Hot Chocolate 10k Race Recap

As I said yesterday, I’m not going to sit here and blame the freezing temperatures or the ice / slush on the ground as the reason I did not reach my goal.  I signed up for a race in the winter in NYC, so ice/snow/freezing temperature kind of goes along with the territory.  Do I think the conditions caused me to go a bit slower than I would have if things were warmer/drier?  Yes. Definitely.  Do I think they caused me to run 94 seconds slower (~15 sec/mile) than I needed to?  That may be a stretch.  And I can’t sit here today and “blame” the elements for that substantial of a time difference.

At the end of the day,  I’ll really never know.  There’s no way to rewind that race, that one moment in time and do it again with better conditions.  So rather than dwell on what I didn’t accomplish and be pissed off at the external factors, I’m going to chalk it up as a great training run (and lesson) for my bigger goal this spring – sub-3:10 at the NJ Marathon.

That’s not to say that I’m not extremely disappointed.  Because I am.  My heart still hurts.  I couldn’t help but cry on the way home on Saturday.  I wanted the chance to apply for the Saucony Hurricane Team more than anything.  And it hurts that I have to wait another whole year to get the chance again.

Enough ramblings…here is the recap of the race (warning: it’s fairly long!)

I got up at 5am on Saturday. The race started at 8 but was about 45 min away and I needed to find a place to park (the parking around Prospect Park is notoriously tough), pick up my bib, and run 1-2 miles to warm up.  My oldest son woke up as I was packing up my things at 545am.  As I was getting ready to walk out of the house, the younger guy woke up.  He usually sleeps til 8/9, so I ran upstairs to nurse him to try to get him to go back to sleep.  No such luck.  Thankfully, both boys love (and adore) my sister and sister’s boyfriend and were happily playing when I finally left at 620.

I made it to the park quickly and even found a spot right across the street from the bib pickup / finish line. SCORE.  Instead of race t-shirts, we were given cute coffee mugs.  SCORE.  I’ll get way more use of this than a t-shirt!

I made my way to pavilion where the packet pickup was located.  My stomach dropped when I saw the park conditions.  It looked pretty slushy and unfavorable for racing.

After picking up my bib, I decided to go wait in my car until 730 to keep warm.  It was in the upper teens but with the windchill was hovering close to zero.  I sat in the car with the heat blaring, listening to music, and texting with my sis.  She sent me some good luck pictures from my boys  Best thing to see/read before I left:

At 7:30, I said goodbye to warmth, my sweatpants and sweatshirt and headed out for my 2 mile warmup.  I wore:

2 mile warmup – 17:40 (8:50 pace)

My plan for the race was to treat it like a progression run – start slow (around 7:00) and gradually pick up the pace and then go all out the last 1-2 miles.  With the exception of zoo hill (which we had to run twice), the course had a perfect amount of small rolling hills – nothing that would significantly slow me down.

I loved the laid-back atmosphere of this race.  I’ve gotten used to large NYRR races…and while I enjoy them, it is refreshing to do a race where there are fewer runners and less confusion/hassle with parking, the start, bathrooms, etc.  Just before 8, the race director got on the megaphone to give last minute instructions and safety tips.  He told us we should not look to race or go for a PR because of the conditions -> NOT what I wanted to hear.

The first mile started with zoo hill (which was very slushy) and eventually leveled out.  Most of the first mile was slushy – not terrible, but not ideal.  I was happy to see mile 1 right where I wanted it to be. 6:59.

I got into the zone during mile 2.  I picked up the pace – and with the exception of my hands starting to go numb, felt in control.  6:43.

Mile 3 was a rude awakening.  Most of the mile was in the shade and had ice/slush.  I tried not to slow down, but my pace immediately hit the low 7s.  I saw some of the other runners ahead of  me running on the other side of the road (where there was a sliver of sun hitting the pavement), so that’s what I did as well.  For about a half a mile, I had to keep my head totally down to see where I was stepping to avoid patches of what looked like ice/snow/who-knows.  7:12.

Just after mile 3, we passed the start and ran the same route again (the course was just under 2 full loops).  You can see how identical my paces were the second time:

  • Mile 1, 4: 6:59, 7:02
  • Mile 2, 5: 6:43, 6:42
  • Mile 3, 6: 7:12, 7:13
  • Mile 6.2 (my watch read .26): 1:42 (6:32 pace)
  • Total Time: 43:34
  • 7:02 pace
  • 30th overall out of 574
  • 5th female out of 364
  • 1st in my AG (F 30-34)

It’s clear looking at my splits which miles were icy.  (I knew miles 1 and 4 would be a bit slower because of zoo hill).

I wore the perfect amount of clothes.  I was cold standing at the start – my hands and legs were chilly, but once we started running, I immediately worked up a good sweat and felt fairly comfortable the whole 43+ minutes.  The hardest thing to deal with was the icicles that formed on my eyelashes by mile 2.  My eyes tear A LOT when I run and because of the frigid temps, they were almost instantly turning to ice.  There were numerous times during the run where I had to take off my gloves and pull the icicles off my eyelashes because they were starting to limit my sight.

I stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way home for some coffee to cheer me up – I never, ever buy coffee out but felt like it would cheer me up – it did =)

How can I stay upset when this is what I came home to:

 And had some yummy cheesecake Saturday night as a celebratory dessert for my first race post-baby:

What’s the coldest temperature you have raced in?  Did you have to deal with icicles on your eyelashes?

Did you race this weekend??  

Do you like Dunkin Donuts?

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    49 thoughts on “Hot Chocolate 10k Race Recap

    1. Nice post. I’m checking frequently this kind of site with this particular prompted! Very useful info in particular the closing portion :) My partner and i care for such information significantly. I became interested in this certain info for any long time. Thank you and finest associated with chance.

    2. I know that it wasn’t the race or time you were hoping for, but I am amazed that you were able to do what you did despite the conditions and, oh by the way in case you forgot, right after having your second baby. :) I don’t know many new moms who could even come close to that (let alone me without kids, ha!). It will make you stronger for the next run and race. And I love the good luck messages from your boys. Too cute! xo
      Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted..Friday FITspiration: From Ice Cream to MarathonMy Profile

    3. Great Job Michelle! I think it is important to remember that the times that we don’t reach our goals only serve to make the times that we DO reach our goals so much sweeter! Thank you for putting yourself out there for the world to see… public accountability is such a difficult thing, and you are great at it! Thanks for letting us all come along for the ride :-)

    4. YOU TOOK FIRST IN YOUR AGE GROUP!! I know for a fact that if it wasn’t for that silly ice you would have gotten that goal. I can’t wait to see your sub 3:10 marathon girl. You are killing your workouts!

    5. It seems like you ran a really smart race: your splits show that you were in control the whole time. It doesn’t wipe away the disapointment. When you’re in the “having kids” phase of life, the time between kids is “precious” and can seem so short. But you’re in a great position for your spring marathon!
      Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted..Thank YouMy Profile

    6. Sorry you missed your goal! But I am floored by your speed! Let alone in bad weather conditions.

      I got cold just sitting here reading the conditions – well that and the office air just kicked on :) *still totally afraid of outside running! I slipped just walking today in the snow/ice/slush. So it is the treadmill until early spring I think.

      Is this the one race you could do to qualify for the team? Or just the past opportunity you had by their cut off?
      Deana recently posted..Week in Review #4My Profile

    7. Congrats, again Michele. I admire you so much for putting your big goals out there, and going after it on a slushy, freezing day!! You are seriously inspiring, and still came away with a fantastic time. I probably would have shed a few tears as well for missing the time goal, but wow, you ran an awesome race, icicle eylashes and all!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..8 Tips for New RunnersMy Profile

    8. Sorry you didn’t make your goal….bummer. You did have a good race though and you are still inspiring to all of us! :) I live in Northern MI and I did a race in late December that was in the single digits with snow and ice covered roads. I did learn that you can buy these strappy things that go over your shoes with spikes on the bottom to run in ice and snow…but if you don’t live where it is snow covered winter for 6 months I’m not sure the are worth it.
      Maria recently posted..Guest PostMy Profile

    9. Not making a goal always sucks and is a hard pill to swallow. I know that you have been training so hard for this race and wanted to run to your best ability. Although it didn’t happen this weekend, it will happen. And the next time it does, I bet you won’t have to defrost your eyelashes 😉

      Keep your chin up and your eye on the sub 3:10 marathon prize! I have NO doubts that you will reach that goal. You are so inspiring!!!
      xo, Ali
      Ali recently posted..Boston Marathon Training – Week Two (& Party Pics Too!)My Profile

    10. I was supposed to do a 5K this weekend–my first of the year, and at 14 weeks pregnant. I have definitely gotten progressively slower and had MUCH less energy as each week has gone by, so I was nervous.

      There was snow/sleet the day before, and the race was canceled. (I’m in North Carolina. We are wimps.)

      I can’t say I was completely disappointed.
      Gretchen recently posted..Knocked up abroad: I’m pregnant and we’re moving to Germany. Or, why babies are exactly like carbs. But you shouldn’t eat babies.My Profile

    11. Weather can really put a damper on things, but for your 1st race post baby this is awesome! There is only up to go from there an there is always another race out there to hunt down that PR. Congrats on the beginning of something good :)

    12. I live in MI and have raced in late Decemeberin single digit temps with snow, ice, slush…not that fun. I wear those things you strap over your shoes with the spikes on the bottom for better traction…but if you don’t live where it snows for 5 months than I’m not sure they are worth it.

      But great job anyway…you had a good race despite not reaching your goal (not that hearing it from all of us is going to make it better….but. iChat cheer you up a little) ;). Hang in there, you do the hard work so you will get to have your moment. Keep it up, you are inspirining us all while you do it.
      Maria recently posted..Guest PostMy Profile

    13. NoOoO to the first two ?s. 😉

      I have a race this weekend and next.

