I knew it was going to be cold, so I thought a lot about how to dress for the 35 ish temps. I decided I'm a shorts girl to the core and I'd just layer up top and wear gloves and tough it out. I did not know, however, that it was going to SNOW! I saw a couple flakes yesterday but they said there could be a few flurries.. but this morning there was a legitimate layer of snow. Yikes! I decided to stick with the planned outfit- my North Face shorts, UA sleeveless layer, long sleeve tech shirt (my blue Boston one, which I wear when I'm feeling insecure, hehe), and gloves. It worked fine for the race.
The snow was beautiful and the Vancouver Lake area looked amazing. I've raced in cold weather but never ran a race in snow! Of course the above-freezing temps slowly melted the snow and made a nice layer of slush on the roads and trails. The course ran about half on a road and the other half on a paved bike path. The road wasn't bad, but the trail was yucky.
So the goal for the race was to try to run about 1:45. In retrospect, I should have been more realistic but whatever. I knew when I signed up for this race that the timing wasn't ideal... I ran a marathon 7 weeks ago and took about 3 weeks off after (including feasting like a king during the holidays, shut up you did it too), so I've really not been training for this. I ran like 25 miles a week for the last three weeks. I ran a long run of 10 miles two times. So not much. I knew I could run it though and why the hell not. :) Plus, Emily wanted to do it and it was going to be fun just to do our first race "together."
We picked up our bibs and did a little warm up before the 10:00 am start (love that!). We lined up close to the front because it wasn't chip-timed and we're conceited like that.
We started off very excited and very strong. We knew right away we weren't going the pace of the people around us, so we started to let them pass. A lot of people ran past us! Eventually we got caught up by a group more our pace. After seeing the third split I knew I couldn't maintain the pace so I told Emily to go on ahead. We were technically even ahead of HER pace, so way out of my range. I ran a couple more strong miles right behind her and then I slowed and she disappeared into the wild white yonder.
The middle miles were on a paved bike path through the park. It was way slushier than the road was and inhibited my pace. It definitely changed my stride a little..I felt like I wasn't getting that last little push off your toe because that's where I would slip. With every. single. step.
By the time I got back to the road at mile 8.5 or so I was just sick of it and generally getting tired. My lack of training was shining through! I had so far to go still and didn't even want to do it. I actually considered quitting. Like seriously considered it. No real reason, I was just over it. Well, I didn't end up seeing Zach where I thought I would and hardly got to talk to him when I did see him... and by that time I decided I'd just finish the stupid thing. I knew I had never quit a race and I decided today wouldn't be the first time I do. I also decided I wouldn't walk at all. The last few miles weren't as bad but I wasn't running any faster. I rounded through the park and could hear the finish line ahead and figured I would come in under 1:50, so I was happy with that. I was soooo glad to be done!
It's funny because looking back I basically did is a 5 mile tempo run followed by an 8.1 mile GA/Cool down (see times below). An excellent workout, not an excellent racing strategy. Anyway, I'm glad I ran some with Emily and maybe helped her from going out way to fast.. and the pace felt great at the time. I wanted to run faster later in the race but my body was not having it.
I saw Emily on my home stretch and was so glad to hear about her race after. She totally rocked it!! We checked the results and we both placed in our age groups! We waited around in the freezing cold for the award ceremony where we both received beautiful souvenir beer mugs! Hell ya!
Another very cool thing was that after I finished I knew I would get to see Cindy come through the finish because I had spotted her in the race! We've never actually met but I knew she was running and I'd seen her picture. Of course she is even more beautiful in person! :) She ran a very good race too and seemed to have fun. Cindy- It was so nice to meet you! We'll have to get together after the next one... sorry I seemed to have lost you after you got your medal. Great job out there! :)
I'm just relaxing this afternoon/evening... I am actually pretty sore! Slow time does not equal not sore. I have to admit I was pretty dissapointed in myself but I've realized where I really was fitness-wise, and that it's Ok! I've settled on calling it a helluva workout and a very fun day. :)
1:49:02/8:19 avereage pace
3rd place AG/20
first 5 miles in 39:22 (7:50 average pace)
last 8.1 miles in 1:10:38 (8:43 average pace)
surprisingly snowy morning
a couple hundred people at the start. around 34 degrees.
My photographer and #1 fan
picking up my winner's mug!
souvenir mug takes a trip to the hot tub
Youtube video of the start: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkpoEusQGns