Monday, February 17, 2014

Columbus Winter Run 2014

My schedule this past week had a one hour hilly run.  Wouldn't you know there happened to be a race nearby on a hilly course that was 7.5 miles and would take me about an hour?  I consulted with coach and she let me sign up for it.  There were instructions, however.  First two miles ease into it, next three miles steady, rest of it let 'er rip.

Truth is, I haven't done a whole lot of running outside this winter.  I have just become a pussy about the cold weather and snow. I have tons and tons of miles on my treadmill but very, very few outside.  Yesterday, of course, was a super cold day.  It was snowing and windy and bitterly cold.  I had no idea what to wear.  I chose tights, a base layer top, a short sleeve shirt, and a light jacket, hat and gloves.  When I got to the race site I was freezing.  I had worn a puffer vest for before and after the race; I was so cold I actually contemplated wearing the vest for the race.

The race starting downhill, into the wind, on a slippery, snow covered road.  I was freezing, but the running felt very comfortable.  This is a hilly course (see below) but I was following the plan.  I hit my first mile at 8:17, second mile at 8:05, and third mile at 8:10.

{Yes I know, I owe a graphic here.  Maybe later today when I get internet at home and can get on my computer.}

Mile 4 had an out and back.  This portion was directly into the cold wind.  I was working!  But I was catching people and cruising right along, building speed.  I was able to count that I was in the top 10 women although I had no idea who was running the 15 miler and who was running the 7.5 miler.

Mile 4 - 8:05

Mile 5 was now with our backs to the wind down a flat country road.  I felt like I was flying at this point.  I caught two or three more women during this point and a couple dudes too.

Mile 5 - 7:39

Mile 6 had a short, steep uphill.  I remembered this hill from the last time I ran in this race as a 15 miler.  It sucked but this time it didn't seem so bad.  Coach has had me doing a lot of hill workouts and they seem to be working.

Mile 6 - 7:54

Finally the last mile and a half and I was mustering all the strength and speed that I could on the long rolling uphill to the finish line.  I had my eyes fixated on the two gentleman ahead of me, trying to pull them in.

Mile 7 - 7:55

The last half mile was the long driveway back to the school where the race started.  I was right on the heels of a guy at this point and he DID NOT want to be chicked.  Yeah I got him anyway, pushing my way to a 7:22 pace for the last half mile.

We stuck around for the awards.  I thought maybe I might place in my age group but wasn't sure as it was 10 year age groups and unbeknownst to me, they were only giving out first place in age group.  But, first place overall was only 4-1/2 minutes faster than me and the girl who finished ahead of me was in the 19 and under age group.  So, I did win my age group and walked away with a $10 gift card to Road Runner Sports.

This is the first race since before I was pregnant that I felt great and felt like I was really racing.  I'm not quite to the pace I want to be or was, but I'm getting there and I'm feeling fierce!

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