Before today, one thing I absolutely *KNEW* about myself was that I hate the cold. I hate it. I have not run outside in months, opting for the nice, warm, cozy treadmill to keep my training going. When I registered my husband and myself for this 10k back in January, I figured “Hey, end of March, should be a pleasant, enjoyable run outside. Why not?” I started keeping an eye on the forecast last week, and weather.com promised me it would be a pleasant 51 degrees and sunny. One day later, it dropped a degree – no big deal. On the following day, it dropped again. Each passing day brought new trepidation that my “Run From Winter 10k” was turning into “Oh, By the Way, it’s Still Winter 10k.”
I was feeling particularly miserable when I woke up this morning that today’s 6.2 was going to bring with it my doom. Anxiety levels were at an all-time high because:
- The forecast had dropped all the way to 34 degrees (with “Feels Like” of 23 degrees);
- I’ve had lingering knee pain that has prevented me from running beyond 4 miles for the last two weeks; and
- I had a failed attempt at Binge-Free/Wheat-Free Day 3 yesterday. I’m back to ground zero today.
BUT I knew I needed to push through for Ben’s sake. This race was important to us in that we wanted to get a better idea of what our performance might be for the American Odyssey Relay www.americanodysseyrelay
next month, where we’ll be joining 10 good friends on a race from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC. But more to come on that another day.
The 10k today was a charity event for Middle Earth www.middleearthnj.org/
, an organization that supports at-risk youth. The route was pretty basic – an out-and-back loop that followed a canal trail/bike path along the Raritan River. We checked in, got some cool t-shirts and other fun freebies, and did some light warm-ups prior to the race. It didn’t take very long for 34 degrees to not feel so winter-like.
Because there was no timing chip for this, I chose to run with my iPhone so I could use MapMyRun to get my real time. I usually run races with my iPod shuffle – it’s smaller, lighter, and I can easily fast forward to all of my favorite songs when I need the extra motivation. This was also the first race I’ve run where there weren’t any clocks along the route – only one at the finish line. I didn’t want to waste time checking my phone along the way, so I really had no clue how I was doing. I just used other runners to pace and challenge myself – “Come on Nicole, just gotta catch up to the girl in the purple shirt” or “You can slow down a little after you pass the guy who looks like your Grandfather.” That sort of thing.
When I saw the finish line – and the clock suggesting my gun time was approaching 54 mins – I sprinted. 9 mins/mile was my goal, as it’s my proposed time for AOR next month. And here I was, slightly under it for my GUN time.
I immediately confirmed on my app after I crossed the line – ran an average of 8.25/mile! I can’t believe I considered NOT getting out of bed this morning!
Even better – Ben smashed through his goal time too! We thoroughly enjoyed our post-race breakfast at a local diner (bypassing the bagels and granola bars at the finish line), and have spent the rest of the afternoon pretty much just sitting around and being impressed with ourselves.
So here’s what I learned today. I actually don’t hate running outside in the cold. My husband is a rockstar. And I really have only tapped the surface of what I am capable of. Today is just what I needed to renew my resolve. Wheat is not going to beat me.