Mother Nature is a bipolar bitch. Just sayin'.
Anyway, last Saturday I ran a Santa 5k. Makes sense, right? Christmas, holidays, Santa. I'm a total Scrooge, by the way, I hate holidays. I'm not entirely certain why, though, because I love shopping for people (and I, of course, use the holidays as an excuse to shop for myself), and I love holiday food (without meat), and love spending time with my people.. but I just do not like the entire holiday concept. Maybe it's that I guess I simply don't understand why we need a holiday to do these things. Spend time with me, shop for me, and make me pumpkin pie any damn day. For serious.
Back to the Santa 5k. I ran this one with Jen and it was cold. I like the cold. But this was cold. It was a whole 1° when we started. I think it may have been 4° when we finished. And it sucked. And not like a "omg that sucked! But I'm so totally glad I did it!" sucked, either. It straight up fucking sucked. I felt exhausted, I felt sick, I think my spit was freezing in my throat - in fact I'm sure it was, because I started coughing after the finish line and I'm pretty sure I hacked up ice shards. I had cramps (yeah, you know what kind) and to put it bluntly, often when you run with PMS cramps, it's difficult to tell whether they're really cramps or the beginning of the dreaded runner's trots. There. There's your daily T.M.I. You're welcome.
It was so cold my fingers froze in my gloves, and my feet froze in my shoes.. but only until the numbness set in. Have you ever tried running when you couldn't feel your toes? My face was cold, and solidified my decision to purchase a balaclava. That said, every balaclava I've seen is so hideously ugly, that even though I may wind up with nose frostbite, my pride still won't allow me to wear one. So instead, I'm on the hunt for a neck gaiter and found some I really like. This means, if you're reading this post and now are thinking to yourself, "ahha! That's what I'll get Chelly for Xmas!!" make a note that the ENEKO and the KASHSKULL are where it's at. I'll give you my mailing address, and if you need more ideas, I'll give you those too. Again, just sayin'.
Back to the cold, cruel race. My brain was telling me to move my ass because I was going to freeze if I didn't, but my ass wasn't listening. My legs felt like lead, thanks to the dead weight of frozen muscle tissue. My eyes burned and teared up, even behind my sunglasses that kept fogging up because I had the audacity to breathe air warmer than that outside. We started towards the back of the pack of the 30 runners that braved this race (a 10k was offered too, but I'm really glad we didn't choose it), and it felt (and looked to us) that we were at the very end. We weren't. I crossed the finish at 33:29, dropping me in 2nd place for my age group.Wouldn't you know, I finally place, and they aren't offering bling. They did give Santa statues to the winners, but my name was confused with another and, yeah. The 4th place girl was announced at 2nd. I didn't realize it until after, and honestly it wasn't important to me to go back because as I said, no bling!
No bling aside, this race was pretty well done. They had donuts and oatmeal cookies and all sorts of goodies afterwards, and you know me, when I run it's all about the food. They had drawings afterwards, and Santa, an accordion player - which I must say was pretty damn cool. The race folks get my frostbitten two thumbs up.
But Mother Nature? We gotta talk.
There was ice and snow on the trail, and after the road rash, I must confess I'm a bit phobic about falling on that knee again.
But we made it, and we survived, and I got 2nd place in my age group bragging rights. And although I hated every step of this race, I am glad I did it, because I do believe that much of running races is about teaching your body how to adapt to things that suck. And this, sucked. Hear that, body? Lesson learned.