It is as it is with every new year – people start making new year’s resolutions and one of them is usually to lose weight. So, as soon as January comes around people re-activate their existing gym memberships, sign up for a new gym membership, or use the one they have been paying for all year (without using it of course) and then start working out like crazy. Depending on when the New Year’s holiday is during the week, gyms start filling up on Monday of the first full work-week in January. I have seen this for many years now and today was no different (unfortunately).
I started my workout week as usual with a visit to the 5.00 AM class at Kosama here in Highlands Ranch. The average size of the 5.00 AM class is usually between 4 and 10 people, but today it was crowded and about 17 people showed up to work out. I am really not used to seeing that many people in the morning – especially at 5.00 AM and so the energy and atmosphere this morning was quite different. The room was filled with (too much) chatter and some (more than normal) laughter, but of course it was also filled with the noise of 17 people working out heavily. It was kick-boxing day today and two people were assigned per bag. It actually turned out to be a really good kick-boxing workout for me today. I felt plenty of energy and burnt almost 700 calories before even having breakfast – all by simply concentrating on the workout and to ignore the chatter. Still, I prefer smaller classes with less chatter and distraction. After the workout at Kosama I went to 24 Hour Fitness to take a shower and to change into my work clothes – same spiel over there: lots of people around that usually are not around at that time of the day. I guess it will take until the end of January for things to slow down a bit.
As you might know, in many parts of the US it has been freaking cold. If you live in the mid-west you know what I am talking about. Colorado has been hit with the cold weather as well, but not as bad as other parts of the country. When I woke up today it was a “balmy” 3 degrees. We had gotten snow since Saturday, but the overall accumulations were at about 3-4 inches maybe. I actually went running on Saturday morning even though temperatures were dropping and it started snowing. Initially I had planned to go out for a half marathon distance run, but I called it a
day run at 7.6 miles because I simply had totally wet feet. I have been running in snowy conditions before, but on Saturday morning there was a lot of slush out there because on Friday we had temperatures above 60 degrees and the ground was still too warm when it started snowing on Saturday and so the snow turned into water and slush and that made running no fun. Even if I would have had water-proof shoes, the water would have come into the shoes from the ankle anyway and so it was really just bad timing dedication to go running. I should have waited until late Saturday afternoon for my run, but temperatures were supposed to drop quite a bit and I did not want to run in or near single digit temperatures. So, the trade-off was to run in the morning hoping the conditions were not too bad, but as mentioned my timing was off. From a clothing perspective I was actually fine, just my wet feet made this run uncomfortable and ugly.
My First Race of 2014
Next Saturday I am scheduled to run my first race of the year. It is the Polar Prowl Half Marathon which is held in Arvada – just north of Denver. Participation seems to be on the lower side of the range from what I am hearing, but I am not sure why. It could be simply the time of the year when this race is being held. The same organization held the Fa La La Half Marathon back in December – a race that started and ended in single digit temperatures. The race was well organized back then and that is one of the reasons why I signed up for this event. There is another half marathon the following weekend which I had considered running, but to keep the cost factor under control I am limiting myself to one race per month at the moment. I’d love to run more races and maybe my blog will be popular enough at one point so that I can score some free race bibs. Another reason why I am running the Polar Prowl Half Marathon is the fact that they provide runners with access to free race pictures while the alternative race the following weekend would not do that. Running is not a cheap hobby if you do a lot of races and getting free race pictures is a nice thing to have. The Polar Prowl is a double out & back, two lap race course in Arvada, CO. The elevation chart looks scary at first, but then the difference in altitude is less than 200 feet which is not much considering where I live. You just have to look at it in more detail … ha ha 🙂
The race was supposed to be somewhere else originally, but when heavy flooding hit Colorado in fall after some dramatic rain, the trails that were supposed to be used for this race were destroyed. I am glad that the race organizer found alternative grounds to keep this race on the map.
I have not decided just yet if I sign up for additional races until May. On May 18th the first of three marathons is going to happen and I will start my official training cycle in early February. At first I had planned to run another half marathon in early February, but I am really undecided at this point. It might be a very short-term decision for a go or no-go on additional races. As mentioned, running races is adding up financially and I just paid registration fees for a total of three Full Marathons.