Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter running often means lots of snow


So two things happened on Saturday. First it started snowing sometime overnight and by my 6:30 a.m. alarm, there were several inches on the ground and it was still coming down. The second thing that happened was that my mom  ran her first 5k ever. Her race started an hour and a half later and about 2 miles south of my 8 mile run, so I made the executive decision to sleep in, go and cheer her on and then do my 8 miles later (hopefully when the snow had stopped and magically melted because the temperature went up to 45).

I did do those 8 miles with only a little snow falling (and all the snow still on the ground that had previously fallen and in about 30 degree temperatures - so much for Christmas magic) with Mr. H.'s help. Again, I wasn't able to hold to a 10 minute pace, but with all that snow on the ground, I'm not beating myself up too much about it. We ran  down to the lake and back, and getting down there was interesting as I had to change my running stride depending on if the sidewalk was shoveled or not. Once we got to the lake it was great because the whole inner path is kept clear. But then of course we had to run the last two miles back through the un-shoveledness and slush and what not that is Chicago sidewalks in winter. In the end, it was worth it to get out there and do my miles and I am ever thankful for Mr. H. for going with me.
That's mom with the red gloves.
That' s me in the big coat. I did not run the whole race.
Just the last little bit to help cheer her on.

Of course, the real news of the day is that my mom completed her first 5k race (the Jingle Bell 5k) AND she placed 3rd in her age group. The race started near the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on the inner gravel path and it wasn't at all shoveled. So not only did she complete her first 5k race, she did it through ankle deep snow. As we waited at the finish line for her to come in, it was funny hearing the fast runners come in complaining about their 22 minute 5k times - the snow having slowed them down by almost 5 minutes (not that it made them wear anymore clothes as they all had shorts and short sleeves on).

The end of the course went past the finish line and looped back (which just sucks as a runner, but is great for spectators), so I was able to hop in and run the last half mile with her. I looked pretty silly with my big winter coat and snow boots, but it was great giving her support and assuring her that you are supposed to feel like you're going to throw up when you race - that's how you know you've left it all out on the course. And she certainly did. I'm now trying to talk her into a New Year's Day 5k.

Real Santa does not run 5ks. He doesn't need to.
To top off the morning, Baby H. got to visit Santa after the race. Actually he got to see several Santa's as there were quite a few people dressed as Santa running the race. He did ask if that was the 'real Santa' and I had to tell him no, those were just some fools dressed as Santa running through ankle deep snow in the freezing cold. The 'real Santa' was in the museum after the race and he was a much more befitting Santa. Plus, he had Mrs. Claus with him. Baby H. was a bit shy at first, saying he didn't want to meet Santa right then "maybe later." But after a quick talk from Mrs. Claus (and a candy cane and a Rudolph nose) he decided he better take this opportunity lest he not receive those Legos he wants.

Another week of training down. I've been running on the treadmill for my midweek runs. It is torture, but worth it not to be outside. Next Saturday's weather forecast: Intermittent freezing drizzle in the morning will evolve to a wintry mix in the afternoon. Temps nearly steady in the low to mid 30s. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precip 70%.......lovely.

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