St Patrick's Day 4-Miler Race Recap (ERRS #2)

Last weekend's one mile race was bitter cold.  Monday and Tuesday of this past week, Hill Dynamo and I were running in shorts and tee's and then the temps took a nose dive again. By the time the race came around yesterday it was back into the single digits again.

Friday night I couldn't get off the toilet. My stomach was a mess. I know it wasn't race anxiety because I've had plenty of that before and I wasn't anxious about this race. This was another race I was committed to only because of the ERRS. I woke Saturday hoping my body was emptied out but nope and I was only able to stomach half my morning smoothie.  I spent the rest of the morning trying not to throw up.  We had to drop Tink off at the local University for her All County rehearsal and off to the packet pick up we went.

I drove part of the race course and the roads were covered with a slick layer of snow. Now I was a bit nervous, there was no way I was going to risk slipping and hurting myself. I hate regular sneakers, even more so after this race, but I get ahead of my story, and I did chose to wear my sneakers vs. my Vibrams since they keep my feet warmer and dryer.

We stopped at Dunkin Donuts for My Musician to get a coffee and Hill Dynamo texted me, "How are you feeling today?". I couldn't possible type all the bitching I needed to do so I FaceTimed her instead. I whined about the cold, the slippery roads and my stomach freaking out. Then I was telling her about my friend from my Fast Woman messenger group running 16 miles in this crap and it helped me to stop complaining.

Nothing like a little perspective. 

Cold, slippery morning. Part of the course from miles 3-4
We couldn't find parking in the church's parking lot so we parked across the street in a dentist's office. No one else was parked there yet so we thought we were being pretty smart getting that spot. Neither of us realized that the finish line was on that street!! It ended up being good for My Musician because he got to stay warm while waiting for me. I turned on my RoadID app so he could track where I was and know when to come to the finish line. The downside was we had to wait till the race was totally over to leave.

There was nice swag with this race. A very comfy long sleeve shirt and a very warm pair of gloves came in a really nice bag that I know I'll use a lot this year.

I hope they create a car sticker or magnet for this series

I was glad the bathroom line wasn't too long because I needed to get in there a few time. After last year's GI issues, and at the start of this year, I get very nervous about running when my stomach is messed up at all. I am thankful to report I got through the race without any issues!! 

^^ I have felt like this little girl
the last two races! 
We all stayed huddled in the gym of the church till the last minute. The race was pretty full for how cold it was. I hate to admit that if this wasn't part of the ERRS, I probably wouldn't have run it. But now that I'm committed to this series and I want that jacket. I had to SUIP, as my Sub30 FB running group would say. 

The wind didn't seem so bad at first but after the start we started to spread out and I could really feel it. I was ok until it would gust and then it felt like it was going to blow me over.  With my stomach upset, the cold and the slippery roads, I had decided not to warm up since I was just going to causally run this. I probably should have but I felt great right from start. I had on two long sleeve layers that go over the thumbs and a pair of gloves so I couldn't look at my pace every 2 seconds. I really felt good. The roads weren't as snow covered, there were well salted bare tracks but if you got off them it was pretty slippery so I was trying to be really careful and watch my steps. I kept evaluating my pace and how I felt. I know from past experience I can really book it in the first mile because I get swept up with the field. 

I did a self evaluation and concluded I was doing really good. Breathing was good, footing felt secure, muscles felt ok and stomach was staying put. 

Mile one. I dug through the layers to my watch to see my split. 


Crap. Was that too fast? I started to let my brain freak me out. I hadn't had any decent food since lunch on Friday. What if I don't have enough fuel to keep me going? What if I'm going to fast and slip? What if, what if, what if. 

How the hell do I shut my brain off?? In the past I'd turn up my music so I can't even hear my own thoughts but I didn't have music with me.  We turn the corner onto Riverside Drive and start to cross the river again. For a moment the bridge feels like a mountain and I think, here we go, this is where I'm going to lose it. For the life of me, I couldn't remember which street the race started on so I start to look for My Musician.  I see him about a block up, we wave and it gives me the kick I need to get my pace back and push my negative self talk away. 

I felt really strong and sure in my steps and pace. Wait, what was that? Something just hit my ankle. Maybe I kicked up some road salt. There is is again. I look down. UGH!!! My shoe's untied. 1.5 miles in and my shoe comes untied.  I'm just going to ignore it. It'll be fine. Ok so maybe not. Thankfully wisdom kicked in and said it'll be better to stop for a few seconds than to risk tripping. I made sure I wouldn't cut anyone off and veered to the curb to tie the shoe.  I went about a quarter mile father and it happened again. What the heck?!?! I don't like to pull the laces tight because I hate that feeling of the shoe pressing on the top of my foot. Twice in mile 2 I had to stop to tie my shoe. I ranked the laces down the second time. It bugged me for at least a mile more and then I forgot all about the pressure. 

9:43. I knew stopping would effect my pace but not nearly as bad as I had predicted. 

We hit mile 2 marker and turned onto Beethoven Street. I love this street. Not sure why. Maybe because all the downtown races go down this road and I feel like I really know it. Sometimes the incline of the road feels like a mountain and I could feel that today but I just dug in and tired to keep a consistent pace on the inclines.  

9:32. One more to go. 

I have a love/hate relationship with this area but no matter the weather there are always people out cheering on others for the races. I was actually surprised at the amount of people on the course cheering. I so appreciate them out there. I know they aren't there for me specifically but it's a great boost to hear people cheering. 
As we turn onto Chestnut Street the guy that had been behind me started to pass me. I wasn't having that so I started to really dig in. I could feel him pick it up too. Darn it!!  That first hill of the road got me. I just couldn't get the air in. He got by me but I refused to let him get too far away. I stayed on his heels the rest of the race. 

We turned onto Leroy Street and I knew the finish line was about a quarter mile away. I couldn't wait for it to be over. My lungs hurt, my stomach hurt and I was sweating like crazy and freezing at the same time. 

8:57.  Over all time: 37:39.  I was thrilled with my finish time. I had really planned and thought I'd run close to 10:00-10:15 average pace. 

I couldn't breath and started coughing so bad I thought I'd throw up. That's what the wonderful cold New York air always does to me. After training runs I have to keep moving slowly or walk for a bit to get the coughing under control. 

Once my body calmed down, My Musician and I stayed at the finish line cheering people on. It was fun to see Professor Math there. I knew she's a runner but didn't expect to recognize anyone on the course under all the layers of hats and scarves. I was surprised she knew who I was too under all my cold weather layers! 

We hung out in the gym for awhile because we were parked in.  Sometimes I don't know if I should embrace my Irish side or my German side more. In their own ways, both parts know how to have fun!  The Irish fun was in full swing for the post race party.  This is another race I'd really like to add to my yearly calendar.  Two of the Empire Races down, seven more to go....

I rarely drink but I enjoyed a few sips of dark Guinness beer afterwards. 

Flat Kirsten ready for a chilly 4 miler (almost always race with my Sub30 gear)
SmashRuns opinion on the cold 


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