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:
- Saucony capris
- Fitted short-sleeved shirt (base layer) with Saucony Drylete arm-warmers
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Saucony Drylete (outer layer)
- Saucony Run Vibe Beanie
- Saucony Gloves
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?