I’d been watching the weather for awhile, hoping that the temperatures that crashed throughout the week might make a famous KS comeback for the weekend. The week before I’d done my final 10 mile practice long run and ran it in 1:33:22, just a couple of minutes shy of my PR of 1:31:13. I’d been hoping to pull off a new Personal Best (PB) last Sunday morning. Not so lucky.
I knew that cooler temperatures can affect your running. A Runner’s World article said this:
“While studies show that athletes perform better when it’s 36°F than when it’s 70 if the mercury continues to drop, the cold can adversely affect performance. When your core temperature drops below 98.6°F, your body requires 15 to 20 percent more oxygen to maintain the same pace. This is due, in part, to diminished cardiac output, meaning that the heart pumps less blood. Hemoglobin and oxygen also tightly bind at low temperatures, making it more difficult to extract the oxygen once it’s delivered to the muscles. Additionally, you lose energy when you shiver, which uses muscle glycogen that would otherwise be available to the muscles.” It also said that at 25 degrees to add 2% to my goal time. The Real Feel temperature was 17 degrees – hmmm, what to add for that?!
Once I’d warmed up prior to the race starting, I wasn’t having a shivering issue. In fact, the first couple of miles I ran felt absolutely wonderful. I felt I had the right clothes on (I wore running tights, an Under Armour base layer with a running top over it that zipped up my neck. A headband that covered my ears and gloves topped it off. I was NOT cold!) and I had a good pace, one that I had planned on and could usually maintain. Unfortunately, I did, however, have difficulty breathing and walked through several water stops as I felt dehydrated. I was having a major mental battle going on in my head (Comments such as: You’re doing fine, don’t go any slower than a 9 minute mile, match the pace of the song) as I was trying to stay positive as I battled my way through mile after mile on an incredibly boring course with gusty winds that felt they were coming from all directions. I’d been to an 8 to Great training recently (I’ll blog about that soon, promise!) and I was trying every so hard to change my every thought to something positive. Even my music didn’t help this time! I was getting quite disappointed with myself. The miles just seemed to drag on F.O.R.E.V.E.R.
I watched my Garmin to see when I could try to kick it up a notch to bring it in strong but my body wasn’t going to have any of that. It was beyond giving anything other than quitting, so even when my Dad was cheering me on telling me to give it my “finishing burst”, my legs just wouldn’t do it. My official time (or at least the one posted on the side of the truck at the end of the race!) was 1:32:07, which matched my Garmin time however not the mileage. Considering the obstacles that I had with the wind and the cold on top of the stressful week I’ve had without enough sleep, the odds were stacked against me. But if I look at the fact that my PB was 1:31:13 and I ran this race not quite a minute slower, that’s not too shabby. Oh, and I came in 230th place, with many still coming across the finish line as I was driving home.
Some extra positives?
- This was the 40th Turkey Trot race on a brand new course with new finisher medals
- I got a coupon for a $25 turkey
- I didn’t throw up in the finishing shoot, as much as I felt like it
- I significantly beat the guy who was bragging about running the full marathon in October
- I didn’t rub a blister on my foot considering I had it duct taped at the back of the heel
- My fingers didn’t stay purple/blue for too long (due to Reynaud’s) after the race
- I still had the rest of the day to recuperate, considering I dreamed last night of missing the race, getting injured in the race, not waking up in time and started the race 1/2 hour late, etc. In other words, I didn’t sleep! (Not that I took a nap, though, but I did roll out my sore muscles. . . )
Due to the course change I’m not sure if I’ll run this race again, but it was cool to be a part of something new this year! Maybe the weather cooperating would have made it better. . . But you know what? Not all races are going to be the best and this one obviously wasn’t meant to be a great one. But the fact still remains that I was out there doing it, in below freezing temps, getting close to my PB. That’s something to be proud of!