First race of the season!
Name: "Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run"
Location: International Falls, MN
Place: 2/48 Female, 2/8 20-29 Female
I seriously should run more races in the insane cold. Or, I should just have the DRC Renegades with me at every race I run. Seriously, I'm not sure how this race could have been more fun or more perfect. It was by far and away the best I have felt at a race since I ran the Bayshore Half Marathon last May. No doubt, the full night of sleep and solid breakfast (bagel and peanut butter, FTW!) allowed because of the later start time helped things--it's just easier to pull a decent race off when you're rested and feel good. I also think the general good-vibes of the crew I was travelling with helped as well. It's hard to get yourself too keyed up and nervous when you're spending most of the time laughing because your group has befriended and adopted the guy who was our server for dinner, or because of the goofy mock-awards ceremony held after said dinner. (I won a box of Peanuts bandaids in honor of my recent trait of being injury prone.)
I don't even know how I managed it, but I was also dressed pretty much perfectly. Mind you, I was wearing 3 shirts and a fleece, the warmest running tights I own, knee high socks, a hat, a gaiter mask, and my stupid black puffy gloves. So, basically half of my running clothes were on my person at the start of the race. Somehow, and I'm still not sure how exactly, I managed to get my DRC team singlet on over all that, too.
On the plus side, I didn't really look as ridiculous as I felt, and we all were bundled to the almost absurd point:
The race itself was just plain awesome. I wound up losing the neck gaiter at about mile 1 because it was making it way too hard to breathe. I was also plenty warm (as I should have been with 5 layers on), and even with the loose snow on the side streets the footing wasn't bad at all. Things improved just before mile 3, when they spat us back out on to the main highways through IFalls. By this point, I had caught and passed every woman that I had seen, and I couldn't see any more in front of me. I knew there was no way I was the lead, but I was really curious just how many more were in front of me. I was also holding a good clip, and felt really, really strong. I did want to catch and go with one of the guys from our group, but I wondered what would happen if I did (meaning--would he try to take off on me, and would I try to go with him, blow up, and crash and burn?), so I opted to just keep him in my sights.
After looping us along the main highways, they brought us back in to RRCC for the finish:
While we waited for finishers and for the awards, they started posting results. I actually gasped, bad melodrama style, when I saw how I did. (A woman standing nearby asked if I was OK, that's how horrible of a noise I made. Ugh.) In all seriousness, I was pretty thrilled. At that point, I thought I was 4th overall, 2nd in age group, and I was freaking thrilled. I'm sure that doesn't show in the photo from the awards ceremony at all:
After the ceremony, we went back to clean up, and take in a bit of the town before we headed back to Duluth. This may have included turkey bowling:
Oh, and the obligatory hardware shot:
A.W.E.S.O.M.E! It's been a long time coming, and I am hopeful that it's a sign of good things to come. :)