Despite the four days prior to the run being warm and most sunny, it was a very cold one Saturday morning. I certainly appreciated the sunshine, and I know it did help, but the gusty winds and 20 degree temps meant both Jenna and I had low expectations for ourselves. We hoped, simply, not to blow away and finish the run. Before the run, everyone met at my house and layered up. We also spent time going through the collection of stick-on mustaches I procured courtesy of Amazon.com to determine which would be the best look for each of us. Once those critical tasks were complete, we headed to Tosa and checked in for our run.
|testing out my facial hair options - this one reminded me of Dad|
|Team The Navarrate Ladies|
(even if we look like men here)
|Mom and me|
|Run buddy cousins rockin' the staches|
The first portion of the race included a small loop, which was nice; it allowed us the chance to check in with one another when we passed each other and also allowed both Jenna and me a chance to see our moms, who were completing the 5K walk.
The run wound through the neighborhood, and the tree-lined streets helped block the wind, so my fear of spending my morning running into the wind was for naught. I found my groove pretty quickly, and I felt good most of the run -- good and warm, which was a pleasant surprise (at first, my forehead felt like it was being pelted with needles, but that eventually subsided). Toward the end of the run, my mustache began to succumb to the wind and sweat. As I turned the corner to complete the final stretch, I heard someone yell, "Come on, old man, finish strong." It took me a moment to realize he was talking to me (thanks to my white mustache). I can honestly say I never expected to be called an old man.
I crossed the finish line, got a drink and headed back over the bridge that was near the end of the run to find Jenna and cheer her on. Thanks to her awesomely bright running shoes, I spotted her easily enough, finished my water and joined her for the last stretch of her run. And though expectations were low, JL and I were running pros (in our minds) that day; Jenna ran her best split yet and I knocked nearly 3:30 off my goal time. Jenna and I agreed that having a run buddy makes running that much better. It would have been hard to commit to the run in that kind of weather were it not for the fact that it was something I got to do with one of my most fabulous cousins.
|JL and AJ|
Post-run, JL and I quickly made our way back to Leff's and waited for our moms to finish their walk and join us. Then it was back to Oak Creek to enjoy some snacks, drink some celebratory wine and watch the Badgers beat the Gophers. Lainey was able to join us for the post-run celebration, and the five of us ladies had a pretty awesome evening. The excessive laughing and story telling that began before the run continued throughout the evening, and more than once I was wiping tears from my eyes. I swear I never laugh as hard as I do with these ladies...so many stories to tell!!
Even though it was cold and neither Jenna nor I were very excited when we left the house, we were both glad to have completed another race, and these run buddies are excited to a have big running plans for the new year!