time = 25:28
pace = 8:20
placed 2 in my age group (40-44) out of 25
placed 18 in women out of 212
placed 43 overall out of 324
link to strava data
why do i do this to myself?!? i SWORE... literally SWORE... that i would NEVER race in winter again! i blame the recent 60º weather for my lapse in judgment. i mean... it seemed like a very good idea at the time of signup... let's run a race in freaking FEBRUARY for christ's sake!
sure... what could go wrong?
um... let's study that question for a moment.
turns out... a few different things.
so it was 18º with a wind chill of 5º at the race start. that isn't cool (no pun intended. ok... maybe pun intended). i arrived at naga-waukee park in delafield, wi about an hour before race start. it's a good thing too because there were no bathrooms at the start/finish. the park is broken up into "picnic areas" and the start finish was at picnic area 5. when i arrived i headed to the bathrooms and they were LOCKED. yup... locked. so i headed over to the tent and asked about that. they said that bathrooms were available at picnic area 2 (which is directly at the entrance to the park) and down at the lake which was also a bit of a trek from the start/finish. while this was inconvenient it certainly wasn't the worst thing in the world. i drove down to the 2, took care of that peeing business, and drove back up to 5 and parked. just after i parked i saw dave and made him get in the car to talk. it was hella cold! so we chatted for a while and then saw (and said "hi" to) jeff who was volunteering and taking photos for the race.
screw shoes. the pavement was plowed and pretty clear of snow, but there were still a good deal of slick spots and areas still covered with snow. i should have known that this was going to cause problems...
about 5 minutes before the start i headed over to the corral. i like to be in the front so that i don't get frustrated with getting caught behind slower people. i know that people will pass me, but i just like to get out in front and get out of the way. so i started near the front and that's where i saw another instep running team member, andrea, so we talked a bit about the weather and our shoes. maybe now is an appropriate time to say that if i hadn't gotten my race comped through instep for being on their team i probably would have flaked and not gone at all. responsibility (and possibly guilt) are strong and motivational drivers. i run for instep on their trail team as well as for oiselle voilée. for that reason i sometimes get comped entries to races where i can represent instep... this was one of those races.
|dave & i just minutes before race start - pc: jeff crosby|
|just moments before we took off - pc: jeff crosby|
the gun goes off and we start running. the wind is gusty and makes everything a lot more challenging and so much colder. i feel pretty good, but right away the cold is affecting my legs. i can feel the waterlogged dead weight feeling coming on, but i press on and try to ignore it. i feel like i'm running pretty well and i guess i should be since the first portion of the race is essentially DOWN HILL! while this makes me pretty happy at first i then remember that what goes down must come up... at the bottom we loop through picnic area 2's parking lot and head back up said mentioned hill. by now i've seen a few people slipping and sliding and i hear a guy behind me say that someone fell. i've slipped a few times and my legs are getting heavier and heavier... so heavy, in fact, that I STOP RUNNING AND WALK A FEW PACES!
so i walk a couple of paces and then start running again. i'm surprised i can even pick up my legs at this point... they are so damn heavy. i focus on putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. there were several turns on the park roads and an adjacent neighborhood and then we ran downhill again to the lake. as with before... what goes down must come up. *sigh*
andrea fell back right out of the gate because of the slipperiness of the roads, but she moved up on and passed me around this time. i only walked (again) a few paces but man... it sure plays with one's confidence to have to do that. this is the first 5K i've EVER had to walk in. EVER! i think the fact that we started at the top of some hills was a bit unnerving for me because we started with a significant descent and then a very slight differential between that and having to head back up right away. it was absolutely a challenge (two times over) that i was ill prepared for.
i was feeling pretty down about my performance at this point and really just trying to keep picking up my legs and putting them back down. i knew i only had about a mile left so.... i kept pushing and really just thinking about why in the world this felt so hard.
dave was waiting at the finish with a congratulatory smile and kind words. we went straight to the tent for the promised hot cocoa and to wait for the results.
it was a pretty spectatular turn out for a race held on a not so spectacular day. i will try very hard to remember why i loathe racing in cold weather after this race.
this race series hands out awards for the most average runner of the race. so the man and the woman who run exactly the middle pack pace win an entry to the "average joe" 5K which i think is really awesome and fun. those were the first awards handed out.
next they did overall winners and then age group winners. i always like to stay and see if i've placed in my age group. the announcer gets to my age group and calls out my name as the 3rd place winner! yay me! so i receive my medal and the person called as the 1st place winner of my age group is my friend cortney (i didn't think we were in the same age group so i was surprised).
dave and i left after that. we were supposed to go run lapham (i had 10 miles on my schedule), but i was so cold and disappointed after my race that i didn't want to run at lapham. plus dave is considerably faster than me so i didn't want to hold him back since my body is currently walking on the heaviest of railway ties. i mean... lead weights. iron beams. tree trunks... you get the picture. they were damn heavy and subsequently S.L.O.W.
i headed home and ran another 6 miles on the treadmill instead.
after my shower and eating i looked at the official results only to find out that they were different than what was announced on site. i had actually come in SECOND in my age group because (sure enough) cortney was NOT in my age group. i contacted the race director and he confirmed that the posted results are correct. this is where the rest of my "what could go wrong" disappointment regarding this race comes into play...
i was disappointed to learn that he was aware of the issue with the results, but chose not to do anything about it right away because it "only affected a few people". i am a pretty serious and competitve runner and even tho' i did a pisspoor job at this race the results... the CORRECT results... are very important. i didn't freak out or act like an ass when given this response... i just said thank you and sent him my e-mail so i can get the correct medal. i don't want to be a jerk about it, but this is the second time this has happened to me with this race director. the first time it was (thankfully) corrected right away so i left with the correct medal and had pictures retaken with the correct medal... now tho'... i will have pictures with the wrong medal and it's disappointing. it sort of makes me wary of running their races. i understand that there are A LOT of things that go into planning a race, but honestly, i think that the results are of the utmost importance. i suppose there are some people that wouldn't care if this happened to them, but if there's even one person who cares about this then the race director should care about it also. i would not want it to happen to someone else even if it isn't really that big of a deal... more of a minor inconvenience. anyway... that's the race report and my experience. if you like winter/cold weather racing then i recommend it. the course was insanely challenging and totally worth it. i think it's one of the most difficult 5Ks i've ever raced (and all 5Ks are truly difficult). oh and the shirt... it was cute. tech t with a flannel filled state of wisconsin. the race director also said during the awards that next year they'll have ACTUAL FLANNELS! that alone might make me do it again... lol! i mean... c'mon... a flannel race shirt?!? that's pure gold.