Today, I ventured to Shelburne, VT with my mom to complete my goal of a race per month for 2009. When we drove up to the Field House that was hosting the series, I took a look around at my surroundings (ice, snow and slush covered driveway), looked back at my mom, and asked,”What do they expect us to run on?” Her answer was exactly what I did not want to hear: we would in fact be racing on the snow road of death before heading out onto the paved main road that was relatively clear and ice free. Great news. Her consolation: “You can’t expect a PR in every race you do, Emily.” YES you can. What is the point of racing, if you’re not racing something, at the very least your best time? I am a competitive individual, in constant pursuit of excellence. I can’t help it.
The race was a fairly small crowd, and the weather was C-O-L-D COLD. Waiting around at the start was brutal. Apparently they were having issues with the timing system and thought it was a great idea to have the field of runners wait around in their skimpy (skimpy by winter in VT standards) race attire while they worked out the kinks. Well done, race director. Finally, they gave us the cue and we were off! To a very slow and snowy start. My mom was right, there would be no PR.
This race reminded me of two things that I really don’t like.
The first: Racing in the cold. The air just burns your lungs and makes you feel like you’re working harder than you actually are. At least for me it does. Also, there is NO way to dress for it! I immediately started to overheat in the outfit I chose, and was forced to unzip my top layer below my neck- which left my face exposed and experiencing the sensation of frost bite. It was a losing battle.
The second: 5ks. I choose racing marathons any day of the week. They are so much more enjoyable. You actually pace yourself for the duration of the run and have a lovely race. 5ks are just: GO SPRINT GO FAST AS YOU CAN. Brutal.
I held slightly under 7 minute miles for the entirety of the race and towards the end it looked like I might actually get a PR. Then I rounded the corner and was greeted by my old friend, the snow road of death. There would most definitely be no PR. Normally, I like to end my races, or any run for that matter, with an all out sprint for the last couple of tenths. Today I decided I would rather keep all of the bones in my back in tact. I would happily sacrifice a potential PR and hard finish for an injury free race. I finished in a 22:10 and came in 4th female overall. I am constantly screwed out of the top 3 by one itsy bitsy little place. One of my goals for 2010 is to become a top 3 finisher.
Next up: First Run, tomorrow, Burlington, VT. Assuming I am alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic by 11am. We shall see…