After a night of holiday partying at my company event, I got up early on Sunday morning for the Run with Santa 5k. I did the race last year and enjoyed the course. I like ending and beginning the year with some shorter races so 5ks are perfect. The forecast was much less perfect than the distance. It was calling for snow. We got over to the race site early and waited in the warmth of the car for a little bit. As we decided to leave the parking garage the snow started.
Boy was it coming down. We headed from the parking garage to the ice rink rental area. This is an indoor area with benches. We hung out inside for a while and waited until the last minute to hit the bathrooms. Then we headed out into the snow. There were a lot of people hanging out near the finish line. The road for the start was still open so people waited a while to make their way to the start line.
I headed to another parking garage to warm up my muscles. I figured I might as well stay dry during my warm up running. I ran back and forth in the parking garage until I felt ready. I headed outside about 10 minutes before the race to make sure I could get a lock on a satellite. I slowly made my way over to the start line. Luckily there were no fences preventing me and my buddy from staying right next to each other so he waited with me at the start. I gave him my jacket about 1 minute before the race actually started.
The snow was heavy and steady. It was the first time I had run a race in the snow. The start was horribly slow. I didn't have to worry about starting too fast because the people around me weren't going to allow that to happen. I started passing people as quickly as I could and picked up my pace. On the first road the snow was driving straight into my face. I tried not to let it bother me though. I knew I would be turning soon. As I made my way around the first couple of turns the snow stopped being in my face but it was definitely covering the roads at that point.
I took it easy and was careful to place my foot with each step. I didn't want to fall….or slip…and get hurt. I ran deliberately slow even though I felt like my lungs could have handled a much faster pace. There was a nice long downhill where I had a chance to see my buddy.
After passing him there were small rolling hills followed by another nice downhill. There were so many volunteers and police officers out protecting and directing us. I really appreciated that they took the time to come out in such terrible conditions. At least I was staying warm by running.
Around 2nd mile marker I realized that my legs were really tired….all the deliberate steps were getting to me and I was doing everything I could to keep from sliding around. I slowed down quite a bit. And then I hit the hills. Who puts uphills at the end of a race? It made for a pretty big challenge. I fought through the final steep hill and made the last turn onto the final stretch.
I saw my buddy but just didn't have the strength to wave….or do anything really. I had a sudden burst of energy at the very end. I passed a few people.
And for the record…..I beat the old lady. She crossed before me but my chip time was better. Yay for me…I can beat her at short distances.