This is the second year that I've participated in the Winter Series races. While it's been a little chilly for some of the races, it has never been what I would call wintry. Until today. Today the Winter Series lived up to its name. There was snow. And ice. And cold. And did I mention ice?
I knew conditions were going to be a bit sketchy when they issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the weekend. It snowed most of the day yesterday and this morning there were some flurries with off and on light snow showers. But the road in the neighborhood was clear, and I really wanted my purple hoodie. I figured it couldn't be too bad out there so I put on some warm clothes and hit the road for Kanawha City.
I got there early, got signed in, got my hoodie (which I just might be wearing as I type this report - love these things!), and waited for the race to start. The part of the course you could see at the start looked bad - snow covered with slushy parts. I had a feeling the race was going to be interesting. Since I had strict instructions to stay upright from my Disney Princess running partners, I ditched any time goals I had and set my sights on just finishing. And on not falling.
As it turns out, the start line was pretty much representative of the entire course. The conditions the whole way alternated between snow covered ice and slush (with some clear spots scattered here and there; but those were few and far between.) I started slow, and kept a nice but careful pace until just before the 2 mile marker. That's where I started slipping and sliding. With thoughts of "stay upright" running through my head, I switched to a walk at that point. I played it safe the rest of the race: running when I felt safe and steady on my feet; walking when I didn't (which, unfortunately for the part of me that wanted to finish fast, was most of the time).
While I'm not very fast right now (even on good weather days) I know that I'm capable of going faster than I did today. But instead of feeling down as person after person went by me, I told myself to run (or walk) my own race and that Disney was way more important than today. It wasn't worth it to run hard, fall, hurt myself, and not be able to run in 3 weeks (just 3 more weeks!!) So I kept myself occupied by singing along with my Disney playlist and focused on staying upright.
You might be thinking, after reading that last paragraph, that I had a bad day. But I didn't. I didn't wimp out and stay home (as I have done with more of my training runs lately than I really like to admit.) I braved the elements. I stayed upright. I got 6 more miles into the bank for Disney Princess training. So it's all good. :-)
Winter Series Race #3 - 10k
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013
Finish place - 271 (according to my popsicle stick)
Finish time - 1:17:42 (garmin)
Avg Pace per Mile - 12:32 (garmin)