The first mile was chilly (snow was sticking to my eyebrows!) but eventually I warmed up; enough so that I felt like I chose the absolute perfect running outfit for these temps.
The miles were ticking off quickly. It was so great to catch up with my friends again; not only are they amazing people who constantly lift me up (figuratively, not literally. I’m just so funny, I know.), but they always restore my love for running just when it’s fading (which tends to occur most often in the winter…hmm I wonder why.) My left hamstring felt a little tight, along with that pesky back-of-knee thing that seems to only bother me when I haven’t been running much. Still, everything felt better as I went along…although Beth did catch me rubbing my IT bands at one point (more precautionary – I think now I just do it out of habit). I tried to drink some water at the aid stations but it gave me brain freeze; as one runner put it, it was “like a flavorless slushy”. So no fuel and no hydration. Fantastic idea, Kara. Needless to say, things shouldn’t have been going as well as they were. But somehow I got lucky.
It was a looped course and we were lucky enough to see the first two males finish…when we were at mile 4.5. CRAZY. (For the record, a 15K is 9.3 miles, and they finished in about 47 minutes. )
I think he has icicles on his face! (Source: NYRR)
Race course. In case you needed a visual.
I was definitely feeling Cat Hill, but otherwise never felt like I was dying or needed to stop. We ran the entire race, made some friends, and in general felt pretty awesome…although when we got to mile 8-ish we all agreed we were ready to be done. We picked up the pace for the last mile and crossed the finish line smiling. SUCCESS! Although as soon as we stopped running I was immediately freezing.
When we were checking the official results, Beth informed me that last year I ran this race in 1:27:13, a 9:23/mile pace. I was super surprised to hear that and even questioned whether she was looking at the right person. What was I doing last year that I was so much faster?! (Umm…running…) I need to look into that one of these days. (Okay, I just looked. I couldn’t wait. It was definitely speedwork and interval workouts.)
Evidently we overran the course justtttt a bit.
Side note: some of my friends who are newer to running always ask me what to wear in certain temperatures, so here you go:
What I wore:
Long-sleeved shirt ( Lululemon Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve ), my favorite puffy-ish running vest, an ear warmer and gloves (from Walmart; my $2 throw-aways from NYCM that I never used), fleece-lined running tights and regular ol’ Balega running socks.
Behind the scenes: the guy who took this photo took about 10 pics and even made us change positions. And then asked to share a cab.
AND THEN…the best part. BRUNCH! After a ridiculously hot shower and some coffee (Thanks Beth!), I finally thawed out. Ashley, Beth, Abby and I went to the best place ever (I already forgot the name) and had some delicious food and drinks. (I finally got my Bloody Mary!
From here on out, I will never not go to brunch post-race.
I suddenly want to run every race and am reenergized about attempting to PR in the half in Spring 2014. Which half? I don’t know. I also didn’t hate running in the winter. WHO AM I?!
Running in the snow: yes or no? What’s the craziest weather you’ve had to race in?