This morning started early – 6:30 am, to be exact. The alarm, er, cell phone went off, and I fumbled to make the infernal noise stop before I snuggled deeper into the covers, wondering why the hell I thought this was a good idea. The me of a year ago would never have dreamed that my activity of choice on a Saturday morning would be anything other than sleeping in late, drowning 14 cups of coffee to combat the aching in my hungover body. But, such is life – now I eat 5ks for breakfast.
I finally threw off the covers, still seriously considering not running the race. But, race or not, I had a whiny dog who needed to use the facilities, if you catch my drift. So, up I was. And while I was up, I might as well make some coffee, too, right? I groggily struggled, step by step, to ready myself, climbed into the car for the 2 hour drive with Ian at the wheel, and still wondered if it was too late to back out. It was only $10. I could take that hit.
As soon as we reached the main road, the sky loomed, bright pink, purple, and blue. Okay, I thought. This is pretty awesome. I mean, if I hadn’t gotten up, I would have missed this, and let’s be honest – I really do want to run today.
I picked up my bib, pinned it on as well as I could with frozen fingers. Okay, now what do I do? We’ve still got 30 minutes before race time. I guess I’ll just stand here by the fire the race organizers so generously made, and shift around, looking awkward and cold. Sounds good to me. Can we just start this already?
Within 5 minutes of the start, I’m questioning my sanity again. There’s deep snow everywhere on the unplowed path, and then all of the sudden, we leave the path to trudge through grass covered with 4 inches of snow. I’m going to snap an ankle for sure, I thought. And there goes the Flying Pig. Pass the first mile marker. Man, I really should have peed before we started. Damn. 1 1/4 miles in, and I enter the so-called “Woods of Death.” I’ll take the snow-covered grass again, please. This sucks. I really am going to break something, and then I’ll be pissed, I said to myself. So I walked. The runner behind me agreed, so we became instant runner-friends and decided to walk the quarter mile or so out of the deathly woods.
Heather and I trudge through more snow/grass, commiserating about our not trail-ready limbs. We got so chatty that we got lost. Oops. Our respective significant others, who apparently found spectator-friendship (whoda thunk?!), laugh at us and tell us we’re doing great. Back on track to pass the 2nd mile marker – just one more loop and we’re done, we can do this! But maybe we should just cut this one short, it’s really just not our day. Maybe we could go get a beer, even! Nah, we’ve come this far, we might as well just finish it. But it’s a damn good thing this is not our first race, otherwise we might say “to hell with it!” and never do it again.
Ultimately, the Fantastic Frigid 5k, put on by the Columbus Running Company was aptly named. Despite frigid temps, rugged terrain, and a small route snafu, I had a blast! Of course, I have to say a big thank you to Heather, my running-friend, and of course, Ian, the best fiance in the world, who stood around in 25* weather to proudly cheer on his even-slower-than-usual fiancee to frigid 5k success!
I might truly be insane, but there’s another one in 2 weeks.
I think I’m gonna do it.