The ornament exchange at church Friday night was fun, but the snack food just didn't cut it for dinner the night before a 16 miler. I was able to run with one of our faster participants for about 7 miles Saturday morning and then I told him to go ahead. I slowed down my pace, ran with some other people for a while and then took it on in. Sixteen miles felt good. And if 16 wasn't enough, I punished myself even more Saturday night.
We live in a small town outside a big city. They are so close, they feel like one big place. Anyway, the big city puts on a "Trail of Lights" each year down near the lake where my run group meets a lot. The Trail of Lights is fun to go through. There are all kinds of lighted displays and TONS of lights. There is also a big tree made of lights that you can get under, twirl around so that you get really dizzy, and then fall down. We try to go every year, but we always get busy with stuff and most years end up not going. I wanted to go this year, but in looking at the calendar, it looked like it would be tough. Well, there was one way to fit it in, and that was to do the Trail of Lights 5K. The Trail of Lights doesn't officially open until the 2nd Sunday of the month. But, if you do the 5k, you get to run through it the Saturday before it is open to the public. So, I did some talking to the family and convinced them it would be ok if we walked. I promised to leave my Garmin at home, and they agreed we could do it.
So Saturday early evening we headed downtown. We weren't sure how many people would be there, but if you wanted to park close you had to be there by 5:30 because they would be closing the roads. We got there around 5:00. The race started at 6:30 pm. And there were way more people that we expected. It was fun, though. Santa was at the start line to see us off. We had about a mile to go before we got to the actual Trail of Lights, about a mile through the lights, and then another mile back to the finish. We got some good pictures along the way.
After we were done, we went under the tree for some spinning around. And then we headed home. Mission accomplished. In fact, I think everyone enjoyed it enough that we may just do it every year.