Winter Carnival 10.25K Race Report

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Well, the race ended up shortened. We got an email from the race directors on Friday evening stating that due to the cold, we would be running a half-half marathon instead of a half marathon. I was briefly bummed, but even though we would be staying warm during the race, the volunteers really didn't need to be out there for 2.5 hours. On race morning, I was actually relieved that they cut it short.

Steve, Borsch, and I left our house around 7:30. We got to downtown St. Paul and ran to the registration building. We all got a chuckle at the "race day registration" table. It was -11 F with a who knows how low wind chill. I'm not sure I would have run if we hadn't pre-registered :)

After picking up our numbers, we met up with some fellow Twin Cities bloggers - Borsch, Baddapple, Bad's Son, Jen, Jeremy, Me, and Steve

I was freezing just sitting in the building. The total clothing count was: 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of pants, a tank top, my sport's bra, a turtleneck, a thick zip-up turtleneck, my super-heater fleece running jacket, 2 hats, and two pairs of mittens. I wasn't sure how my dress was going to fare once we started running.

Even a trip to the porta potty was chilly. To be honest, I was a little worried that my butt was going to freeze to the seat!

Walking to the very empty line of potties

We went out to line up for the 9 AM start, and there were actually more runners out there than I had anticipated. All in all, around 670 runners lined up for the long course, about half as many as last year. The horn sounded, and we were off!

At first, my toes were numb and so were my fingers and thighs. I had a lot of trouble gauging my pace. I was hoping to hit around 9s, but with the really cold weather and extra 10 pounds or so of clothes, I had no idea where I was at. Plus, all of those tight tops around my chest felt like a box of Saran Wrap!

I hit the lap at mile 1 - 8:55. A little fast, but I was feeling OK
I missed mile 2 - mile 2 + 3 - 18:28. Slowing down a bit, but I could already see the turn around
I also missed the 4 mile marker - 18:15. At this point, I was pretty toasty and had to take off my 2nd hat, 2nd pair of mittens, and outside jacket. I was working hard and heating up. The wind was at my back, too, so I had warmed up quite a bit.
I crossed the finish line in 57:38 for a 9:03 average. Not terrible given the conditions. Here's a pic of the frosty finish:

Running into the finish

See all of the frosties on my clothes? That's wicking at it's finest!

Overall, it was actually kind of fun in a crazy Minnesotan way. It was great to meet up with some fellow bloggers, and there was a coffee stop on the way home!

Taking Back My Minnesota Winter

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So it's no secret to this blog that winters aren't a whole lot of fun for me. I thrive on sunshine, warm weather, green grass, and leaves. In the winter, my body just wants to hibernate.

In an effort to remember what summer is like, Steve and I took a trip to Cozumel last week. The first day of our vacation, Steve went on a 6 miler with me. It was our first real run together in years. It was sunny and HOT! The goal was for me to hold a tempo pace and Steve to take it easy. We made it out just fine, but I was pushing without having any idea of what kind of pace we were running. My brain gets really thrown off when the thermometer starts to climb. On the way back, I was really hurting. Not sure if it was the heat, our unknown pace, or I'm just plain out of shape, but I had to stop and walk for a few minutes on the way back. I started feeling pretty terrible, and when I checked my heart rate, it was 200. Gulp! Day 2 in Cozumel was spent on the recumbent bike before laying by the pool and enjoying the latest issue of Inside Triathlon. On day 3, I had a long run on the books, and although Cozumel is relatively safe, I didn't think running by myself along the road was a good idea, so I hit the resort's treadmill. For. Twelve. Miles. With CNN in Spanish on the TV. It was a very long first hour. Thankfully we found the remote and discovered that triathlon was on ESPN. I lifted weights one day, but the rest of the week, I let hiking, walking, and snorkeling be my substitute workouts. I'd still be there if I could be :)

Coming back was a rude awakening. Even though it was rainy the last couple of days that we were down there, 0 degrees as the week's high temp was not exactly welcome back to MN weather. I guess we picked a good week to be gone! Work was also waiting for me. I worked SUPER long hours this weekend and every day the rest of this week. Tuesday was only a half day, though, so in an effort to take back my winter, I strapped on my new X country skis and walked the 2 blocks to our local golf course. It was a 90 minute workout that felt nothing like work! I saw powdery snow, only a few other people, and some ducks swimming in the heated pond. I may just have to go back every chance I get.

My third effort to take back my winter will happen this weekend. The St. Paul Winter Carnival Half Marathon is Saturday. Temps are supposed to be below 0 with a -30 wind chill. We're supposed to find out tomorrow whether the race is even still on. I'll keep you posted!