Final Run of 2013!

The end of 2013 is quickly approaching and the Jingle Bell Run out at UWGB is the official close of my 2013 running year!

This ended up being the coldest Jingle Bell Run in history as the temperatures loomed in the single digits when I woke up in the morning and didn’t warm up much before race time!  We originally had a total of 12 signed up as part of Team Bumble Chasers, but in the end we had a smaller group that actually braved the cold, bundled up and got our jingle on!

This was the first time that I was actually running the trails out at UWGB so I was excited to see what the trails had to offer.  4 years ago, Darrin and I did sign up to run the Jingle Bell run, but it was so cold that morning, we actually got up, drove to UWGB, picked up out t-shirts and drove home!  That was the one, and only, time that I signed up for a run and then didn’t do it. Sad thing… it was colder this year for the run than the year Darrin and I skipped out at the last minute!

 It was not until just moments before the official start time that everyone left the warm gym to head out to the start line – no one wanted to spend any more time in the cold than they had to!This was true cold weather running at it’s finest.  This was going to be a true test to see what changes that I need to make in my cold weather running gear.  Training for the Cellcom Marathon starts in January and I know that there will be some cold mornings!  My current gear does offer some warmth, but I know there is room for improvement!

Cold was definitely but biggest obstacle today.  The first stretch of the course was in the open fields near the Kress Center before we actually hit the trails through the woods.  The light snow that had recently fallen gave the areas around the trail almost a magical look. Everything was so peaceful and serene.  By the time I hit mile two, the cold was getting to my feet.  My beloved Sauconey’s were not the warmest shoes with their mesh top.  Also playing into the cold toes is the fact that I am not able to wear multiple layers on my feet because my current shoes are actually about a half size too small. Note to self – be sure to get feet measured again before buying next pair of shoes!

Regardless of how cold I felt, I pushed on.  It was a decided factor that the last mile of the course was the toughest.  It brought us back out into the field and around the baseball diamond near the Kress, with the sharp freezing wind hitting me right in the face.  But all I could think about was the end that was just around a few more corners. Since this was not a times event, all I have to go on is my unofficial time of 31:24.  Considering the conditions this brisk morning, I cannot complain on bit!

I headed straight inside to warm up and wait for the rest of the crew that was out there walking.  John and Elizabeth were not too for behind and John actually was the first official male walker to finish the course!  WTG John!!!  Very proud of you!

Once everyone made it back and warmed up sufficiently,we took some more fun pictures and got some warm soup in our stomachs,  it was time to head for home to warm up by the fire. The remained of the afternoon was spent at our house laughing with my aunts and uncles that were in town for the day, creating more lasting memories that will never be replaced!

What did I learn today from my freezing cold run?  I need better shoes that will make these cold weather runs a little more bearable, a mask or scarf to cover my face and better mittens/gloves and something to cover my neck better.  My jacket and pants seemed to keep me warm enough, it was just my hands and feet that felt the true affects of the cold.  A few adjustment and I will be ready to tackle the cold weather training runs that will be here before I know it!

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