Actually, it's more than a race. It's a free, yes, I said free, as in no cost, race put on by IndyRunners, a local running club. Not only is it a big fat "Thank You" to the running community, but also a food-raiser for Gleaner's Food Bank.
And... it doesn't start until 1:00.
Run + free + feeding the hungry + still get to sleep in after last night's minor tequila and Reese Cup binge = first race of the year, baby!
Marty and I pre-race trying hard not to look dorky... not hard enough, I know...
Marty and I grabbed some non-perishables from our respective pantries and humped it to Zionsville.
The parking lot was pretty packed. No problem. Marty dubbed himself "Authorized Personnel", which immediately made us eligible for a sweet parking spot up front.
Once inside, I knew I was back home. The room, which I'm assuming is the high school cafeteria, was full of my kind of people, the kind of people who would come out on a Sunday in February to run with people like me... some kicked back around a table telling stories that I'm sure were mostly true, some were stretching on the floor or against a wall, some were on their third nerve-induced trip to the restroom.
Being in a room full of people with numbers pinned to their chest waiting for the right time to head to the start is like standing outside of the reception hall before a wedding... each of us took our own path to get there, we all have our own reasons for being there, but we are all there for the same thing, at the same time, and when it's over, we'll scatter again to continue our own journey.
The thing we were there for today was 7 miles on a gorgeous sunny 23F day in central Indiana. And the course, lined with trees still holding on to their frosting of snow, could not have been more beautiful.
Ok, that's a bit of a lie. It looked beautiful, as long as you didn't look down too often. Much of the course was littered with snow, slush, water, and ice, including the ever-evil black-ice. Less than a half mile in, we turned a corner, which was glare ice, then slid, literally down a hill of polished snow into a pile of slush that led directly to a huge puddle that in some states would be a named lake. Other than that, it was great!
One of the few patches of pavement on an otherwise wonderful winter course.
The run really was perfect. The footing just kept you in the moment... because if you weren't in the moment at the wrong moment, you were on your ass.
But more than 300 of us ventured out, and I'm pretty sure most all of us survived. I only know of one person who was thisclose to wiping out, and that was me.
Marty and I hung together nearer the back of the pack than the front, the whole 7 miles, passing the time talking about when we used to be faster, and about how many SuperBowl-beer-calories we were banking on this run, and about how girl runners look just a little hotter in the winter, and about how if we ruled the world we'd sure as hell LOOK OUT FOR THAT PATCH OF ICE!!!
We finished, in a totally unremarkable time, but couldn't have cared less. Cookies. Mongo-sized Powerade. Dry shirt. Homeward!
Numbers: 7 most excellent miles.