I am trying to pretend that the weather forecast is not telling me that the wind chill temperature is zero. I am ignoring the fact that the winds are gusting between 35-40 mph because I really wanted to run outside but ugh, I hate wind, especially cold wind!
Let’s just talk instead about Sunday’s last-minute Blue Ribbon Run For Prostate Cancer 10k race now, okay?
I tried really hard to time everything just right by leaving my house as late as possible to avoid waiting around in the cold and needing to use a porta potty prior to the start of the race.
Yeah, that didn’t work as planned. Even when I try to be on time/almost late, I am always early.
The potties were clean though and there was a warming tent set up at the start line (which was also the finish line).
A few minutes prior to the start (there was a 5k race which began five minutes before my 10k race), one of the trainers from Equinox led everyone in as series of dynamic stretching/warm up exercises.
It was super cold outside but my body was warm.
The only issue I have with running races in the cold weather is adjusting to the breathing in and out of chilly air.
It always bothers my nose, mouth and lungs but I think expecting it helped me to deal with it.
My first mile, per the usual, was fast (7:00 min/mile even).
I knew there was no way I was holding that pace for the duration of the race but what I loved about this race was that I stayed really consistent AND, most importantly, my thought process was happy and sane.
I. Felt. Terrific. Not one complaint to give you.
I felt as though I was running at my pace, not someone else’s pace like as if I stole it and had no business having it.
Does that make sense?
I felt really comfortable the entire time and in my zone, as if this was the pace for me.
If you recall from last year, I experienced some races where my thought process was crazy and not polite.
I would spend those races questioning why I run, swearing I would never run a race again and wondering why I did this to myself.
During those races, my pace would be similar to this race but I think it felt much more challenging to hold and didn’t feel like mine.
Aside from comparing the mental stuff, I don’t really like to compare one race to another since each race course can be different and the weather conditions may vary BUT if we bother to compare anyway, this would be a PR race for me.
I noticed at the 5k mark that I was ahead of usual.
At five miles, I noted that I was much faster than my second place for age finish at the Long Beach 5-mile race and this was my best 10k out of the three I have run to date.
I don’t even know my exact finish time. I didn’t shut MapMyRun right away and the race only gave me the gun time which was 47:59.
Either way, I know it was my fastest race yet and I finished 35th overall, 9th female and 5th in my division. Not bad, right?!
How cool that it looks as though I was flying in this picture?
Other things worth noting:
The course was slightly hilly at the start and again at the finish (which explains why I slowed a bit at the 6-mile marker) but nothing crazy.
I guess one can call the race course boring but it was local and fun to run on the service road to the LIE, through the local neighborhoods of Syosset, Woodbury and possibly Jericho (who knows, they all blend together) and the start/finish went through the Syosset-Woodbury park where I spent many a day with my son as an infant, toddler and preschooler.
I remembered how I never let him crawl on the ground when we had our baby playgroups at the park. I was nuts, I realize that now.
The race goodies at the finish line were the best I have seen yet:
A little blurry but the lady giving out the cupcakes thought I was weird for trying to take a picture so I did it real fast.
Speaking of food, I did really well considering the super late start time (9:35 am)!
I broke up my breakfast in two parts since I was most concerned that I would be hungry by the time the race began.
I split my oatmeal with mashed banana in two, having the first half around 6:00 am and the rest around 8:15 am. Both bowls with peanut butter of course and two cups of coffee (and water) spread out in between.
I did not bring fuel aka jelly beans along for this race. I normally start popping them at mile 6 and since this race ends at 6.2, I did not find them necessary.
I always call my dad as soon as I cross a finish line (if he isn’t at the race).
He’s really the only one who cares (or pretends to care) when I go into extreme detail about the race, my pace, my shoes, my breathing, what the guy in front of me was wearing and how I felt at every step.
And then I call him an hour later to rehash it all over again.
After the race, of course I did my usual, could I have gone faster?
Of course I think I could have but the truth is, if I did, I may have burned out at some point, slowed later on or even worse, not enjoyed the race at all because I was too busy pushing myself too hard.
Tina and I talked real quick after the race about working on the whole starting out slower in order to achieve negative splits and I think it is something to consider.
More 10k races are also something for me to consider. There aren’t a ton offered locally but I may seek them out more often than just focusing on half marathons.
What’s your favorite race distance?
Do you start out too fast like me or are you good at pacing yourself from the beginning?
Are you a naturally early person or always late?