Official Time: 1:14:44 (11:57 pace)
First off, HOLY COW I RAN A 10K RACE!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!
Do you have any idea how excited I am that I finished? Let me give you a hint: I wore my medal all day. Seriously. Through dinner and dishes and everything. All day. No shame.
This race was cold and terrible and cold and wonderful and cold and awful and did I mention cold? No really.
I wore the following: Long sleeve shirt, long sleeve pullover, fleece running jacket, hat, scarf, gloves, running tights, pants, and two pairs of socks. And I had a sweatshirt to wear huddled in the start line and to throw on right at the end. It ended up being the perfect amount of clothing, and after about a mile I wasn’t TERRIBLY cold, just mostly cold.
I told Tim my goal was to finish in an hour and 15 minutes. Based on my training paces, this was where I figured I’d be. My DREAM goal was to keep up with the pacer shooting for a finish in an hour and 10 minutes, but I didn’t want to push myself too much, especially in the cold. I really just wanted to finish.
Right at the start I fired up my spotify playlist …. only to have it not work!!!! I’d spent so long curating the perfect playlist and was CRUSHED when it wouldn’t work! I could have listened to Pandora, but I didn’t want mood-killing commercials and songs that I hate, so I ran without music.
The first mile of the race was decent. It was mostly uphill, but I kept my head down and pushed forward. Once I hit the one mile marker I rewarded myself with a bit of a walk break before moving on.
Mile two was more uphill, but I was still feeling good. My legs were really cold, though, and I felt like I was running really slowly. But I could still see the 1:10 pacer a minute or two ahead of me, so I knew I was doing alright.
Mile three was a beautiful downhill mile. All downhill. All wonderful….right up until the last .1-.2 miles, which were a rather steep uphill. See if you can guess where my morale dropped?
There was a water stop at the turnaround point, filled with cups of half frozen water. Seriously, the volunteers had to pour fresh cups or bang the already poured cups onto the table to break through the layer of ice that formed on top. And there was another volunteer constantly spreading ice melt on the road to thaw the instantly frozen spilled water. Running in Minnesota. Fun, right?
The turnaround point was a low point for me. It was all I could do to not say EFF THIS and give up. That wonderful long downhill during mile 2 was now a terribly long and steep uphill. Miles 4 and 5 crawled by. Literally. I honestly wanted to just crawl back. I walked A LOT, which was not a good thing, because walking cools down your body, which reminds you how sweaty you are, which reminds you that your body is covered in water on a sub-zero day, thus making you COLDER than when you started. I walked a portion with someone else who commiserated with me about the cold and the hills. At this point I no longer had a visual on the pacer. The crowd had thinned out significantly. I felt alone and disappointed. At this point I just wanted to cross the finish line at some point that day.
Finally I could see the turnaround point for the 5K racers. For whatever reason, seeing this GIANT MASS OF PEOPLE OMG WHY DID SO MANY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO RACE IN THIS WEATHER was the kick in my pants I needed. By the time I reached the 5K pack, they were the casual runners (the 5K start was 30 minutes after the 10K). The ones doing this race with a group of friends just to spend the time chatting and what not. I started thinking to myself “10K-ER COMING THROUGH! MOVE PEOPLE! I’M A SERIOUS RUNNER! GET OUT THE WAY!”
I started slaloming through the people who refused to move to the right all the while thinking “I’VE BEEN RUNNING SO MUCH LONGER THAN YOU PEOPLE! MOVE DAMNIT!” Seeing the finish line and then Tim and my sisters (who had started and finished their 5K in the time I took me to run my race) gave me the energy I needed to burst through. I was STOKED when I saw my time, which was EXACTLY the goal time I was shooting for!
The finish area was a chaotic mass of people. Both races ended at the same finish line, but there was no clear way to tell where the runners got their respective medals. I finally heard someone through the crowd yell “10K medals over here!” so I pushed through the swarming mass and got mine. There were so many people though that I couldn’t even see the water and snack tables, so I ended up not getting the frozen banana I was so looking forward to.
I was still hyped up with adrenaline so I couldn’t QUITE feel how cold it was, but my poor husband had the reddest cheeks EVER and looked terribly cold! Apparently he’d spent most of the time outside waiting for me! There was a coffee shop right near there, but it was PACKED with other spectators waiting for their finishers, so he spent the time outside with my sisters’ menfolk and waited for the three of us to finish.
We took a quick picture of the three of us before heading off to our warm cars. When we got back home, the walk from the car to the door was THE COLDEST EVER! It finally hit me how cold it was outside and how wet I was. It was awful! It seriously took me HOURS to feel warm, even after a hot hot shower.
One thing I will say for certain, I will never again run outside when it is this cold. I may be dedicated to running, but I also have a gym membership. I will also not be racing until April. My sister mentioned a St. Patrick’s Day run, but I’ll only do that if they have race day registration to avoid another potential sub-zero run. Because never again. Ever.