The title of this blog is a reflection of both my performance at the Cowtown Race as well as the weather.
Last week in Waco, TX the temperature reached over 80 degrees on more than one day. I had my A/C running most of the week. It would be just my luck that approximately 16 hours before I was to run an outside race that a cold front would blow in. This wasn't a cool front either, folks; this was a COLD front, FREEZING front had there been precipitation. I was moderately prepared with capri sweats and a sweatshirt. Steven...not so much. I had warned him about the cold front, but he assured me that his running shorts and t-shirt would suffice. He, more so than I, underestimated the power of Jack Frost. By the time we arrived in Ft. Worth at 7 pm on Friday, it was frigid, and the wind was piercing. We tried to believe that our bodies in motion would keep us warm the following morning.
Dana and Ryan (the two friends we stayed with) came to the bedroom door at 7 am to wake us from our slumber. SEVEN A.M.!!! We were supposed to begin at 7:30, and I hadn't had any sort of breathing treatment! We would be fighting a crowd of 17 THOUSAND other racers for parking. I had no hope of making it in time, but thought we would just be stragglers with the other oversleepers. So Steven steps outside to confirm that it is in fact only 30 degrees outside (much colder when the wind chill is considered) and returned with a look of disbelief that his wardrobe selection consisted of the shorts and t's. We scrambled to leave. Ryan let Steven barrow some hunter green, unlined windpants with a hole in the knee...Steven was desperate!
So the four of us load up in Ryan's truck. It had no heater. We fought the fog on the windshield by turning on the cold air until it was unbearable. The window would defog momentarily until our witty banter fogged it up again. This pattern endured the entire way to Sundance Square.
When we arrived, parking was easier than we anticipated. We saw racers herded behind the start line and thought that we might have actually made it! We made our way into the herd only to notice that our white bibs were surrounded by blue ones. We had unintentionally joined the 5K. :o( We were pretty disappointed, but we finished the race. At one point, the 5K trail joined with the 10K and then split again. There was a volunteer directing traffic. Steven and I were shamed as the volunteer vehemently directed us to the right. Steven had to shout out to him that we overslept and were just running the 5K; I tried no form of communication as oxygen intake was my primary goal at this juncture.
It never warmed up. No matter how fast I ran or didn't run, my fingers were frost bitten and I felt frozen from head to toe. As the finish line grew nearer, we of course decided to jog it out. I believe the decision was premature because about 20-30 yards before the finish line, I felt like I couldn't run another step. It was at that time I realized why people pass out at the end of a race. I wanted to stop so badly, but there were a hundred people on the sideline cheering us on. I felt like slowing down would disappoint each one of those hundred strangers, and who wants to disappoint a hundred strangers? What an odd form of peer pressure! 40 minutes and 3 seconds after starting the race, we crossed the finish line together.
And so concludes the half-marathon training that began on December 7, 2008. However, I am inspired to try to overdo it again in the near future. I'm going to try a half-marathon at the beginning of April. I'm excited about it. I've printed out the last five weeks of Hal Higdon's training for a half. That means I will be running 4.5 miles tomorrow! Good bye failure! Hello over-ambitious!