Last Sunday I woke up to pouring rain and a temperature of 2° and felt more like -3° with the windchill. All I wanted to do was roll over and forget about running a silly race. I’m proud to report that I didn’t go back to bed and ended up having a really strong race, despite everything.
I dragged myself out of bed in enough time to eat my typical breakfast (toast, peanut butter, and banana), have some coffee and dressed. Dressing for new running conditions stresses me out because I don’t want to end up being too hot or cold or wet or whatever. I did the best with what I had and made sure to add a waterproof shell to my list of needed running items (whoever said running was a free sport LIED!). before I knew it, Scott and Mary arrived and we were all off to the start line!
Jacket: Lorna Jane | Leggings: Old Navy Active | Hat & Shoes: Brooks | Bra: Panache |
Long Sleeve: Running Room
I’m not sure why we’re all smiling
We arrived, got parked, and threw on the garbage bags I had brought along to stay drive before the race started. It’s really nice to be able to park on the residential streets so close to the start line so we really had no need to arrive too early. We made a quick porta-potty stop and lined up. Mary took off like a gazelle and Scott quickly followed so I just turned up my music and hoped for the best. More smiling…
Since the conditions were so terrible, my only goal was just to finish. I decided to find a comfortable pace and not stop because surely I would have noticed how cold and wet I was and would have had a hard time continuing. I fell into a nice groove and soaked it all in, literally. Despite the rain, there were still some spectators out cheering people on and they really gave me the energy I needed to run strong. I was amazed at how good I was feeling.
I was thankful to hear the phone notifications going off, knowing friends were texting/tweeting words of encouragement. Around the halfway mark, as we’re running through Bower Ponds, I couldn’t help but smile seeing all the goslings and thinking about how much Ange loves goslings, and also Ryan Gosling. My chain of thoughts really got goofy there. There was also a great little cheer section there with the funniest signs and shortly after that a band was playing under an overpass.
Halfway and still smiling…
Somewhere around the 7km mark, after coming out of the trees and running along 67th street I could start to feel the impact of the wind and rain and was starting to lose steam. I almost wanted to stop at the final water station (there’s one every 2km!) but waved to a friend who was volunteering and kept going because I knew I was almost done. All that was ahead of me was Heartbreak Hill and the finish line. Did I mention I hadn’t looked at my watch at all? I had no idea what my pace was and didn’t care, I just wanted to keep moving, make it up the hill and cross the finish line.
As we approached the bottom of the hill, someone coming up behind me gave some words of encouragement and high fives before passing me. I ran so hard up that hill, determined not to stop that I ended up passing her. At the top of the hill we were exposed to the elements again and I wanted to cry at the cruelty of finishing a race off like that. But I kept going, saving some energy on the downhill before turning the corner towards the finish line. There was somehow about 200m ahead of me and I wanted to try and catch them at the finish so I took off until I completely blew by them.
Even smiling at the end!
I was immediately awarded my pretty pink medal, wrapped in a heat sheet and handed a bottle of water. I found Scott and Mary huddled on the sidelines and we made a beeline for the car so we could go home and have a hot shower. I missed out on grabbing my race shirt and didn’t realize there were some vendors in the school beside the finish line, but I was happy to get out of my soaking wet clothes.
After we were warmed up and in dry clothes, as bunch of us headed to Brown’s for post-race brunch and celebratory mimosas. It’s tradition. Once we were done brunch, I wanted nothing more than a nice warm bath, so I cracked open a brew and jumped in the tub before having a bit of a nap and continuing on with the day.
While this ended up being my slowest race to date, it was most definitely my strongest. At least year’s race, I ran intervals and finished in 1:14. This year, I ran the entire race without stopping, a first, and finished in 1:17:58 (chip time). I was slightly disheartened to learn that the lead male for the half marathon finished faster than I did, before remembering that I truly ran a strong race against terrible weather conditions. I may not be fast, but I learned to perservre at this race. How does the saying go? Slow and steady…