The Frigid 5 mile. Finally here and completed. It was a great goal to keep me on track. My two previous races were race day registrations. This one I truly planned for which makes it my first real race in my mind.
I was fine sleeping in. I really felt so stuffy and my throat felt the worst since I got this cold on Thurs. The temp's started this morning below 0. I have not run with the temp below the upper teens. Fortunately no wind or clouds to speak of. The record race registrations threatened to keep cars from parking at the Lodge for the start. Hell I'll just walk up the hill I told her.
I was about the last car in the lot but they let people park along the road at the start. With the icy road edges narrowing the track already it was a tight start. I was dressed in some cold gear pants and good socks. My top layers included a long sleeve Tee and hooded sweat shirt and a lined wind breaker-no tech gear. I had gloves from Phyllis and a balaclava. I did a nice slow warmup and felt good while opening up my lungs and waking up my legs.
I was one of the last to leave the Lodge to go to the start. I settled in about 2/3 from the front. Any closer and I would of felt like a poser. I started out fine. I dodged and weaved through the crowd. I even used the road edges despite watching a few groin pulling slips among the racers. I flat footed it fine.
About the 3/4 mile point I was still passing more people but was in a group of similarly paced runners. I was happy to pass the 1 mile marker (the only on the course) at 7:45. Everything felt good except my throat and lungs. Not enough to put serious doubt in my head. I picked a 20 something girl to trail. She pulled me along some of the time but I had to pass her on the downhills. I hit Pierce Mill feeling fine, a bit warm, but I was starting to question myself. Could I pick up the pace or even maintain it and still climb that finishing hill? I was now being passed more than passing just short of mile 3. I was Hot. The balaclava was around my neck. While trying to remove it I was successful in blinding myself with it stuck on my face. The thought of wandering into traffic and becoming 'Milk Truck' frightened me. I stopped briefly and freed it from my face and unzipped my jacket. The thought of pushing a sub 38 to medal left me and I worried about a sub 40.
I was on a stretch that I typically pick up the pace and drive the small hill by the Boathouse. My legs wouldn't get up and down. Even on the descent. I was worried that I had not raced to the final hill in enough time to climb. A 48yo woman passed me on the start of the final 3/4 mile uphill. I could not keep pace. My gloves and windbreaker were off well before this. She started to walk and I passed her. I was hot and tired and weak in the legs. She started to run again and put 30 feet on me and repeated this 5 times to the finish-ahead of me.
As the finish came into view I could see that I still had time to beat 40. Dad began to cheer and yell my name. I picked 'em up and put them down across the finish to a relieved 39:46.
There are some great frosty pictures of me which I may use as my avatar. The race winner, 18yo Jacob Morrida set a CR by 1:09 to finish 28:00. I missed a medal by about 1:16. I am truly thrilled. I left nothing on the course. Obviously some better prep and strategy will help in the future. But it was a great day! I don't think I am a poser.