I called it The Fudge Containment Plan. It was simple enough. Register for a race that's shortly after the holidays. I figured if I did that, I would have to keep my mileage somewhat up throughout the holidays season, which I thought could work to counteract the fudge and peanut butter balls and cookies and peppermint bark that I would be living on in the month of December. (Okay, so maybe "counteract" isn't the right word. Break even? Okay, probably not even that. If I kept the mileage higher, the fudge couldn't completely take over. At least, that was the hope.)
And I found a half in January. This appealed to me on many levels. The Fudge Containment level and the I Love to Play in the Snow level. So I signed up.
I didn't actually train. There was no speed work, no hill repeats, nothing that said "I have a race coming up." I just made sure I could cover the miles. And ate fudge. And peanut butter balls. And didn't even care. The race just sounded like fun. Go run! In the snow! Why ruin it with all the hard work and self-discipline required to train? (There will be time for that later, after all...) I hoped and prayed that race day would be cold and snowy and winter wonderland-y.
And ohmygosh it was!
It was something like 19 degrees when we started running. With about 6 inches of snow. And snow falling at that moment. It was awesome. And a few thousand hardy souls made their way along the course, laughing and chatting, warning each other about ice and puddles, encouraging each other, defying the odds and the elements, and being thankful to be out there to see just how beautiful the whole spectacle was.
And I was totally under-trained, and I pushed to hard, and my knees rebelled, and it hurt, and I was wet and cold. But it just didn't matter. It was so. much. fun.
Hubby was filling in for UB, and he was waiting at the finish with a bag of clothes and a working knowledge of the path to the nearest Starbucks, where we promptly went. I changed into something dry and ordered something warm, and we took to the snowy streets to make our way back to the car.
It was more than wonderful.
It was Winter Wonderland-ful.