A week ago, the forecast was 52* and partly cloudy, which sounded perfect for a race. However, that changed to 29* and foggy today. Definitely the coldest weather I have ever run in. I was only doing this race as a training run and to add another race to my 30 by 30 goal, so I didn't feel any pressure to finish in a certain time or hold a certain pace. I didn't even really look at my Garmin most of the time, I tried to just run at a comfortable pace and have fun.
After the first mile or so I had warmed up, but my hands and face were pretty cold. I could see frost forming on my eyelashes and people that I passed had frost on their hair and headbands. I had gloves on but after an hour my fingers were going numb. I took turns putting one hand in my jacket and holding my handheld in the other to try to warm them up, but as the race went on I lost more and more feeling in my hands. Some people had bare hands! I don't know what they did to keep them warm.
When I hit the 2-hour mark I was about 10.5 miles in, and I knew if I held my pace I could finish in under 2:30 so at that point I started paying attention to how fast I was running. Also I was slightly concerned about getting frostbite in my fingers and wanted to finish as soon as I could without pushing the pace too much since I was supposed to be treating it as a long training run.
I ended up finishing in 2:28:02, and for the first time ever I had a negative split! 1:14:15 for the first half, 1:13:47 for the second. I always have a slower second half so I was happy to finally speed up at the end.
The race was held at a high school, and they had chicken soup, bread, and cookies in the cafeteria for the runners. It felt funny going through the cafeteria line to get food and then finding a table, it was just like high school. We had plans to go to lunch after so I just had a piece of bread and some cookies. After the feeling came back in my fingers and face I changed clothes and we headed out.
Overall I really liked this race. I paid the highest registration fee since I signed up a week out, and it was still only $60. They provided Brooks long-sleeve tees and a nice medal, as well as a lanyard, luggage tag (kind of random), and hand warmers at packet pick-up. I really wish I had seen the hand warmers before the race! It was really well organized, and since it was held at a school we could wait inside the gym until it started and had access to real bathrooms and showers. Hubs, my ever faithful race crew-er, was able to hang out in the gym and use the school's wifi while he waited for me. I think I will definitely do this race again next year, but hopefully it is a little warmer :)
Crossing the finish line
Frost in my hair
My chin was numb so I couldn't smile right
Next up is a week off running, then training for my 12-hour race starting next Sunday!