This post is a little delayed in coming, but I published a book and it was Christmas. Shit came up.
Earlier in the month, I welcomed my running mate Trisha back from post partum at her first 5K since baby, the Ugly Sweater Run in Denver.
Last year, when we partook in the Ugly Sweater Run, I was pregnant, and it was freezing. It was kind of a mess, but I think we ultimately had fun.
This year, our racing pack dropped like flies. One had to travel for work; one had to travel for a funeral; one was struck down with a respiratory infection. It was not the makings of the best race ever. However, we were rejuvenated by the addition of my walking friend, Marni, and her husband.
When we arrived up in Denver, the race was being held at a new venue. Last year, the run was in downtown Denver, starting outside Coors stadium, which is always a fun and relatively flat location to run. This year, however, the location had been shifted to the Rapids stadium way out in the middle of nowhere.
The course was nearly completely flat, and it was cool to start the route weaving through the actual stadium. But ultimately, the course dwindled into parking lot switchbacks and became really fucking boring.
The day became frigid and windy. I was thankful for my jingling ugly sweater and hideous racing swag hat. However, that was short lived. The sun emerged in the beginning of the race, and combined with running in a damn sweater, I was melting. My bell adorned sweater became more of a burden than a novelty.
My racing experience was rather lackluster. Hot and boring. I was quite disappointed in the race itself and its new location. Aside from the new course being mind numbing, the place was packed. From port-a-potties to packet pickup, the lines were long.
Yet I still managed to capture that runner’s high. I still felt the endorphins and felt good about wogging out Trisha’s first race back with her.
The after party, however, was were it was at for it. It was nothing special, just a few canned ciders. Yet combined with the endorphins of a 5K, good company, and a lack of children, it proved to be quite delightful. I pounded the ciders from the drink tickets people passed off to us in line and got a happy and contended buzz. Eating pizza in the car on the way home, I was simply happy.
And that is what doing these races is all about. Just having fun.
(Did I mention I had to awkwardly breastpump in the car in the parking lot before the race? Yeah, the joys of motherhood!)