First race of the year and a free one too since my company is one of the sponsors. It’s another year with the same goal: “To beat my 60+ years old coworker who beat me the past 2 years.” Enough is enough, I am so embarrassed at work. I haven’t ran since last May except running to the train but with stress building up at work, I thought I could channel that towards the race to speed me up. Too bad the weather ruined this plan. With frigid temperature of -12°C, feeling like -20°C, breathing proved too difficult. No, just being outdoor proved too difficult!!
My only game plan left was to stand at the front of the start line and act like I was one of the fast runners. For the past 2 years, I stood at the back and was stalled by the slow moving group funneling out of the start while my nemesis started off near the front.
At the start, I felt fantastic keeping up with the elites for about 15 seconds before feeling the urge to pass out. The abundance of cold air entering my lungs was excruciating especially for such an inactive body over this winter. My other coworker, Serge, passed me at this point. My goal went out the door, I just want to survive this dreadful 5km. Shortly after, I heard a voice behind me, “blind runner coming”. 2 seconds later, someone ran into me, followed by a cuss word and a loud “MOVE!”. This is a charity race for disabilities, and therefore common to see Guide Runners for the blind and people on wheelchair or with amputated legs. That girl bumping into me was no big deal and I blame the guide runner for the lack of advanced notice. However, the words and attitude from that blind runner was just plain rude — a lady with a grey tuque. She was lucky my mouth was too frozen and I had other priorities.
The race was an out and back route. A block or so away from the turnaround point, I saw my nemesis coworker. When did he pass me? I soon caught up to Serge and we jogged the remaining race together. My fingers and toes were completely numb by then but body was warm with all my base-layers. The return route felt better once I heard a series of people yelling my name — the rest of my coworkers that are walking in the opposite direction. I almost felt famous.
With less than 0.5 km to go, I increased my speed and Serge caught on my motive. He started sprinting past me and I let him go. With about 5 m left, I gunned it and crossed the line 1 millisecond before him! The finisher medal was perhaps the most useful medal of all races — a beer bottle opener.
After the run, all I wanted to do was to retreat indoors. Unfortunately the lunch line was outdoor which meant an extra 10 min of shivering.
This race was a realization of how dormant I had been this winter and how ridiculously out of shape I am. It’s insane now to think how I did a half-marathon last year with hardly any training. I hope to never move under such temperatures again. My lungs felt cold for over 2 hours after the run. That can’t be good for me!
I will not hear the end of my 3rd year of losing at work. Maybe next year is my lucky year …..