Yesterday Michael and I woke up to a beautiful morning. Snow was falling, it was just starting to get light out, it was a very peaceful time of day. The weather-people had said a cold front was moving in and the high would be 16 degrees. Which would be perfect (kind of) for the Jingle Bell 5k. The run started at 10:15 so there was plenty of time to warm up to that balmy 16. But we turned on the TV and saw that it was only 4 degrees. And with the wind chill? Yep, feels like -21. What? No, no, no....it's supposed to be a toasty warm 16, not 4. And certainly not -21. I mean, this is Denver, not CANADA!!!
So I texted StevieP Coach Extraordinaire to get his take on the day. Silly me, he pretty much summed it up by saying that my competition probably was already outside and didn't think it was that cold. Grrrrrrrr. Wait, no Brrrrrrrr. I headed upstairs and took out every single piece of warm clothing that I owned to figure out exactly how I was going to dress for an hour warm-up and then a 5k race. I decided on fleece: tights, long bra, inner shirt, outer shirt, overshirt, coat etc. And handwarmers and toewarmers. Gloves, mittens.
The sun came out as I pulled into the parking lot.....it really was gorgeous out. I just didn't look at my temperature gauge that kept flirting with 0. Steve, Sonja, Tyler, Rob and Christy were all there too so we left to "warm-up". Ha.
I was hoping that I would PR this race and get a good qualifying time for a decent Bolder Boulder wave in May. But with the snow pack, cold temps, and Yak Trax it didn't look like it would be the day. After warming up, I stripped down to just one pair of tights, took off my fleece coat, and put on my wind vest. Then (after consulting with PIC Son of course) I put my Yak Trax (LOVE these things) over my racing flats because it just seemed kind of bad-ass!!! We lined up and off we went.
I was off pretty fast even though I knew I was supposed to descend my miles. But it was cold and I just wanted to get back in the warm car!! I thought I should back off a bit and started to but then a girl pulled up right next to me - as in touching my elbow - and so I went with her. And then dropped her. I checked my watch at mile 1 and saw a 7:18. Hmmm. A bit fast but my breathing felt good and I just tried to keep my pace. In the distance I saw the bogie girl Steve told me to keep up with (white coat) and another girl (blue coat) who flew off at the start. It actually looked like I was gaining on them - slowly. At 1.5 miles, I heard some jingling behind me (we were given bells to wear!) as someone was going to pass. I saw red shoes - it was Boo Yah Tyler! Man he looked good - strong, steady, and in complete control of his game. I wanted to hang with him but that didn't seem to be an option for me. He did, however, pull me closer to blue coat girl. I pulled up on her shoulder and then she pulled away. Darn it. Unsuccessful pass. I tried it again. Nope not this time either. We played cat and mouse like this until the final turn. In the meantime, we passed bogie white coat! As blue coat and I made the last turn to the final stretch I could see the finish banner and picked it up. I finally passed blue coat!!
My time? 22:37. Yee Haw and a big Boo Yah - a new 5k PR!! And this after running 12 miles on Saturday. After putting on warm clothes we headed back to the finish line because Sonja had placed 2nd. But then the WEIRDEST thing happened. I heard my name on the loud speaker....I was 4th woman overall!!! In a running race!!!! I am just very excited - what a great morning!
Me and Sonja drinking hot tea at the finish and trying to stay warm!
Is that not the coolest 4th place medal you've ever seen? Oh and that is a snowflake on my check, not frostbite!
On a side note, I didn't actually descend my miles. I, in fact, ascended each mile. The first one was actually 7:05. Whoops. But I held on and will take a PR any day of the week. Bolder Boulder here I come!!