This race was my most recent race, and it took place in mid December of last year (2013). This was my first winter race, and it was quite the experience. I originally signed up because a girlfriend and I were going to do it together. Well she ended up not being able to, and so I was left contemplating if I really wanted to go through with running a race with no running buddy, and no support. Literally, no one was able to come to this race as my family was busy and my boyfriend was out of town for work.
I can’t tell you how many times the little devil on my shoulder chimed in and would say, “It’s okay, no one runs a race without a running buddy”, or “well you were only doing this to run it with her so now that she isn’t you might as well not either”. Then the little angel on my other shoulder put her little two cents in on it and then I was left thinking “Hmm… you did already purchase your spot in the race… that would be a waste of money to not run it” or “This would be a great chance for you to prove to yourself that you will not turn into a human sized ice cube by running in the snow”.
I literally boggled with this decision up until the night before the race. Of course I decided to run the race because I am one that will not wear a race shirt if I didn’t actually run the race, and I knew I would be getting it because regardless of my decision I still had to go and pick up my race packet (plus it was long sleeve pink tech shirt, why would I not want to wear that?!). Plus, I am a firm believer in pushing yourself to go outside of your comfort zone. This would definitely be an experience outside of my comfort zone as I would be running in the snow, driving myself to this race with no one to run with or on the sidelines, and no one at the finish line (I seriously didn’t realize how much of a baby I sound like until writing this post.. lol).
The night before was my work Christmas party, so I went to pick up my packet before heading out that way. The shirt held up to my expectations, and they had some great little gifts in the packets as well 🙂
I was super excited about the bells that runners get to put on their shoe laces, even though I had head phones on I still knew my shoes were “jingling all the way” down the roads… 😉
Anyways, I made the decision to not stay out late and to only have one beer (it’s good carbs right?), and then head out. I was starting to really look forward to the race once I got home and was laying all of my stuff out.
Well that changed quickly when I woke up and looked outside. I could barely see 20 feet in front of my window, it was a blizzard outside. The weather forecast said it was going to be 12 degrees at the start of the race, but feel like 0. Awesome. But, I’m not a quitter, and even though I checked the site probably five times to make sure it wasn’t canceled before I set out, I was still going to cross that finish line.
I got there with only a few minutes to spare, and started doing some warm ups and jogging in place to get my muscles loose and warm. A lot of participants didn’t end up showing, but they still had a good turn out. The gun went off, and I made my way through the course, literally on a blanket of snow and slush. I had to be careful and slow my pace down to compensate for the slippery road conditions. Even though it was freezing and I had to continue picking icicles off of my eye lashes, this race was actually really fun. It was my first time running a race in the winter, and even though the weather wasn’t the greatest, I think everyone made the best of it. We were all giving high fives to each other, and since we were running through neighborhoods behind Lansing library, a ton of residents were outside of their houses singing Christmas carol’s. It seriously made the race very much enjoyable.
I ended up crossing the finish line with a better time than I expected (29 minutes and 5 seconds), and oddly enough I took second in my age division out of 20! After crossing the finish line I didn’t stay much longer, I went to the road and cheered on some runners that weren’t coming up the road, but then I made my way back to my car as I was freezing, soaking wet, and ready for some coffee.
I don’t have any pictures from this race of my own because I didn’t think to take any, and I also didn’t purchase any from the day of the race because none of them were even close to flattering. I showed some coworkers one that was on the site, and by their reactions I think that was enough for me to never look at the pictures again.
Anyways, for my first winter race I can honestly say I really enjoyed it and can see myself running some more.
Make it a great day!