Thursday, January 4, 2018

Race Into the New Year

New Year's Eve is a fun holiday after the excitement of Christmas is over. When we were younger we always visited my grandparents and had fondue together. Since they have passed we added more traditions to the fun. We still do fondue and we've added in a 5k race which we've done every year for the past 6 years. Ty and I usually trade off taking turns who stays home with the kids and who runs the race. This year would have been Ty's year to run but he is slowly coming back from an ankle injury so he sat it out again this year. We had a serious cold front come through right after Christmas and the weather projections were showing it would be insanely cold for the race. From what I remember the coldest temperature we've had for this race was around 18 degrees. The forecast was showing 15 degrees with a wind chill causing it to feel like 5 degrees. When I saw that I was seriously tempted to skip the race. I figured I'd have fun once I was out there but the thought of running in that kind of cold was just not fun. I swear each time I checked the weather, in hopes the forecast had changed to a bit warmer temperature, it was showing it would be even colder than expected! After waffling back and forth, I finally decided to buck up and run the race. I needed to run that day anyway and 10 degrees in a race would probably be more fun than 15 degrees alone.
Showing off our race shirts and bling.
Mom and dad arrived a little before 5 and we got to work setting up fondue for an early dinner. We ate a little before 5:30 and enjoyed cheese fondue. Since we had almost 7 hours until our race I wasn't worried about eating too much. I also knew what we were eating was not as heavy as the buffet we had before the Run to the Lights so I figured I'd be fine. Carter enjoyed using his special glass to cheer and clink glasses. It's so cute that he remembers that from year to year and gets so excited to do it! Mom brought some confetti poppers that were a lot of fun and we had a blast with them. My Uncle Mike and Aunt Judy sent the kids a special package with Happy New Year jammies which were super cute. Mom had gotten the kids some Play Doh bath sets on sale after Christmas so they had an awesome bath and were excited to wear their new jammies. We tried out some fun Snapchat filters for New Year's Eve and then the kids were in bed.

Ready for cheese fondue.
Shooting off one of the confetti snappers.
Once the kids were in bed we played a game of Trivial Pursuit. Finally mom wanted to concede the win to the guys because it was getting close to time to leave for the race. I didn't want to concede but she was right in doing so because we ended up really pushing it to make it to the race. I checked the weather one last time before changing into my race clothes and was super disappointed to see it was 10 degrees and felt like -5. I couldn't think of a time I'd ever run in negative degree weather. Although I hate the cold, I also found myself getting super excited about the race. It would be the coldest weather I'd ever run in and I always love a challenge. It also took all pressure off trying to run a certain time or attempting to finish in the top 3 women. I had won the race the previous 2 years but both years had run sub-20:30 so I knew I didn't have much of a chance at winning, but I had been hoping I could still sneak into the top 3 women so I could win a gift card to the local running store that puts the race on (and also sponsors me on their race team). I knew from discussions with my friend Sara that I would definitely need a layer over my tights and figured with such intense winds, wind pants would be a good idea. After I graduated college I almost got rid of my ugly team wind pant warm ups but finally decided to hang onto them and I'm so glad I did. They've come in handy! On the bottom I wore wool socks Gigi and Papa gave me one year for Christmas, tights, and my wind pants. On the top I planned on a fleece lined Under Armor top Leina and Rocky got me one year for Christmas, my tech hoodie from the Tulsa Run, and my rain jacket. After seeing what mom and dad were wearing (Carhartts and snow pants) I freaked out and added a fleece top. I also threw on my racing singlet just for fun. For my head I wore a mask and both my jacket hood and shirt hood. Then mittens for my hands were a must!
The coldest feel like temperature I've ever run in!

Dressed in many layers and ready for the race!
Everybody dressed and ready to go.
Jeremy mentioned wearing his light up vest which I hadn't even thought of so I wore that along with my light up skirt just for fun. We arrived at the race 7 minutes before the start. I had originally planned on running a 2 mile warm up to make sure my legs were warm before the race started. Since I didn't have much time to warm up I decided to skip it altogether. I saw some friends I've been running with in the mornings and said hi before the race started. We huddled inside the tent for warmth before walking out to the starting line. The wind was bitingly cold and we were starting with it in our faces. That made waiting for the starting gun seem like forever. Once we took off my feet felt so weird because they were already so cold they were numb and my hands were pretty freezing too. Other than that I wasn't too cold and felt like I'd dressed pretty well. I caught up to Jeremy and ran beside him. I decided to stick right with him to make sure my first mile went out slower. I think the main reason why the Ugly Sweater 5k went so terribly was because I took off too fast. I didn't really have a time goal for this race, I just hoped to be more comfortable and feel less out of shape than I had at that race. We went through the first mile in 7:08 and then Jeremy started pulling away from me as we neared the turn around. I watched as people went by the other way to see how many women were ahead of me. It was hard to tell men and women apart with all the layers of clothing and the faces covered, but I was pretty sure there were no women ahead of me.

