We did manage to leave the warmth of the pickup long enough to go for a 1 mile shuffle to loosen up the muscles but I felt like my feet were gonna fall off and my sinuses decided to go into outflow overload, ewwwww. Since the Valentine's Day 5k was split up into four heats this year (male masters, female masters, female open, and male open) the start line was MUCH less crowded than in years past--I also think the brutal cold and winds kept a lot of people home. I'm not sure how I feel about the division but I will admit that not getting kicked or accidentally kicking people was a very nice change from the previous time I'd ran this 5k. There was no guessing about who in front of you was in your age group, you KNEW that everyone there was female and in the masters class.
The actual race? Despite my lack of speed and saying I wasn't "racing" I did the first mile a wee bit too fast, 7:58 if I remember correctly from the garmin data afterwards but darn it, I was cold and wanted it over with already. The problem with jackrabbiting is that the remaining 2 miles feel incredibly, interminably slow. Then comes mile 2 and I'm feeling nauseous--which is my gauge of knowing I'm racing a 5k right--and I start burning up. Oh yeah, frigid air, extreme exertion, burning lungs, and sweat..........either the best combination ever or the worst depending on what day you ask me, lol. Mile 2.5 and my damn stomach starts cramping again--this is simply me pushing my body at a pace I'm no longer used to hitting and why I need to start doing speed work. The temptation is strong to look at my garmin (I try never to look at it in a short distance race) and walk but I keep pushing on at a slightly lower level of exertion.
Even with that I wasn't expecting an age group award but because quite a few of the faster women stayed home I managed to snag 2nd place in the 40-44 women's division, 11th place overall in the masters.
Gotta send a huge shout-out to my friends, quite a few of them ended up with personal records despite the conditions. Well done!!!!!!! Shoot, it's well done for us to have gotten up and driven that far for a 5k in below freezing temps but to combine it with your faster time ever? Amazing stuff, proud of everyone.
Patti & me (isn't she adorable?!?!)
On a more serious note, Saturday, February the 11th was also the Virtual Run for Sherry. I'd heard about this from twitter and then our running club president posted up a link to it on facebook. Several of us wore our Running For Sherry bibs during the 5k and even more of our running club wore them on their runs that day. I encourage you to go read about what happened and while it's too late to participate in the virtual run, you can still have a thought in remembrance on your next run (or next several). Please leave a note of encouragement and if possible donate to the fund that's been set up for her children.