It’s been a few months since I’ve run a race. Usually, I’m not one to run in freezing temperatures so I tend to avoid signing up for anything during colder months. I figured registering for a race in March would be ok, especially since we’ve been experiencing a pretty mild winter. Well…joke’s on me because this weekend was FREEZING – like 20 degrees with a wind-chill in the low teens freezing. Ugh!
I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t go. My family officially moved into our house on Saturday and the place was (and still is) a mess of things that need sorting and organizing and cleaning. The first excuse that flew into my head was “well, we spent all day moving and I’m tired.” This was quickly followed with “I have no idea where my winter running gear is, so I can’t possibly race tomorrow.” And the obvious excuse was “it’s just so frickin’ cold outside!” Well, I managed to find everything I needed to layer up for a super cold run and somehow woke up in the morning, ate a waffle with peanut butter and maple syrup (plus black tea with a touch of milk), and forced myself (and my family) out the door. That little voice in my head kept telling me that I would regret it if I didn’t at least try. She’s pretty convincing, you know?
And, of course, there’s the fact that I needed to clock in 6 miles that day anyway. You see, the St. Pat’s 10k (as awesome as it is!) is not what I’m ultimately training for this spring. This race was a stepping stone to the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in April. So, no matter what, I had to get a run in. And I figured if I was going to be running in the cold anyway, I might as well show up at the start line for the race I paid for…and I’m so glad I did!
The St. Pat’s Run includes a 5k (3.1 miles), 10k (6.2 miles), and an option to do both. At this point in my training, I stuck with a 10k (though that double may be calling my name next year!). Despite the cold, it was a beautiful sunny day and the course was beautiful. The races start and end at the Washington Memorial with the 5k starting first and the 10k starting 45 minutes later. The race was very organized and people got REALLY into the St. Patrick’s Day theme with all kinds of fun shirts and Irish-inspired costumes, plus some upbeat music at the start and finish. (Note to self: wear green next year!)
Anyway, the first mile sucked as usual – my legs felt like frozen blocks of ice and I could barely feel my toes and fingertips (despite having gloves on). But then, once I got into a rhythm and hit my stride the cold actually felt great against my legs and my desire to get into a hot shower as quickly as possible pushed me to run just a little faster than usual. By the last couple of miles, I actually felt a little too warm and was able to remove my gloves and unzip my jacket just a little bit. In the end, I finished in 53 minutes and 49 seconds (that’s a 8:39 min/mile). It wasn’t a PR (personal record), but I’m really happy with my time. (My PR is actually from another Pacer’s race – the Clarendon Day 10k. That race is mostly down hill so I clocked in at 51:20 for that one – a 8:16 min/mile).
Once I crossed the finish line, I quickly grabbed some water and post-race snackies, picked up my bag with a dry sweatshirt and hustled on over to my hubby waiting in a nice warm car for me. Although there were fun post-race festivities planned at a local Shake Shack, at that point, I wasn’t really hungry. So, I refueled with chocolate milk before hitting the shower and headed out with the family for brunch afterward.
I hope you all enjoyed this quick re-cap of the St. Pat’s 10k. If you’re in the D.C. area, I highly recommend this race and will likely do it again next year. Did anyone else run a chilly race this past weekend? Comment below and let me know how it went!