Last week was tough. I got my run in on Monday, but ended up having to rest Tuesday-Saturday due to a terrible cold.
Low expectations til the start
Needless to say, I had very low expectations going into Sunday's Great Lakes Expo 5k (3rd race in the Great Lakes Running Series). They were made even lower when I woke up to chilly, icy, snowy weather. Ever since falling on a patch of ice during a run earlier this winter, I've hit the treadmill or track whenever there's been the slightest bit of ice on the roads. Winter running just isn't for me!
Up until I lined up at the start, I wasn't convinced I would actually do the race. I didn't warm up the way I normally do before a race and if someone had suggested skipping the race and going home, I probably would have agreed. I even briefly considered jogging the race because I'm a wimp when it comes to ice. But soon enough the race started and off we went.
It's a good thing I ended up staying! Here are the race numbers:
Average Mile Time: 7:28
Division Place: 1/51
Overall: 83/578 (Top 14 percent)
Running past my fear of ice
After a minute of tentative running (read: slow), I decided it wasn't really that icy out and since it was a race, I needed to pick up the pace. Unfortunately, I ended up stuck in the middle of the pack at the start, which made it a bit difficult to run as fast as I wanted for the first mile. I kept getting boxed in and having to weave around people. But shortly after the first mile marker, it cleared out and I was able to run at the pace I wanted. I was still scared of slipping on a hidden patch of ice, but tried to push it out of my mind and run without fear.
Since I'm still getting over being sick, it was a tough race and felt harder than usual to maintain a faster pace. My kick at the end was a bit weak, but I was mainly happy to be done without falling. The results were really the icing on the cake. I knew I managed to pass a lot of people during the race, but had no idea I ran well enough to win my age group!
In the end, I'm glad I toughed it out and did the race. I may never love winter running, but I think I'm learning to tolerate it :)
Do you race during the winter months?