Sunday, February 07, 2010

Frigid 5

As I have been typing this over the course of the afternoon, there is endless Super Bowl pregame coverage and chatter on the TV. It is obvious they are already in "time filler" mode, as I saw Chef Emeril Lagasse talking Creole cuisine on "Sunday NFL Countdown." Also, you learn the most amazing facts. I heard ESPN's Suzy Kolber utter the phrase, "Dwight Freeney heals like a wolverine!" I like to think I know a thing or two about wildlife, but I was previously unaware of the healing abilities that a wolverine possesses. Thanks, Suzy! :)

Anyhow, earlier on Super Bowl Sunday, I found myself in St. Paul on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to partake in my first race of 2010, the Frigid 5.

I have been fighting a cold all weekend, so needless to say I was not feeling my best. Before I left for the race, I wasn't terribly excited about going. But once I got there, that all changed. I had not been to a race since before Thanksgiving, so it felt good to be at a race again! A great running atmosphere, lots of runners milling around, and I was even greeted by the infamous Running Bear. Spirits were instantly lifted!

Running Bear - the Frigid 5 mascot!

The morning was actually quite pleasant, too. Temps in the mid 20, a slight breeze, and some sun trying to peek through the hazy clouds. A nice reprieve from the snowstorm that is supposed to hit us later today and into Monday.

Setting up for the race at the State Fairgrounds

The 5k race is a couple of laps around the State Fairground which starts and finishes at the hockey arena. In my condition, I started out slow and didn't want to exert myself all that much. I just settled in to a brisk but easy pace and tried not to labor too much.

The State Fairgrounds is a strange place in the winter. It is configured like a bunch of city streets with buildings for businesses, radio and TV stations, food stands, and whatnot. In the winter, the place is desolate, and there are no people around at all. It looks eerie, kind of like a scene from a horror movie or something - which makes me want to run faster for fear of some chainsaw wielding maniac in a hockey mask chasing after me! ;-)

Making it through the first lap in 12:04, I was feeling better than I thought I would, so I increased my effort slightly on the second lap. To heck with feeling bad! The streets were in really good shape, free and clear of ice, so it was a treat to actually have some traction. I ended up passing a few folks in the last half mile on the ever-so-slight downhill to the finish. I ended up finishing in 23:28.

Not a very speedy 5k for me, especially on a fast, flat course. But, no worries. I really don't care so much about the time. I was just running for the super cool cap. :)

The 2010 Frigid 5 stocking cap design. Go Vikings! Oh, wait...

Race #1 of 2010 in in the books. On to the next...

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