Well for some reason I found myself really looking forward to this race. Perhaps because I enjoyed it so much last year, mabe because I was planning to run for fun and not a fast pace, but I think because I was looking forward to hanging out with my friends!!!! I cannot say enough about my pals the journeyed out with me, most of them had to drive aways, it was crazy cold & I am thankful for every one of them!!
I woke up early Saturday as I wanted to make sure I was ready as everyone was supposed to meet at my place. Well needless to say I woke up way earlier than nescessary but it gave me plenty of time to prep my cold weather stuff. My trail shoes were in my car and I wanted to get them in the house early to warm them up before the race.
My pals started arriving and soon we were off to the race. We got there early to see that Mosquito Lake had ice fisherman tents all over the place on it. (you can see them in the backgound of the pic) It was cold as heck and the wind was not helping the temperature AT ALL!
For this race there was no awards and prizes were selected at random. I was psyched because I won a Vertical Runner technical shirt and both TriSaraTops and my friend, Beth won prizes too! There was no warm up and we ended up sitting in the car until 5 minutes before the race started. I was dressed warm as could be, complete with these huge insulated mittens, but I am a freeze baby that doesn't mind sweating, but hates to be cold....and it was really freiking cold. I hate to mention it as I am not sure how cold, but I am guessing it was around 8 when we started but with the windchill, it had to be below zero. We lined up and hung out long enough for me to start getting rather cold with numb toes before we were off.
We started off in a group and BS'd for awhile before my running partner Bob and I moved ahead. The terrain was tough to say the least. We crossed many a trees, 3 streams which I got one foot a little wet, and a ton of drifted snow. I would say at least every 15 steps or so I would loose my footing in my trail shoes and was all over the place. Bob and I manuevered around the path running with some dogs for awhile and trying to not twist an ankle. The course was gorgeous, covered in snow and everyone in good spirits. We ran throught the woods out by the frozen lake for awhile and then went through this path by the water which was a little deeper snow before heading out to this field by the main road. This was a tough section, the snow was deep and Bob seemed to pick up the pace and it was majorly tough to pass everyone in snow that was not as packed down. Half way in I could tell I was rather fatigued from the deep snow. There were very sparse, short, random sections we would hit where it was not snowy and it was unbelieveable how easy they felt.
As we went back through the trails there was one corner where many of us were confused if we should turn or go straight. We ended up standing there for a minute trying to figure it out and then making the turn which was the right call! Thank goodness as we were getting tired.
Of the most importance.....on the way back one of the volunteer appeared to be having medical trouble. As we ran past, we were all concerned and although I am totally in the blue what happened and the outcome I wish him the very best. As if it is not hard enough to run outside in this weather...I cannot imagine how cold the volunteers must be just standing there. THANKS TO ALL THE WONDERFUL SOULS WHO VOLUNTEER, ESPECIALLY IN THIS COLD ASS WEATHER!!!
So anyway finally we made it to the finish. I finished in 57:36, a 9:16 pace. I supppose I am not proud of this time, yet I was not running for time. I ended up 32 of 101 overall, 2 of 22 for women. Yet, I can say that it was not a 9:16 pace by any road race standard. I really felt like the conditions were so tough that I worked hard just due to these conditions.
I ran back to the car afterwards to grab my camera and grab some shots of my pals as they finished. I started to get really cold as I waited and by the time my last friend crossed the line I was running to the car to get warm.
I had so much fun hanging out with the girls afterwards at breakfast telling racing stories and tightly gripping my coffee cup trying to warm up. I drank more coffee at breakfast than I have in a really long time.
Highlight of the day---all my pals coming out despite this weather!!! Friends make it alll worth it!!!!!!