Luckily, the weather gods were a little nice this year(I have heard horror stories about this race in past). The sun was shining and it actually looked pretty outside. Granted it was still single digit temps with below zero wind chill, it could have been worse.
You can see everyone's breath, and also me looking like a twerp fixing my hair.
First 3 miles I held comfortable relaxed pace, trying to brace myself for whatever the rest of the race might hold. I passed 3 girls in the first 3 miles which put me in 4th place.
When we got to the 'Edgemere section' (mile 4-5) the left side of my body was numb. You have water on both sides of you and no protection from the crosswind. I kept my head down and just tried to hold pace.
Once turning off of Edgemere, that cross wind turned into a lovely headwind (a cold one at that). The front side of me was numb, I tried not to look at my watch during this section. Granted I hadn't really slowed down, I felt like it with the wind. There weren't many people around me at this point so mentally I just kept telling myself to 'stay focused'.
The last mile was long and straight and slightly uphill but I was around more people which was good. I was still feeling decent and was able to pass a few more people including one more female to put me in 3rd.
|Last stretch before final turn. I like this one and only am posting it because I look like I'm going to run into a pole, and well.. that would have been funny. (you know you would have laughed!)|
After the race, I knew I wanted to get more miles in for the day to make it my 'long run'. I was a little ambitious(given the race and the weather conditions) and originally said 8 miles after. NO, I even knew that wasn't going to happen. So then I said OK lets do 4. When we got to the 2 mile I said, lets go to 2.5 which will give us 5(out & back). It was fine until turning around. I'm pretty sure Joe and Laura wanted to strangle me. We couldn't feel our legs or faces because of the cold, but we did it! Including warm-up, race and cool-down we got a little over 15 miles in for the day in that frigid weather!
My main thoughts on the race: Consistency and form.
According to my Garmin my splits were 6:54, 7:03, 6:56, 6:46, 6:48, 6:55, 6:52, 6:48 which are pretty darn consistent even with wind. That made me happy, but so did my form. I have been working really hard on relaxing my form (I have bad habit of tensing up), as well as as strength training. I am seeing improvements because of this. As much as I detest the weather lately, I know that it has helped me mentally to push through and will make things even better come spring.
The next race in the series is in 2 weeks, Saturday February 22. It's a 10k race, hopefully I can pull off a good time and increase my standings within the series. I am also running Lake Effect Half marathon the following day. Basically I am torturing myself with back to back days of cold races, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? At least I will have some awesome people to hang out with (ahem Heather, Hollie, Britt!) after for a beer.
Winter races, love or hate?
Who else is doing Lake Effect??