So, in the intervening time, here's a short synopsis of what's happened lately: I've run a bit, including a great trail run up in Graegle (running with the mt bikers) that TOTALLY deserves its own post 'cause of the great photos, but o well, worked a bit (and even managed to run while in Marin, a feat not accomplished in over a year), didn't run quite a bit (notice my running goals over on the sidebar; last week? not so good), have done lots of hot yoga and am planning on going at least twice a week forever and ever, baked some more pies, got out the winter gear 'cause it's freaking COLD here the past coupla days, and today I ran a race!
So now that we're all caught up, I guess I can get on with it then.
Yesterday, after missing my planned 8-miler, I took a look at my run calendar to see how I could make up for it and, lo and behold, I saw that I had a race scheduled for today. Surprise! Turkey Trot time! This is a nice local fun run around Donner Lake, a favorite run of mine especially in the winter, when there's not a ton of running options in Truckee. It is usually run counter-clockwise, which is NOT my favorite way to do it, as it begins immediately with a steady group of silly hills that are not that steep or long but are soul-crushing nonetheless. I much prefer to tackle them from the other direction, as they present as one really long steep climb and then lots of little descents -- much more my style. In any case, I was prepared to go around the dictated way, but wait! There was an email this morning saying due to ice on the road (the back, hilly side is very shady and not well-travelled) they were going to run it the other way so that the ice could be dealt with by single runners as opposed to everyone being all bunched together in the start. Sweet! Not overly keen on the ICE part of that equation, I was heartened to run it the way I like.
So we get to the start, 1/2 hour early as usual. I get my bib number and Tom and I talk a bit with some of the local runners that I am slowly but surely getting to know from other pre-race talks, and jeepers creepers but it is COLD out there. When we left our house (aka Ice Station Zebra -- while all of our surrounding neighbors are enjoying sunshine and melting snow, we still are covered in shade and 2 feet of the stuff!) it was something like 22 degrees. Granted, in the sunshine of Donner Lake it was warmer, but still probably sub 30. This presents a problem for me, because just standing around I am always freezing, but I run very very hot; choosing what to wear is a bit of an art form. Do I wear tights and a jacket so I don't freeze in the beginning, or just shorts and a tank so I don't die of heat stroke 3 miles in? Decisions, decisions. I first take off my tights and try that out for a while.
I am cold, but ok.
15 minutes before our race, the kids start out on the Mashed Potato Mile.
I find it amazing that these kids, as young as 5 or 6 from the look of some of them, are getting out there and running! a mile! in the cold! and smiling about it. NOT the way I was raised, for sure.
I take a little warm-up jog, and decide that I need to run wearing as little as possible, so off goes the jacket and I start dancing around to keep warm. Mind you, *everyone* else around me is wearing hats, tights, long sleeves, gloves and whatnot, and looking at me like I might be a little nuts. Not the first time, nor the last.
I know you're not supposed to try new things on race day, but yesterday I got these Under Armour Compression Shorts in the mail, and on they went. As I've gotten thinner (haven't lost A. Pound. since I started running, but my legs have gotten slimmer and much more toned) I've really had some chafing issues, and I thought these might help with that, plus might keep me warm without overheating. They worked GREAT in this race, and I'm gonna have to get another pair I think.
Anyhow, just seconds before the start I fell into conversation with the man next to me, so much so that I didn't even know we were starting till everyone around me started moving. Ooops, press Gary's start button and start the iPod and away we go!
The first mile passes in something like 10:10 -- this is a fast pace for me, but after the first mile I just felt really good and thought, well, try to maintain that pace. I made a little goal here: run every mile under 11:00. So I did. I ran 7 miles in 1:14, averaging 10:30 or so. Nice!
I end up running the entire race right next to the guy I chatted with on the start line. We had a great talk, and I'm sure his presence helped me to maintain a good running pace. I picked up the pace for the last half mile, and really kicked to the finish. This is not my usual M.O., but it was kinda fun to see how fast I could run and what I had left in me.
I definitely struggled across the finish line!
I walked around for a bit, grateful for the warm clothes Tom fetched out of the truck. I might have been warm while running, but once I stopped I got cold cold cold. And then stayed that way, for hours.
When I got home, I hid under some down sleeping bags, hungry for warmth. Ahh, down! 10 hours later, now, I think I've finally reached stasis. I'vc still got the sleeping bag over my legs, though.