This race sucked. My performance was okay, but I learned a lot about running in the cold (parts of me were so numb I didn't realize it until I started warming up in the car). I've run in the cold before, but never for a race and never that far. The moment I stopped running I started getting cold again. Last winter I would run about 1.5 miles before coming inside. Here's what I learned about running in below freezing weather (I live in Georgia so 25 F is really cold):
- Due to the exercise induced asthma, I had to wear a neck gaiter while running. I am going to invest in a full balaclava soon. The neck gaiter kept falling down, which was a huge distraction. I can't breathe in that much cold air without having some really negative consequences during and after the race. Plus the hat part will keep my ears warm. My hat, while cute, didn't cover enough of my ears.
- No matter how warm the shirt you're wearing is, think about wearing an additional layer. This would have prevented the numb love handles. I was kind of cold all the way through breakfast.
- Wear full length socks with the running tights. It helps keep your ankles warm. Also consider wearing shorts over the tights to keep the butt warm.
Those are all the positive sides to running last weekend's race (I believe learning is positive). Here's why I think the race sucked:
- I didn't get a freakin' race number!!! %$^@ What race doesn't give race numbers?? Ugh!
- Most of the race was on gravel that slipped under my feet. I'm certain that this slowed me down. My time was 35:18, but I am willing to bet that I was actually faster than that. The other part of the race was on frozen and uneven mud. That could have easily been a sprained ankle.
- Because of the general lack of raciness to this race, I felt like I had gotten up super early and drove way out of my way for just a work out. It felt much more like a training run than an actual race run. I'm glad I could help out a local animal shelter, because that's something I believe very strongly in. I just don't think I'll be signing up for this race again next year.
Btw, one major reason I will not participate in this race again - there was a distinct lack in emergency personnel at this race. I'm not saying we need EMTs at every 100 feet, but at least one cop would have been nice. First responders are necessary at all races, no matter the size. People get hurt way too easily, and I felt like if something had happened no one would have been able to respond quickly enough. That means someone could have died. It sounds farfetched, but it's not.