Yes, dear reader, that is me in the photo! The temperature was negative 8 F, and it was 9 AM yesterday, Thanksgiving Day. It was the Brookings annual Turkey Day 5 K and my goal was to finish it. Which I did, and in second to last place, because Number One, son and gentleman, who walked with me, chatty and encouraging me along the whole way, made sure to be behind me in the finish line. You'd be hard-pressed to find a happier, more grateful last-place finisher of any race.
Two months ago, before I joined an online fitness challenge organized by Catholic Homeschool moms, I would have said "Never"! And yet with their encouragement I decided to try... and keep trying... I have been doing my daily 45 minutes walk now for 8 weeks, and lately with friend Kristy at the church gym. I wasn't sure I could finish a 5K, above all in these low temps, but I was determined to try. Numbers Seven and Five ran ahead and we never saw them again, but Number One plugged along with me the entire way. At some point we passed a group of three kids but their distress over the cold had them picked up by a patrol so we were back to last place. We were not too far from a group of three college students ahead of us, but we never passed them.
As we walked, we had our face covered by our scarfs so we could breathe, and the humidity of our breath went up to our face so we had to wipe out the ice from the eyelids often so we could see. It was cold. It was very cold. The temperature had raised up to zero F by the time we crossed the finish line. My time was 1 hour and 5 minutes. This is the time now for me to beat at my next 5K! I have so enjoyed my daily walks and feel so much stronger and energetic. I have also lost weight and this all has been so good as winter settles in, as I discover that the treadmill is very helpful when I feel cold!