Sunday, December 2, 2007

Don't sleet on my parade

While one of my dearest friends was having a baby last week, my life simply proceeded at its usual pace. The weekend proceeded at an even faster pace—kicked off on Friday evening by a visit from Derek, another one of my oldest and dearest friends. He brought his dog, Ravage, with him. Now, I am not a dog person. I’ve never been a dog person, and that whole incident with Scooby out in the forest really sealed the deal for me. But Ravage is a whole other story. I love this dog like no other. All 8 pounds of him. When it came time for Derek to go, I clung to the dog and begged him to let me keep him. Needless to say, I was not successful, but hopefully Derek will visit again soon so that I have another chance to see the dog.

Saturday was chock full of plans. In the morning, I had some work to do, and then in the afternoon Rob and I were going to go see a free showing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at the Virginia Theatre downtown. Immediately after the movie was the “Parade of Lights”—in which Rob and I had big plans to participate. We were going to ride our tandem bike with the bike club, and Rob had spent many long hours wiring up a string of lights with which to decorate our bike. Immediately after that was Soupalooza (spelling?)—a little soup party we were having at Aimee and Brett’s.

Plans had to change a little when the misty air turned to rain, the rain turned to sleet, and the rapidly dropping temperatures turned the wet roads and sidewalks in to treacherous sheets of ice. Seriously, I almost broke my neck when I went to take my crock pot of soup (Sweet Potato. Leek, and Kale Chowder) over to Aimee’s for later that night. After I got home from the soup drop off, I found Rob in the garage, busily decorating our bike with red felt bows and twinkling lights. As much as I wanted to bike in the parade, I could not shake my recent near death experience just trying to walk on the ice, and I did not think that two skinny wheels were a good idea. Apparently neither did anyone else, because shortly thereafter we received word that the parade had been cancelled due to inclement weather. Nuts. I guess we’ll have to wait until next year. In the end, we took our car to go watch the movie and then headed straight to Soupalooza, where we ate a lot of soup and had a great time with our friends.

Today was my day to do a 12-mile marathon training run. This is a fallback week in terms of mileage because last weekend I did my first 20-miler (which went really well, all things considered). My plan, perhaps a bit ill-conceived, was this: run 4 miles over to Centennial Park, where the Jingle Bell Run was to be held. Run the Jingle Bell Run (3.1 miles). Run back home (another 4 miles). Call that close enough to 12.

It would have worked if (again) not for the weather. When I started out, it was misting, but by the time I got about 2 miles from home, cold rain was coming down in sheets so thick I couldn’t see 3 feet in front of me. I ended up calling Rob from Jerry’s IGA, and he came and got me in Iris. Rob, however, was not cold and shivering (like I was) and still wanted to head over to run the race. I was not so eager, but I didn’t want to go back home if he was going to be running. So we headed onto the park, and the rain quit almost as soon as we got there.

To say that I was completely soaked to the bone would be an understatement, but these are the only words I can come up with, so we’ll have to go with it. Standing around, wet and cold, for about 40 minutes until the race began was unpleasant to say the least. My lips were blue and my soaking feet were beyond numb. It was a relief to finally begin the race, and I took off like a bat out of hell. I hit my first mile at 7:16. I had no idea I had it in me. Even heading into the wind for part of mile two didn’t slow me down that much; my split at the second mile marker was 14.36. The wind really picked up during mile 3, but I gritted my teeth and pounded it out to the finish line in 22:37. I could hardly believe it. These are the kind of 5K times I could post back in the day, when I was a running fool and not stressed about grant proposals or dissertations. I ended up being the 4th woman finisher overall and the 2nd in my age group. Before you get too excited though, I should point out that probably only half a dozen women actually ran the race, so its not like there was a huge field of contenders. But I wasn’t running for prestige or esteem; I was running just to run and to see if I still had some speed in me, which it turns out that I did.

Rob did pretty dang good himself. He was 13th overall and 1st in his age group. His time was a blisteringly fast 19:11. He'd been hoping just to break 20:00, so he was more than pleased. He reported to me that those were the first, second and third fastest miles he’s run in 3 years. Rob and I each got little plaques for our age group awards. The funny part was that the announcer had our names spelled wrong, so when they called Rob up to get his award, they announced, “Bob Ragnet-Scholfield.” Cara and I both cheered enthusiastically, “Alright Bob!! Way to go Bob!!”

I completely scrapped my attempt to finish off a 12-miler and just came home after the race. Hours later I still haven’t completely thawed out from the whole experience. I wish Ravage were here to curl up at my feet and keep them warm!! That’s all for now, thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I don't care how many were in your group, just to get out in that weather you deserve an award. To bad you didn't get to ride your decorated bikes, that sounded like fun! Hope you and Bob(Rob),thought that was pretty funny, don't catch a cold being out in all of that. Of course, my daughter always tells me,(you DO NOT get a cold from being cold????? Will hope the weather is better next time you are in a race.
Twenty-one shopping days until Christmas, are you ready????

amypfan said...

Ravage and soup sound nice; running 3 miles in the sleet does NOT. Ravage came over here last night, and we learned that we get privilege of babysitting him over Christmas as well. I love that dog. Anyway, Derek said they had a great time visiting you, and Chris says "Bob" is very funny. :)

Anonymous said...

MOM SCHO said....

C O N G R A T S on your great races!!