March 29, 2009

Race Day

This photo is what one might call foreshadowing.
I woke up this morning, ready for my race. I felt good about my training and knew this 5 mile race was a distance I could run. The only question in my mind was how fast?

True to the weather forecasters' prediction it started raining last night. I was sitting on the couch and could hear the wind whipping outside and rain hitting our front windows. It wasn't a pleasing sound, but I'd run the Shamrock Shuffle before under similar conditions. In fact the past two times I've run this race, it's been cold, windy and slightly raining at points. What I've never done is run this race under ideal conditions.

When I woke up this morning the first thing I did was walk to our front windows. And before I even opened the blinds I thought to myself it seemed a bit bright. Sadly, this is the view that greeted me:
The sidewalks were not even visible. How can I run five miles when I can't even see the sidewalks? The snow accumulation was what ended up making me decide I was not going to run the race that morning. To be honest, I hadn't really been looking forward to it in the first place. The friend I was supposed to run the race with as of Thursday told me she couldn't. I understood though. She's also a co-worker of mine and unexpectedly had to fly yesterday to Texas for a trial - a trial she only found out about four days prior to going, so I don't fault her. Without a companion though it meant I was taking the train downtown by myself, checking my gear by myself, warming up by myself, running the race by myself and then heading back home, by myself. I didn't want to go it alone, but I would have. Until I saw the snow.

This would have been my third time running the Shuffle. I've finished it twice in the past and know this is a distance I can run in a little more than 57 minutes. I'd trained and had no qualms about being unable to finish this race in at the most 57 minutes. I was running this race to see how much time I could knock off my previous two tries. Looking at the snow, I knew there was no way I'd be able to run this race the way I wanted. This wasn't a dusting of snow. It wasn't only making the ground a little wet. It looked like it had been snowing for a couple hours before I woke up, and NPR informed me that the snow was expected to continue until around 1 p.m. So the entire race I would have been running in the snow. In the thick, slushy snow that was already 2 inches thick when I woke up.

(The railing on our back staircase covered in snow.)

I knew I wasn't going to do this, so I made a deal with myself. I would run that day, my five miles, at the gym on a treadmill and next weekend (weather permitting) I will run 5 miles outside. So instead of starting the Shamrock Shuffle around 9:30 a.m., I hopped in Mike's car at that same time and drove to the gym.

I ran my personal (indoor) Shamrock Shuffle in 56:31. That time is about one minute faster than the past two time I've ran the Shuffle. It gives me hope that when I do my outdoor run (hopefully) next weekend, that I'll be able to come in under 55 minutes. That would put me at under an 11 min/mile pace, something I'd be proud of.

It does kind of suck though because I really wanted to be done with this freaking race. Almost there, but not quite yet.


Kristin G. said...

Great choice. You have done this race already, you stayed committed to running the distance on the day, and you will do it again outside. Sounds like the perfect compromise of staying committed and adding a little of your own terms. I fully support it!

Megan said...

That's just bad luck (the weather), but I'm super duper impressed with how much you've trained and that you decided to do the five miles anyway (I would have gotten back in bed and had a doughnut) so be proud of that. That's an incredibly respectable time you put in.