I was miffed when Old Man Winter decided to drop by last weekend. I mean, can’t he schedule his visits for mid-week, when I haven’t committed to being outdoors for 45 minutes in tights and no jacket? With a cold.
Had the Run for Your Lunch 5.5K in Middleboro, MA, not been for such a fantastic cause (and had I not publicly declared my intention to run 52 races this year), I may have decided to sit this one out. But, despite protestations by my nose, I was happy to run in support of the new All Are Welcome Community Kitchen and Bakery, which is dedicated to providing access to nutritious meals to those who need them.
And it could have been worse. We could have been in New Hampshire.
Mask and you
I have learned many lessons over the past month or so about dressing for winter runs. But until this particular day, I had not experienced the genius that is the running balaclava.
Hubby was kind enough to hand his over when he saw my formerly red nose turning blue at the start of the run, and I was happy to accept this multi-talented piece of fabric. Not only does it take your running ensemble to new levels of absurdity (see left), it also conceals any and all instances of tomato-face. And after the run, you can go rob a bank or two if you feel so inclined.
OK fine, it also functions as a hat and a neck warmer, although trying to manipulate it between these states as you are running a blistering 10:50 mile pace is somewhat challenging (I believe I looked as though I had hair-ears at one point. Not ear hairs, but ears made of hair).
The bitter (cold) truth
The day was gorgeously sunny and stunningly clear, which in January can only mean one thing: freezing your nose hairs off. This was my coldest run yet. Thank goodness we had been promised chowder.
I started out pretty well. But then, sniff, there was a hill. And, sniff, another hill. And, sniff, a smaller hill. (I think they call them “rolling.”) Then, sniff sniff asthma puffer, a stretch of wind. And, cough, a slight incline. And, sniff sniff sniff puffer, another hill. And then, splutter, another long straight windy stretch.
Needless to say, there was walking involved, which made me mad – between sniffs. I hadn’t walked at all the past couple of races, and was starting to feel as though perhaps I could run farther than a 5K.
Um, apparently not. This was a 5.5K, and it appears I was thwarted by the extra half. Although, I think I’ll just blame it on the cold. And my cold.
Even my Hubby cheer squad of one couldn’t entice me to keep running at the finish. I’m sure I shot him a look of utter disdain as he emerged to shepherd me through the final few minutes. I had one of those irrational what-the-heck-am-I-doing? moments that may or may not have been fueled by the Vicks DayQuil I had taken earlier that morning.
The aftermath, though, was absolutely worth it. Crammed in to the North Congregational Church’s toasty-warm hall, I was more than happy to put the run behind me and focus my full attention on the delicious chowder and lemon meringue cupcakes. There was an amazing sense of community in the place. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Sniff, sniff.
Three runs down, 49 to go. It’s a long, freezing road ahead.
The event: Run for Your Lunch 5.5K
The location: Middleboro, MA
The date: January 15, 2012
My time: 37:08
Hubby’s time: 25:07
The cause: All Are Welcome Community Kitchen and Bakery
The T-shirt: White short-sleeved shirt
The aftermath: Bananas, chowder, cupcakes, assorted baked goods