Sunday, February 1, 2015

Remember why we're doing this

A couple of weeks back, I ran a 5k. The finish was an all out sprint. Me versus an 80 year old. Yeah. That's how I roll. At the finish, we were laughing about it.

Today, I had another 5K. We were supposed to get a dusting of snow. Instead we got a storm that stalled over the city. At my house, we got 10 inches. Even Denver got a good shot.  

Sorry Mid-west....I know the storm is now growing bigger and dumping on you.

I grabbed my waterproof running shoes with ice spikes. I got my cold running gear together. (The temp was around 0 at the start).  I head to the race.

The roads were terrible. There were very few people on the roads. As I was driving, I was thinking, "This is insane. I'm driving to run a race in horrible weather."  I knew there wasn't an option for me to not do the race. I never even consider skipping a race because of weather.

Because of the roads, I got to the race with only enough time to get my bib, get in a 5 minute warm up and get to the start.

When I got to the start, who is standing next to me but the older guy from the race 2 weeks ago. We talked and only slightly joked that today's race would be more of an exercise of staying upright than an actual race.

I was looking at everyone at the race. Everyone was smiling. It's cold (see weather report above). The race course is a mess. And everyone is smiling. Volunteers, supporters and runners all look like they're there for the sheer fun and madness of racing in such conditions.

I thought, "These are my people." We're all slightly crazy. 

When we started running, I thought I'd just take it easy. I turned on my garmin, but I never looked at it. Why bother in such conditions?

I saw an guy on my right. We seemed to be running about the same pace. When we got to the hill that was a sheet of ice, I said to him, "So. This is fun." He started laughing. 

I mean really. No one truly runs up a sheet of ice. It's a matter of sliding backward less than you move forward.

Ice spikes are great when you have something to grip. I always tell people spikes are a lot like a 4 wheel drive system. They are both awesome in snowpack, but put them on an ice rink, and you're no better off than someone with regular running shoes/tires.

Since we weren't running particularly hard, me and this guy (who's name I got later: Al), talked for most of the race. 

I thought, "This is what running is all about. This is the fun part." Racing and pushing yourself to new challenges are always fun, but they can also be frustrating. Sometimes the most fun races are the ones that turn out to be *not* races at all.

I ran a 5k with Al. Then we did our cooldowns together and walked back to our cars promising to pace each other again at the next race.

Running a 5K is easy for me. I'm so thankful for that. There are so many people who can't even walk a 5K. 

Sometimes I get frustrated. Sometimes I want to give up. Then, I have a day like today. Days like this always remind me of how much I love doing this. I went out for a run and met great people and had a good time just being with people who wanted the same thing that I did.

It's important that I never lose sight of that.