"Your outfit ... looks like ... it's for ... the Jingle ... Bell Jog!" the young man pants as I catch up with him near mile 2 of the race. I'm wearing a bright red shirt and matching shorts.
"And my skin ... is turning ... the same color ... from the cold!" I reply. It's hard to have much of a dialog when running almost as hard as you can.
Today's Candy Cane 5k turns out OK, total time 22:29 including ~8 seconds to get to the starting line after the "Go!" signal. It's ~30 seconds slower than my 2010-01-01 - New Year's Day 5k PR. Excuses, excuses: my weight is higher than it should be (~155 lbs this morning), I didn't warm up, I haven't been doing speedwork, etc., etc. I always have excuses!
At 7:10am I leave home and walk/jog the two miles to the starting area, pace ~15 min/mi. Michelle Price is cruising along Rock Creek Trail and greets me near Ray's Meadow. I visit with acquaintances at the ballfield where the event is taking shape, sip water, and tell newbies about the course that they're going to face.
As the race is about to start I take off my windbreaker and discover that it's far chillier than I had imagined. My hands tingle and almost freeze for the first mile. I've forgotten to bring a GPS and there are no mile markers, hence no split data, but the pace feels steady with perhaps a slight acceleration throughout. Afterwards I scarf down a couple of cookies, cheer Wayne Carson and others as they finish, then head for home, arriving before 9am—just in time to go to the Silver Spring Farmer's Market with Paulette and Gray.