Where to even begin writing about this race, I almost want to skip it and not have record of the worst race I’ve run in years, but how else do we learn but to remember the things that don’t go smooth. After nearly a week off of running thanks to hamstring issues I knew it wasn’t going to be fast but I just wanted pain free. We woke up to yet another cold morning (9F) and more snow making roads icy in places. I once again spent too much time debating what to wear, but this time only regretted my choice for a few minutes. I have never raced anything more than 5K in temps this bad before.
We finally got the car parked after a long line and ran to hit the porta-potty where we learned a new trick. The 2 guys in front of us went in together to make it faster, so Matt and I followed. Why have we never done this before? Seriously there is a urinal and toilet so it works. Okay enough potty talk onto the race…
I get to the start and weave my way up as far as I can and see the 1:45 pace group slightly in front of me. I tell myself ignore the pacers, they only mess with your mind. I hit a good pace and am able to keep 7:30-7:45 for the first 4 miles, as I remember why I don’t race in the winter. My asthma is completely fine unless I push myself in cold air. I have no problem running in cold just can’t race. I’ve had 3 fare ups in the last 5+ years and all have been related to running (or swimming) in cold temperatures.
Mile 5 and the ache is returning, pretty sure all the hills aren’t good. I slow a bit and start to
see the runners heading back as I near the 6 Mile mark. Almost time to turn around, I can do this.
Turnaround: 52:00 (Ugh, 5 minutes slower then my goal oh well it wasn’t a goal race day) and time to walk a bit to avoid a fall on the sheet of ice.
Now the fun part, at least for a few miles, I head back and start to hear my name as I pass probably 10 friends running the half. A little motivation to keep moving. Then Mile 8 uphill and icy, what?! Each mile I am slowing as the pain increases, nothing horrible but hamstring is angry! Now working on convincing myself that this is my race, ignore everyone else and do what is comfortable. I just keep running, slow and steady and letting my music push me along. Mile 12 and almost done, finally the finish line noise is near so I ask myself: what do I have left? I give a little push and done! Yikes, 1:47:22 haven’t seen a time like that since I was pregnant. Half 1 of 13 in 2013 done.
While I shook off my disappointment I realized I did what I could and now the year can get batter. I had a few minutes (and they continue) where I think no, I can’t deal with another bad racing year like 2012. Taking it all into account I am stronger, healthier and all around in a better pace than I was a year ago, so I can do this with a little time to fix the hamstring I know I will be better. Sorry, I have to work really hard to convince myself and try to not be too hard on myself for not doing as I hoped so you all get to read it here. Like I said yesterday I am taking more time off running, rolling, icing, and working on strength now.