most of the bike path–easier and less frustrating.
The next obstacle was a busy-ish street intersection. Apparently, a miscommunication with the police meant that there were two units at an earlier intersection and none at this one. One runner described it as Frogger and that was quite accurate. I waited for a break in the traffic, raced across the street, slowed WAY down to make it through the icy path where the water station stood, and barely was up to speed again before it was time to cross the intersection. Then more dodging walkers and the bridge again.
I came across the finish line with plenty of gas left in the tank and that was frustrating too–I wonder how fast I could have finished if there had not been several obstacles.
The good news? I’d not run in several weeks and I still managed to do the entire 5k without stopping. It was FREEZING and I didn’t give up. The after race atmosphere was fun–beer, chocolate and hanging out with new found friends at the bar.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a few hours on a frigid Saturday afternoon.