I was feeling really good and kept picking up the pace. I actually started to get hot after the turn around and felt like the fleece I added was probably overkill. If I hadn't worn it I most likely would have been cold the first mile though so I didn't regret wearing it. I did pull my mask down off my nose so it was just covering my mouth to make it easier to breathe and eventually pulled it off my mouth too. I was excited that I went through the 2nd mile in 6:59 and told myself I just had to run under 7:27 for the last mile to beat my time from the Ugly Sweater. I was feeling strong but also was ready to be done. It felt weird running in so many layers and my breathing was a bit off from running half the race with my mouth covered. I got hot and took my mittens off, stuffing them in my jacket pockets. As I neared the bridge to cross and return to the other side of the river the fireworks started going off to signify midnight. I was disappointed because I was running to where they were behind me and I couldn't see them. Last year I had been crossing the bridge and the year before I was on the other side of the river and running straight toward them so I had a great view both years. I was far enough from the bridge I figured the fireworks would be finished going off before I could see them as they typically don't last for very long. I was really excited when I got to the bridge and they were still going off. Then as I crossed to the other side they were still going off and continued going off even after I finished! My split for mile 3 was 6:52. I could see Jeremy's blinking lights ahead of me and there was no one in between us. I didn't have much motivation to pick up the pace for the finishing stretch. I did try to sprint it in but definitely didn't feel like I pushed as hard as I had at the Ugly Sweater when I was duking it out with the other woman at the finish. I was pleased when I uploaded my run and saw I had finished at 6:35 pace at the end compared to 6:43 pace at the Ugly Sweater! This race felt so much more in control and I didn't feel horribly out of shape. I think the earliest I'd want to run a 5k after taking time off would be 4 weeks. Trying to come back and race after 2 weeks, especially since I'd only been running every other day was too much! This race was so much more fun! I high fived Jeremy and told him good race before taking off on a cool down.
With one of my running buddies!
I ran back to mom and dad so I could do a cool down and finish with them. Jeremy came out to finish with us too. I decided to keep running after we made it to the finish and did a 3 mile cool down so I could get in 6 miles for the day. When I got back I headed into the bathroom to change into dry clothes. During my cool down I had cooled off enough that my sweat had frozen. As I was taking off my clothes, little sheets of ice were falling to the ground. No wonder I had started to feel really cold when running my cool down with mom to the finish!  I heard them start announcing the overall awards so I threw on a sports bra and t-shirt and grabbed up all my stuff, rushing to the tent. I still wasn't sure whether there had been a woman ahead of me and found out I was the top female finisher when I got to the awards area and my running buddy was picking up her 3rd place award. She walked over with me to make sure I got my award for 1st overall. I finished in 21:53 which I was excited was 6:59 pace. It felt good to be back under 7 minute pace again! I got a $75 gift card along with a wine glass, a medal, and a giant champagne flute topped with a New Year's hat. They also gave me an age group award so I got another wine glass. I was also 11th out of 262 overall. There had been some guys wearing shorts which blew my mind! Jeremy was 2nd in his age group and 10th overall with a time of 21:33. Dad and mom finished together in 39:12. Mom said it was pretty difficult to run in snow pants. I couldn't imagine because I have a hard time even walking in them! They finished 147th and 148th overall. Mom was 2nd in her age group and dad was 6th. I got home a little after 1:30 and was in bed by 2am.

Thomas got home from visiting friends in Louisiana on New Year's Day in the late afternoon. He made it over for meat fondue. Carter especially enjoyed meat fondue. He liked skewering his meatballs and steak on the fondue fork and then passing it down so we could put it in the pot. After dinner we did dessert fondue with caramel and chocolate along with pound cake, angel food cake, marshmallows and fruit for dipping. Elise kept grabbing marshmallows, taking a bite, and setting them back down on the table. It was pretty funny. It was a wonderful start to the new year! Jeremy went for a run on January 2nd with no incidents which we were all grateful for! I know it's silly but I'm a little superstitious about the day. I was a little nervous going for my run on that day even though I was wearing my light up vest and running with Harper! I hope you all have a wonderful 2018!


  1. I actually bought the play dough before Christmas, but bought more on sale afterwards. :) It was a fun night and cheese and meat fondue are fun. The first time we had both, was the last NYE we shared with Mom AND Dad.

    1. Oh cool, I didn't realize that! I didn't remember ever having cheese fondue with grandma and grandpa.


    2. That was the year it was just Grandma, Grandpa, Dad and me.

  2. Your family has such fun traditions. Congrats on the win, and I am so impressed you ran so well wearing so much clothing!