      I’m sorry that the park/ice didn’t work out in your favor for the Hurricane team, but it was still an amazing run! Great time speedy legs! :)

      I love Dunkin Donuts. I’m not sure how I will go on without it somewhere in my life if I ever had to move to a place that doesn’t have them…
      beka @ rebecca roams recently posted..Friday’s Letters + RecognitionMy Profile

    14. Plus one to what Miz says above. You’ve got it all figured out, Michele, and I KNOW your day will come soon. Winter racing is definitely a gamble. I have one race I do in Dec. each year–sometimes I race it, but the last few years, I’ve just run it for fun. One big reason is that it can be an icy/snowy day for it. But I don’t have anything on the line at that one, and you did yesterday.

      I think you had some nice rewards at the end of the day! Well deserved.
      misszippy1 recently posted..A crossfit/running marriage?My Profile

    15. ohmygosh! Icicles on your eyelashes! I’ve never experienced that. Then again, I probably haven’t been out running when it’s cold enough for icicles to form on my eyelashes! I can envision which sections of the park you’re talking about. I echo Miz’s words – you are badass. you are inspiring. you are an amazing woman. Love the pics of your boys.
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Sick DayMy Profile

      • HA. It was comical b/c I thought it was first water and tried to wipe them away with my gloves, but they didn’t move. They slowly were getting closer to the middle of my eyes to the point where it was obstructing what I was seeing. I figured I needed my total vision to see the ground. LOL. I’m laughing about it now but at the time I was using every curse word I knew. HA
        Sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet up for coffee – -although it sounds like you needed to stay inside anyway =)

      • Emily! If it makes you feel any better, I was so nervous in the days leading up to this race that I couldn’t sleep…and on the morning of the race, I literally had to force myself to eat a few bites of my food b/c I was so nauseous. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was getting over A RACE! LOL.
        I prefer DD over Starbucks for coffee every day of the week!
        Good luck in your race!! Let me know how it goes =)

      • Yup – they love me unconditionally – whether I run 42 or 62 min. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters in life.
        Thank you! It felt SO freakin good to race again!!! =)

    16. So sorry you didn’t make your goal. It just seems cruel to have to run in those conditions when it hasn’t snowed at all this winter!

      But, seriously, great job!!! You really did awesome out there I love that you have such a great perspective on things. Keep up the awesome work, you know you inspire me so much!!! :)
      Steph recently posted..Winter Marathon TrainingMy Profile

      • HAHA. I know. When I was obsessing about the weather, my only concerns were temperature and wind! I didn’t even factor in snow/ice! Stupid cold front :/

        Thanks, Steph…trying to stay positive and upbeat. I keep telling myself it’s one race – it doesn’t define me. UGH =)

    17. Aww I’m so sorry you didn’t hit your goal but I cannot imagine even running in conditions like that (Texas girl here!) let alone racing in them. That was a great race despite the treacherous day and I definitely think you deserved that coffee! I know it’s hard to wait a whole year to apply for the running team again but just think of all the growth you will have this next year! Keep up the good work and I look forward to following the rest of your marathon training!
      Lauren @ The Unlikely Runners recently posted..The One With Land Of Oz Training {Week 6}My Profile

      • HAHA. Trust me – as I was walking to the start, every curse word known to man went through my head. When my hands started hurting early on, all I wanted to do was go back in my car and quit. LOL. Once I got warmed up though, it was actually not too bad! If I hadn’t been racing, I would have totally loved it!
        Thank you for your sweet words – having another bigger race already on my calendar is making it easier than I though to refocus =)

    18. Sorry you didn’t hit your goal! How amazing to run a race in those conditions and just after you had a baby! You’re a rockstar and quite the badass…you will OWN the NJ Marathon. Does it help that you looked cute as button?? (probably not, but you did!)

      • Thank you, Kristin!! I’m trying to be patient about my first marathon – I felt like I could have run one now or even a bit sooner, but am focusing on a time goal and not just running it to say I ran one, you know? Thanks for your kind words – means so much to me =)

    19. Congrats on your race that’s a pretty amazing finish!

      I recently ran the Santa hustle in 10 degree weather windy and the whole course was ice and snow least to say I didn’t PR but the candy cane and cookie water stops were pretty great.

      My worst weather race was probably my first half marathon where it was storming the entire time. Lightning hit a tree in front of me and a limb fell. I can’t believe they didn’t cancel the race but it actually took my mind off the pain of those last few miles.

      My husband is obsessed with Dunkin donuts I’m a Starbucks kinda girl.

    20. I was hoping you’d meet your goal of a sub-42 10K so I understand being disappointed you didn’t. But, it was still a great race and you have a lot to be proud of. But it’s okay to be diappointed you didn’t do as well as YOU wanted to (even though I couldn’t dream of a sub-42 10K!). Like you said – it’s over and you can start focusing on your next race. Yay for cute kiddos when you walked in the door :)