Rescue Run Weather

January 1 is always an iffy time for weather. Will it be warm and sunny? Icy and cloudy? Just plan ass cold despite the sun? Who knows - but it's almost for sure that there will be nearly 1000 people gathering at the starting line at 10:00 for the annual Rescue Run. I dropped off my application at CRC in the midst of a snow storm, joking with John that it was looking like Rescue Run weather. Little did I know...

When I checked the weather on New Years Eve, it looked like snow was definitely in the cards. I packed a bag full of all sorts of clothes - from heavy wool coat to light weight tights and everything in between. I had three pairs of shoes - my normal running shoes, trails shoes and the shoes I use with my Kahtoola microspikes. Since I didn't know what the road conditions at Palmer Park were going to be like - we'd been gone for a week and missed all the snow and sub zero temps - I wanted to be prepared. Trying to run on ice in my normal shoes is a fall waiting to happen. Wimps that we are, Nick and I were in bed by 10:00, missing all the New Years excitement.

2015 started out cold, with the sun peeking through the clouds to the east. It wasn't going to stay sunny though, clouds were already billowing in over the mountains. I watched the temperature drop as we got ready to go - it was going to be another chilly Rescue Run! Nick was coming with me so he could ride at Palmer Park and help me out a little with the warm clothes. Smart guy that he is, he stayed in the van while I was getting my number and warming up. I opted for the trail shoes, hoping I wasn't making a mistake. I'd only done two miles for a warm up, but the road seemed clear. Once Nick got his Fatboy unloaded from the van, he was suddenly the star attraction. The fat tires, the huge, warm pogies caught everyone's eyes. It was pretty funny, watching the runners gather around him and his bike. Then it was time to head over to the starting line. Nick took my warm jacket and stuffed it in the frame bag on his bike.

Go! and the herd of runners streamed away from the line. I hadn't felt spunky on the warm up, but had decent start. Briefly into the lead, but I knew it wouldn't last. That hill in the first mile always gets me. Sure enough, by the time we reached the 5k/10k split, I was down into fourth. Lowest I've been at the Resuce Run in years!  The running was feeling good, but I was tired from the skiing. Tireder then I thought I'd be! Slipped into fifith on the loop around Yucca Flats, but still within eye sight of Amanda in the lead. Maybe I could pull myself back into top three.
Watch out for the ice!

Or not. My motivation to try to run fast on the slippery snow around Yucca Flats was waning. Yikes. I should have suffered on the pavement in the first mile for some traction in the rest of the race. My trail shoes were good, but I was wishing for my tracks. Nick appeared on course, cheering and taking photos. I waved and tried to smile, but wasn't really feeling it. As we turned back onto the blacktop towards the turn around at Grandview, I finally got my act together and started running. Wasn't much faster, but I at least felt faster. That's what matters, right? Nick re-appeared from out of the woods, cheering some more. I was catching the woman in front of me, so I focused on her white jacket. Dodging both the patches of ice and the walkers in the 5k, I kept making up ground. Finally, just before the turn around, I made the pass and slid into fourth place. She'd looked pretty strong when I went around, so I knew it would be close. Needed to keep the pace high on the downhills. But I wasn't ready to take any chances because of the ice. Never got the gap I needed and felt her presence at the turn for the finish. She had the sprint needed and nipped me at the line. Oh well.

Nick was waiting for me at the finish with my warm coat. Thankfully, I got bundled up and trotted off for my cool down. Not much of one needed with those kinds of temperatures, but my legs were feeling the effort of the race. As I jogged, the snow descended off the mountains, covering the park in heavy white. The results were posted when I got back - fifth overall and first in my age group. And as for that age group... I'd picked up my number and noted the 35-39 age group. In the middle of the race, I was kinda panicking that I'd some how screwed it up. I couldn't be in the 35-39 age group yet, could I? No way. Yep. First race "officially" in that age group. Great way to start the year!
(I did not stick around for the awards ceremony this year - had to dash off to work...)
Me, Nick and Larry DeWitt, just after the race, before the snow started flying



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