“December is the cruelest month.” -The Waterboys, December
On Wednesday it was 60 degrees. I ran in shorts and a short sleeve shirt on the Scioto Mile. The forecast for Christmas Eve is 60 degrees. However, the appropriately named Decemburrr Dash lived up to its name. At race time it was 25 degrees. But with a nearly 20 mile an hour wind the weather read “Feels like 17”.
I wasn’t really prepared for this race. The ever turning ankle prevented me from doing speed work. Poor eating discipline has me heavier than I would like. Last night I took the boys to Five Guys before we saw the new Star Wars movie and I ate Junior Mints as Chewbacca kicked First Order booty. Couple all of this with the coldest day of the year and it would’ve been easier to stay home.
But I love a challenge. The bigger the obstacle, the greater the triumph.
“Shall I play for you?” -The Little Drummer Boy
The Decemeburrr Dash started with little warning as suddenly someone counted down from 10. Frozen runners hurriedly adjusted hats, watches, and music. We were going.
The race began on narrow footbridges through Audubon wetlands. People of varying speeds navigated for position in the first mile. In the second mile I ran from group to group, settling with a group of six that seemed to be averaging near an eight minute mile pace. The group dwindled from six to five to four as runners peeled off. At the end of mile two one person in the group turned it up and broke away, I followed her lead. I ran a 7:40 pace in the third mile and average a 7:00 minute flat pace in the last tenth of a mile crossing the finish line in 24:20, my fastest 5K ever. After many attempts I finally broke the 25 minute barrier that long alluded me.
“Got on a lucky one, Came in eighteen to one.” -The Pogues, Fairytale of New York
Despite continued drop foot and weak ankles the last eight months of running have been the best in many years. At the end of this run I have 36 miles to go to reach my 2015 goal of 1,000 miles.
Bring on the obstacles. At the end of them I’ll smile even larger.