Ice Out, Spikes Out
Okay, technically it wasn’t ice. It was more like snow/slush – but it was a mess. So I took my own advice (see “before” post) and tried out several different shoes prior to the race. The winners were these:
They are Mizuno Osaka track spikes. Now, I haven’t worn spikes in years. However, every year, at the end of the season, Running Warehouse (www.runningwarehouse.com) has a ridiculous clearance on spikes – I got these for $10.88 – I had a hunch I would need them eventually and yesterday they were worth every penny!
I knew it was going to be cold – I just wasn’t sure how cold. At my house, it was about 15 degrees; however, as I got closer and closer to the race, it was getting colder and colder. The pre-race temperature was:
The course was in terrible shape. It hadn’t snowed much the night before, but when it is as cold as yesterday, nothing melts. So it looked something like this:
While I was warming up, I spotted local running stud, Fred Joslyn (1:04 half marathon PR). Then I noticed Sam Morse (1:07 half marathon PR). Finally, at the line, I tucked in behind Jared Burdick (1:07 half marathon PR). So, I think it’s fair to say, there was some tough competition. The race went out slowly, as everyone was trying to figure out how to stay upright. At one point, about a half mile in, I found myself in first, just in front of Sam and Fred. For the record, I did not go out too fast – I think I was just getting better traction on that part of the course with my spikes. Just before the mile, Sam went in front, followed by Fred. First Mile: 5:30. There was a decent hill around the mile mark and then it flattened out for a bit. Right around the halfway mark in the race, Jared went by me too. I was slowing down a little and I made a pretty weak effort to stay with him. Second Mile: 5:55. There was another uphill to start the third mile followed by a long steady downhill toward the finish. Unfortunately, the downhill was into the wind and the roads on that part of the course were in terrible shape. Third Mile: 6:03. The winning time was 16:47 (Fred); second place was 16:55 (Sam); third place was 17:35 (Jared); and I finished fourth in 18:02, which is 5:49/mile. Full 2014 race results can be found here: http://www.leonetiming.com/2014/Chilly14.htm
After the race, it somehow managed to get a little colder:
However, I took one for the team and got in a post-race selfie:
After a cooldown, which obviously didn’t take long, I headed to the post-race chili party and met up with some folks from the Strong Hearts Running Club (Strong Hearts Running Club member Laura Kline was the overall women’s winner). The Club had some solid numbers at the race, despite the cold, and Strong Hearts chili finished a strong second in the competition (www.strongheartscafe.com).
Overall, it was a very good day and I have no complaints! While it’s really difficult to assess because of the conditions, I think my fitness is at a good point for January and I’m looking forward to my next race!