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It was a dark and stormy night. Wait, this isn't a murder mystery. It's a 5K.
It was a raining, snowing, sleeting, 36-degree morning in Londonderry, NH. Perfect. That sounds much more like a 5K-race set up. Eye roll. Good thing I found my long lost waterproof jacket last night. I definitely needed it today.
I carpooled the hour and some change ride to the Stonyfield Earth Day 5K in Londonderry, NH with two people from our group and we got there around 8am. Race time was 10am. It was 36-degrees. We got our race numbers, grabbed a free yogurt and ran back to sit in the car and keep warm. Since we had gotten there so early, we were parked right next to the registration tent and all of the vendor tents. We watched the vendors set up their giveaways and chatted about the best types of sneakers to wear, how people run barefoot (and how strange it is) and sneakers that have toes on them to mimic barefoot running. Interesting stuff.
I had my eye on the pretzel lady because she parked next to us and looked to be unloading some fancy stuff out of her car. I took a break from staring her down and conversed with my comrades. All of a sudden, I see people milling around her tent, holding BAGS. I’m not exactly sure what happened next, but there was yelling, rushing, and clambering out of the car. I don’t mess around when it comes to free stuff. We each got a bag and then walked around to the other tents to check out what they had. We filled up our new pretzel bags with lots of other cool free stuff.
Then it was back to the car again to keep warm. Because it was still 36-degrees. By this time, we realized there was snow mixed in with the sleet. Awesome.
About 15 minutes before race time, we used the stylish port-o-potties and headed over to the start line. I spotted a guy warming up near the start line and he was barefoot. Weird, we had just been discussing that. Also, he was crazy. It was 36-god-damn-degrees. My feet were cold and I had wool socks on. I tried to pay attention to the announcer, but I was a little to far away from the line to really hear him well. This was my view:
As we kind of stretched, kind of danced around to keep warm, a woman came up next to me and asked me if I was running or walking. I responded, "I don't know yet. I guess we'll find out". We then compared Garmin watches. She had on the 205 and I had the 305.
Let’s backtrack. About a week ago, I was looking for a GPS/heart-rate monitor watch to help me keep track of my running activities. I figure I need to see how I’m doing in order to keep getting better. I discovered the Garmin Forerunner 305. It was way too expensive for my paycheck, but after looking around for cheaper models, I found the 305 on amazon for $128. Almost $275 cheaper than what it retails for on the Garmin site. Sold.
As I'm chatting with this woman about our watches, I glance down and see her shoes. They have toes. I'm floored that not only was this the second thing for us to see that we had been talking about, but that she was actually wearing them! They look like slippers. Weird, toe slippers. But I'm not gonna lie. I'm curious
In the distance I hear, "GO". Everyone lurches forward, then stops. Then we all lurch forward again, but this time it's for real. I’m in the middle of a big crowd and I have no choice but to start off running, which I’m not used to. I usually do a warm up walk of about 5 minutes before I start running, but not today! Today, I pretended to be a runner. For at least 500 feet!
I knew I had to keep myself entertained throughout the race so I played a game of leapfrog with some people around me. I’d run past them, take a break to walk, wait for them to run past me, wait for them to take a break to walk, then run again. It worked out pretty well until I got distracted by the front-runners of the race. They were coming back from the first loop and passed all of us going the other way. Everyone was cheering them on, but all I noticed were three or four of them really giving it their all trying to pass each other. I thought to myself, "Jeez, calm down. It's not a race". Oh wait.
I saw a few people from our group while on the race. We waved at each other and cheered each other on, but for the most part, I was by myself. I expected to be because I'm a slower runner than the people I went with.
At one point, I passed a girl and her mother who were jogging along and I thought to myself, "Hey, at least I'm faster than somebody!" until I realized that they had stopped for the girl to tie her shoe. Whatever.
Towards the end of the race, right near the last loop, I started a conversation with a woman (Hi Marguerite!!) who I had been playing leapfrog with almost the whole race. We talked for the last half-mile and it absolutely flew by. Next time I'm definitely sticking with someone for conversation!
Of course, me being me, I had to run the last bit to the finish line. Someone said that they were announcing names as people crossed the finish line, but I didn't hear them say my name. Probably because I was pumping my fists up in the air like a fool, trying not to trip over the mats on the finish line. I’m classy like that.
And finishing right before me is the girl and her mother who I passed. They must have cut the last mile loop short, because I KNOW they didn't pass me again. I would have recognized her shoes.
My finish time was 52:07 making my average page 16:31 minutes per mile. An even better time that the other night’s dreadmill run. Things are looking up. I didn't even mind that I came in last among the group I went with, or that I was 840/882. That’s a lie. It’s a little depressing. But, at least I wasn't last! And then Amanda sent me this picture/quote, which really put things into perspective and made it a little bit better.
It was still freezing cold so we headed back to the car to go home almost immediately. Thankfully I brought along a change of clothes in case I got wet because all four layers of my clothes were soaked.
My waterproof jacket? Not waterproof.