I feel like I haven’t written about my races as frequently as I used to. It’s all for good reasons though! I’m enjoying living in Boulder SO much. Our neighbors are so awesome. Food trucks every Friday during the Summer and we recently had an “ugly Christmas sweater” party get together that was a blast! The winner of the ugliest sweater got a home made trophy constructed with barbie in an ugly sweater and a plaque with some congratulatory phrase.
Here’s another example of how great our neighborhood/neighbors are: Matt and I like to make really funny names for our wifi network. So far, we’ve had “ShaquitaHoodRat” and “MichaelJordan”. Mostly just to give people a laugh when they’re looking for a network. Well, yesterday we noticed our neighbors hopped into the game with a new network name of “Fairy Pimps of Tiny Town”. After laughing (a lot), we realized we need to step our game up.
Alrighty, I guess I should provide some running updates!
On December 6th, I ended up running the Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk for Arthritis in Fort Collins, CO. I realize during this cycle of 5k training that I pretty much picked the most difficult time of year to find a fast course (ya, hello! It’s December, what did I expect?!), but I am far too competitive to avoid racing (or any chance for improvement). I went into this cycle of training knowing that a PR wasn’t likely, but that the workouts would provide benefit for next Spring’s races and a new set of PR’s.
With that said, the 5k in Fort Collins was a LOT of fun. I was probably the only one not decked out in Christmas gear from head to toe.
There was also a group of 13 runners, 12 of which dressed like reindeer, while the 13th member was santa in a sleigh. It was so great.
I did my warm-up and was really struggling to decide what to wear. It was cloudy and cold, but I didn’t want to dress too warm b/c I know I would warm up quickly after the start. I settled on my Runners Roost tank and Matt’s arm warmers (they’re a tad large on me, but It’s better than being cold)!
Off we went, and the first thing I heard was a group of little cheerleaders yelling “Yeah! Go girl in the pink tank top!” (I sort of stood out because everyone else was decked out like a blizzard was approaching – I have living in Chicago to thank for that). The first mile flew by in 6:36 (to be exact). Mile 2(6:57) and 3(6:56) were quite windy. I was holding the lead so far.
As we neared the finish, the course spit us out into an oval shaped road for the “final lap”. I had flashbacks of the Bolder Boulder race. I was running very low on… well, anything. I dug as deep as I could to drop the pace even further. One girl passed me at mile 3. She was on fire. Although I was a bit defeated, I needed that. It’s fuel to the flame. Who would have thought that one year ago I would go from having a goal of finishing a race, to having a goal of winning a race?! Not this gal. Quite a jump. It’s funny because some people may think I’m “obsessed” or just “crazy” for being so wrapped up in racing, but to me, it makes me feel alive. The sound of my heart pounding, the wind flowing through my hair, and my lungs feeling like they’re going to burst… I thrive off of those feelings. I know I often compare this to my experience in swimming, but that’s hard to do sometimes because running is so different. Always pushing your body to a new limit is a very eye-opening, yet humbling experience. Humbling because it reminds me that there are people out there with a lot more on their plate doing the same thing I am (or even more). Eye-opening because just when I think I cannot possibly do one more 400 on the track, I do.
I ended up finishing the race with a time of 20:47. Not a PR, but still a good race with the given conditions.
Fast forward one week and you’ll find me at yet another Jingle Bell 5k (hence the title of this post). I’ll keep this write up short, because what I thought was going to be a road race was not. I am not disappointed, I just needed to adjust my goal from a time goal, to a place goal at mile 0.75 when we hoped onto the hilly, winding, loosely covered dirt path.
I ended up finishing 3rd overall female in this race with 1st in my age group- I was very happy, but still hungry for more :-). I’m extending this cycle by one week to make up for this mishap of running a trail race instead of a road one. I think these legs still have some speed in them that wants to be let loose ;-).
In other news, is my nephew not the cutest little munchkin EVER?!