3rd Annual Xmas Day 5k

I’ve run the Xmas Day 5k in St. Paul, Minnesota for three years straight.  Its one of very few in the United States, its the furthest north (aka the coldest) and its the largest.  Three cheers for MinneSNOWta!  I’m still never quite sure why I run it.  I sign up in October, all excited and then Xmas Eve arrives, and I start realizing that its like 10 degrees out, and have a hard time convincing myself to go to bed so I can run in ridiculously cold temperatures the next day.

This year was no different…oh wait, yes it was.  It was MUCH colder than it has been any of the two previous years.  The predicted temp for race time (10am) was 6 degrees on Xmas Eve, with -15 degrees windchill (making it feel like -9 degrees).  Well, that would’ve been balmy, given that it only hit 3 degrees by race time with -15 degree windchill.  Yeah.

Nevertheless, I don’t like DNSing a race unless absolutely 100% necessary.  So, I “bundled up” Xmas Day and headed out with my sister, who was running her 2nd annual Xmas Day 5k — and the race that started her running last year.  I threw on my running pants, Pro Compression holiday socks (love!), a long sleeve top, a running jacket, my down vest (I wasn’t planning on running in it — but I’m SO happy that I did), my gloves (that did nothing for me), my neck gator and a headband.  In hindisght, I wish I had put on long underwear…but we always have 20/20 vision looking back.

P1030735All bundled up — BRRRRR!

Anyway, my sister grabbed our bibs, and then waited in the car for the race to start.  (Okay I hung out in the bathroom half the time…but we won’t get into details: TMI).  10am finally rolled around, and we were off.  My first half the race was speedy: 11 minutes flat.  Unfortunately it was around the half way mark that I thought I was going really fast, and then looked down to realize I was running an 8 minute mile.



Coming through the first time! (2 loop course)

And then when I tried to pick it up, because I didn’t feel like I was pushing it, I realized I couldn’t feel my legs.  And therefore I couldn’t engage my muscles to run any faster.  So I did what I could, and decided to just enjoy (hahahaha) running in the cold.



Hang 10 after finishing (I really wanted to be in Cali at this point)

I finished with a 23:25 — faster than the race last year (and the year before?), but not the 22:xx I was hoping for. But, when it feels like -10 out, I will happily take that time.  Happily.



My sister finishing!

My sister finished faster than her first 5k last year, with a time of 33:33 — and then after a quick photo shoot, we hurried back to the car, to head home to open gifts with my niece from Santa.


How did you spend Holidays?  Were you able to get your run on?


One thought on “3rd Annual Xmas Day 5k

  1. I felt cold just looking at your pictures Elise! I have ran in races where I have lost feeling in my legs too. Those are the ones you just want to be over as quick as possible so that you can get in your warm car and head to Starbucks. 🙂

    My Christmas was good, but not as cold as MN. We did have a white Christmas which was pretty. On Friday we drove to my parent’s house in OR, but then had to come back to Spokane on Sunday. It was a fun, but short trip. We spent Christmas in town w/my hubby’s family.

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