The annual holiday party for my track club was this weekend and the plans were to run the 2007 Jingle Bell Run and then head out to lunch for a little party afterwards. I wanted to do the race, but seeing that I am a self proclaimed racing junkie, I needed to check with THE MAN. Usually we do our long rides on Sunday mornings, but a few of my teammates were planning on riding their bikes to the race and then competing. I asked for permission to race and got shot down big time. It wasn’t that I got totally shot down, I just told him I wanted to do what was best for my training and he said “Ride your bike”. So I asked if I could ride down to the race site then run. The answer...”no”. Humm.

Well apparently the cosmos had a grander plan because we woke up Sunday morning to 4 inches of snow in downtown Denver. I immediately called THE MAN. “Can I race now”?

“Yes, you can race, but I want you to run 6 miles before you get on the starting line”


Several minutes later the phone’s THE MAN... “Take that back, throw in your snowshoes, lets do 6 miles on our snowshoes and then race, meet me there at 9”.

Sweeeeet, even better....

So that’s what we did. We met early, did a nice (actually AWESOME) hour long run around Wash park on our snowshoes and then came back, changed clothes and got ready to race. It was nice to get some one-on-one time with my coach to talk about where I was at and what I need to work on. In case it doesn’t show...I am really happy with Practical Coaching and the coaching that Steve is providing to me.

I have never been so warmed up before a race before. It usually takes me until about mile one to really feel in my grove for a 5K. I decided to wear my YakTrax. It was pretty slick out there, definitely the perfect day for some traction!

So here is the odd thing. In now 30 some odd races in the last year-ish, this was the first time that I wasn’t nervous. Zip-Zero-Zilcho on the nervous front. Just chill.

And with a countdown from Ms Colorado (tiara and all), we were off. By the first turn the race was pretty sorted out and I could tell I was the lead girl. Whoah! Strange feeling. I knew there was obviously a lot of racing to do, but I felt this confidence that in retrospect I think was just a super warm body and a complete lack of nerves. The race went VERY VERY consistently. About two hundred yards from the finish I took a quick glance behind me and I saw another lady close behind. Boy did that light the fire under my shoes to push it in. Everything came together, and when I came through the finish line, it was a winning effort. First woman!

Steve was there, he had raced to 4th place in the men. We grabbed a cool down, hit up the awards ceremony where there was a little “misunderstanding” concerning my win that we had to sort out, and then it was off to lunch with the track club.

Matt put together an AWESOME lunch for us at Handlebar, with lots of schwag!

The details: Time: 21:34 on a snowy snowy day Colorado Runner -- Click here for the article on the race (pics too) Click here for RESULTS