I’d say my title says it all – it was 23 degrees today when we got up, and Bill’s car said it was 21 degrees outside, AFTER the race.

As you can tell from some of the pictures, it was SNOWING, so I am not going to beat myself up with my results for today.  I just saw them on CoolRunning.   I am glad I felt like I finished the last mile pretty strong, particularly the last quarter mile, when I felt like I was almost going to throw up (sorry to be gross) at times. I can honestly say that the snow hurt when it hit my face at that point, and I tried to sprint as best as I could on the snow-covered street. 

I will say this about this race – people were really honest about where they lined up at the start line. In almost no time I found myself running around the same people as I did last week.  During the first mile, I set my sights on this lady I referred to in my mind as “Vest Woman.”  She beat me by about a half step last week and I think she is in my age group.  I made sure I beat her in the last quarter mile today!! 🙂 (It was good to see she’d slowed down too, I felt better seeing that.) 

  • Place in my division: 27/112
  • Place overall: 337/744

Time according to my Garmin was 36:39, and also I ran 4.07 miles, so it said I had a 9:00 average pace. Gotta get better at the tangents! Official time per the race gun (again, no timing mat at the beginning, just at the end) was 36:40, so a 9:10 pace.  I think I’ll go with my own watch today, thank you! 

This was not a race to set a PR.  Besides the ridiculous hill (you can tell by my mile pace times, in just which mile it hit, UGH), it was the type of snow that was starting to stick and I was worried about slipping and hurting myself.  Even the leaders (this was an out and back course so you got to see them,  always love those types of races) looked like they were putting on the brakes a bit coming down the hills.  Usually I think “Free Speed” as I come down them, but today I was thinking “please don’t fall, please don’t fall, please don’t fall.”

Here is what it said on the USATF Elevation Chart – I’m not sure how to read these, but I think it means PRETTY FREAKING STEEP.

Total climb: 163 feet / 50 m
Total elevation change: 326 feet / 99 m

My mile splits:

  • 1st mile: 8:27 pace
  • 2nd mile: 10:16 (godda*&$  f&*$%^ing hill…)
  • 3rd mile: 8:40 pace
  • 4th mile: 8:50 pace
  • 5th lap – for a whopping 27 seconds, ran 6:14 pace.

I will not lie – I did get up a  portion of the second hill, but it was seriously so steep, I saw a lot of other people walking up it.  I figured it might be better for me to walk a bit, thereby saving myself some energy for the rest of the race.  I was a bit disappointed to see the official time clock say 28 minutes at mile 3, but with a hill like that, I was not completely surprised.

My friend Kara passed me somewhere between mile 1-2, right before the hill, and that was the  last time I ever saw her. She’s used to running hills much more than I am, since her town has a ton of them.  If I can’t do spring track because of the timing and location, I think my plan for the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon will be to run the hills in Winchester on Tuesday nights.  That course is sad to have a lot of them, and I need more practice than what I can get in the early mornings.

Anyway, I heard some good quotes today.  From a guy who was wearing shorts only on the bottom, “I can’t feel my legs!”  From Lis (hope I am remembering these accurately), who said “there’s a lot of good things about running, racing is not the only thing.” She also said “today is not the day to race for the best time, it’s about surviving.”

A few things I need to say about the Claddagh Pub. They had a very good setup after the race – lots of food, and lots of space to spread out. There were lines for the bathrooms of course, and of course I would have liked more, but I made sure to only stand in line once!  We didn’t have our names on our bibs, but I’ll take more food anyday!

Did I forget to add that we are supposed to get somewhere in the range of 15 inches tomorrow??  Why CAN’T WE GET A BREAK THIS WINTER??!!  We could finally see the grass on Friday, and I ran in 40+ temps! I even ran with just one layer!! AAGGGHHHHHH!!!

On a final note, I realized two things today. I think part of the reason I am enjoying the shorter races so much is because last year, all the focus was on training for the marathon. I couldn’t do a lot of shorter races because it was all about building distances, week after week, and it’d have been too hard to do a quick 5K the day after running 14 miles.  This year I have so much more freedom and I intend to enjoy it.

Oh, and also, at the urging of Jill, I decided to take the Runner’s World Natural Selection test. I scored 18 points, which says “I’m a speed racer.”  Well, I don’t know that I’d go that far but I do like the shorter distances. After this pub series is over, I”ll start to really ramp up my runs for the half marathon in May.  I think I have only two more weeks left of indoor track, so it looks like hill workouts are in my near future!

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