I wasn’t expecting much from myself at the Nose Creek XC race this weekend. I didn’t exercise much over the holidays, other than a couple of runs over a couple of weeks. No bike commuting, as the office was closed between Christmas and New Year’s, and since starting back to work in January it has snowed a fair bit. I don’t bicycle in snow. Not that much snow, anyway. I don’t like training in that much snow either, but I’ll run a my-favourite-series race in it!
It was a chilly, breezy morning, but a bunch of us deliriously crazy nuts showed up at the start. We clowned around, photo-bombed each others’ pictures, and eventually kind of quieted down enough to hear the race director’s instructions. It was a double loop course and the snow which shifted underfoot kept us watching the terrain more than the scenery.
The first couple of kilometers were really cold. My toes were numb and I sucked my mittened fists up into my jacket sleeves. I ran the first big ascent, because I was still cold when I got there. Running it helped warm me up. I chatted with another runner for a while, and greeted the course marshals as we went by. My running buddy headed for the finish line after the first loop and I carried on to do the second one alone. I walked a few hills (or 5 or 6). Yes, prairies have hills, at least this one does. My left foot developed a nasty hot spot under the arch from the orthotic, and afterwards I discovered a tiny blister. I really need to find and use my foot tape for these events, eh?
I’m pretty sure I was last again, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I showed up and ran, and chose the 8k (long option) because I could. It does help that even though I was last in two races in a row now, I moved up in the standings anyway. At Silver Springs I came in last of 85 racers – at this race I came in 82nd. Ha! I’ll take it.