... but I digress.
When it gets cold in these parts finding an empty treadmill at the gym is as easy as finding a fan of the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Tain't easy. That left me with one choice, run outside or chuck the Boston Marathon training plan. I chose to run the Snowman Shuffle 5k.
When I pulled into the parking lot near the starting line it was 17 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeah it was cold but the wind was calm and the sun was shining. No worries. Plus, I had on a beanie cap and some of them winter running tights which, in my opinion, look nice on the ladies, but us fellas? Not so much. Any britches that fit so tight someone can see what religion a guy is need to be worn behind closed doors. Why do they make them with only a little material in the crotch anyway? If I were the designer of them things I would put a bit more fabric there to keep something a mystery. You know, keep the bloom on the rose. But again...
... I digress.
All set for the race I hit the starting line with a simple race plan: run 8-minutes per mile which is one minute faster than my planned marathon pace. And do it without looking at my wristwatch, to rely only on perceived exertion.
There was nothing extraordinary to the course. A simple out and back along the shores of White Rock Lake. The first leg is ever so slightly downhill making a negative split on a challenge. Despite the chill, I felt good the entire time keeping my heart rate in check. As I rounded the bend to the final 100 meters I resisted the urge to sprint and cruised into the finishing chute in a time of 25:00.00, for a pace of 8:03 per mile. Right on schedule.
Not long afterward, the race director set up a table with awards inside the clubhouse overlooking the lake. It was a popular place filled with athletes keeping warm and reviewing the results. I stuck around to see who the winners were and to make a contact or two. I wasn't expecting to win anything but when the announcer came to call the awards for males 45 to 49-years-old I paused to listen.
"With a finishing time of twenty-five minutes, in second place, is Brian Brode. Is Brian still here?"
"Duh'hell'yeah I'm here," I thought.
My first ever podium in any event. Woot!
OK, I know a 25-minute 5k isn't close to any speed record but I won't disparage my time because the efforts of anyone finishing after me may be a personal best and deserving of commendation. 'Nuff said.
But, still... I got second place, boyz!!!
Yet, the highlight of the day wasn't getting an award. No, the best part was meeting up with runner Tweep Suanna Lundsberg. She ran the 10k event and also finished 2nd in her division. Along with her friends, she made for a extraordinary day.
Cold? What cold?? Apparently it's warmer on the podium.