2011 Fantastic Frigid 5K

Two years ago I just started running.

Two years ago I was unexperienced and new to everything.

Two years ago I was under-trained.

Two years ago I wasn’t as strong.

Two years ago I said, “Never again.”

A lot has changed in two years.

The Fantastic Frigid 5k is a race put on by Columbus Running Company.  It’s a January race at a park on the outskirts of Columbus. It’s a “trail” race in the sense that it takes place in a park that is unpaved.  There are some pea gravel sections and a “wooded” section that is single track trail running.

It’s pretty flat with a few inclines and lots of loop arounds.

It’s meant to be a fun race and to get us outside in January.  A nice way to kick off the start of the year and what will soon be spring half and full training for most.

Two years ago it was my very first race.


Two years ago I had only been running 3 miles for a short time.

Two years ago I didn’t understand what a “trail” race really meant.

Two years ago my ignorance caught up to me and I was left feeling frustrated and upset. It was totally my own fault! You can read all about it here.

I wanted a do-over.  I told Scott my plans and it was received with raised eyebrows and a couple, “Are you sure?”

Yes.  Two years ago this race kicked my ass and I let it.  It was my fault.  I wanted to change that. I now have more experience, am a much stronger runner both physically and mentally.  I’m a stronger racer and I am smart enough to know not to head into any kind of trail race with expectations.

The only thing I wanted to do for this race was not to let it beat me and to have a much better time than the first one.

That’s it!

I asked around and got some friends to run with me.

From Left to Right:

Mike, Zach, Jess, and Myself.

Races are so much more fun with friends, right?  Especially when it’s 20 some degrees and it’s a snow covered trail race!

P.S. You know you love my cone-head hat. It’s the only one I have found that keeps my head warm and covers my ears.

We had to walk to the starting point which was on the other side of the park.  Then we would do a short backtrack at the very beginning of the race.

Scott loves this race because he said it has the best visibility.  There’s only a few times when he actually can’t see me and those don’t last very long.

Check out the chick in the shorts! Hardcore! (And cold, I bet she was cold.)

The beginning of the race we cut across a field which has a slight incline on both sides.  Nothing major but just enough that you’re going to feel it as you run it.

The first loop takes us through what will be the finish area.  We run through this and then head down the field towards the woods.

I was curious about how the woods were going to be and I was also ready to tackle it! While there was snow on the ground, it was dry and hard packed down.  The woods were the same and the trail was a breeze.  It wasn’t nearly as long or as hard as the first time.

I came out of the woods and knew that it wouldn’t be long before the finish.  I also knew that I should be seeing Scott again soon.

Oh hey, there I am!

Once I reached this point, I was starting to feel really pleased with the situation.  I felt like I was doing a great job and was happy that the “Woods of Death” didn’t hold me back!

You can see here how some of the “trail” is actually pea gravel. Some sections were snow covered and other sections the snow had melted and it was pretty clear.

The obligatory, far away action shot.  It’s nice! You have to click on it to see me though. It was at this point I saw the Mile 2 marker.  I had a brief moment of, “Oh gosh that’s it!” but it quickly passed as I realized that one mile left isn’t to terrible at all.

Coming down the finish shoot happy happy!

Whoo-hooo! Done!

Done, stoked, and so freakin’ happy! My finish time was 32:something which crushes my previous time for this race by about a bazillion.

I do have to say that the previous race conditions were more challenging, it was very cold and there was a fresh 6 inches of snow on the ground.  However, if faced with those conditions again, I know I could still dominate this race. This shows how much I’ve grown and evolved as a runner. I am beyond happy about this!

A trail race with snow, you know I had to bust out the YakTrax. They were such a huge help!

Don’t run on snow without them friends!

I asked Scott to take these pictures and he only took two of them, then moved on to full body shots.  I was unaware of this and thought I would stoop down and sabotage his picture taking.

It didn’t work and all you’re left with is this ridiculous photo of me being goofy.

Why yes, I am complete a dork in real life, why do you ask?

If you know me, then you know that no race is complete until I get to drink my chocolate soymilk at the end.

Done and done!

This race taught me that all races should be fun and not something taken too seriously.  Life is too short for that.  It showed me how much I’ve improved as a runner.

It also taught me to never say never.

12 thoughts on “2011 Fantastic Frigid 5K

  1. yay! So fun to see improvement, isn’t it? And girl, running in 20-something degrees is quite a feat! When I lived in PA, I think I ran outside once in the winter! (Now if it’s under 40* here in FL I avoid running outside!)

  2. Congrats on such a great accomplishment. I felt the same way about trail races originally too until I took on a few longer ones and then my first 50k. We are all beginners at somepoint we just have to learn not to let those fears and outcomes decided what we will do in the future. Glad you went back and conquered and killed that race! Be proud of yourself! Snow trail races are killer!

  3. It’s amazing to see how far you’ve come with running in just 2 years How fun it must have been to revisit your very first race. I hope I can do this this year.

    But I still think you are a crazy woman for racing in sub zero degree weather! ;) LOL

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