I spent all week hoping it would get called for the snow forecast. It would be perfect: I could still get credit for the race, but just run later in the day/ Sunday. The idea of waking up super early in the winter, the morning after a Christmas party did not sound appealing. Neither did the 9.3 miles I'd need to run. My training schedule actually only calls for 8 and I thought "What's another 1.3?" A lot actually; especially, if you're not interested in getting injured.
So, why do I keep signing up for races during training? It's a habit I really need to break. This time, the tiny part of me that's OCD was the reason:
No, I don't plan on running the TCS New York City Marathon next year, but I'll be damned if I wasn't going to be ONE race away from qualifying for it.
First, I was totally NOT prepared for it to actually snow. I figured, it would start right as the race was over and I'd be fine. With that thinking thanks to 2 glasses of Champagne, I didn't really put together that snow was FROZEN WATER and I probably should pack a rain jacket- along with extra clothes to change into. I remember the extra shirt and coat but forgot that I might need a new hat and gloves. So, I pretty much spent the entire 9.3 miles cursing myself for not remembering a waterproof jacket and then cursed myself all the way home about not having an extra pair of gloves. It was an awesome Saturday morning, let me tell you.
My plan of getting to the race early, completely backfires in the winter FYI. I was standing in the snow for about 45 minutes before the race started. I took my sweet time leaving the subway (I even sat on a bench for about 10 minutes) and even then, I was still outside forever. I noticed that there wasn't a line for the portapotties, but that no one was really leaving them either. Once one opened up, I found out why people were taking their sweet time: it was warm in there!
Once, the race finally started, I was already completely miserable. It was snowing something serious and I was not interested in being outside any longer, much less for 9.3 more miles. I kept telling myself I was so stupid for actually doing it. But there was no way I could just give up and go home then. So I bitched to myself for about 3 miles. Then I saw this:
It was my first time every seeing an event alert level not green.
I was praying by the time I got back to the start/finish line, they would cancel the race and I could be put out of my misery. Sadly, that didn't happen and I got super pissed off. I knew I had to get in 8 miles, but the other 1.3? Screw it. I decided when I got to the 72nd St. transverse again, I was going to cut through (skipping the lower loop and the extra 1.3 miles) and finish the race. I didn't care if I was cheating. . . technically, I'd only be cheating myself and who cares?! I was that miserable.
At about the turnaround, I ran into Sarah, who was leading a TNT running group. It really does a lot when you see a familiar face! My gu started to kick in and the weather on the west side of the park was so much better I actually started to feel ok. The snow was no longer pelting me in the face forcing me to inhale it (ps- that sucks). And if only I had a damn waterproof jacket, I could totally be ok with running! I actually started passing people and I made a deal with myself that I could totally finish if it stayed like that. I also made sure to thank each and every volunteer out there. . I could only imagine how bad that must have sucked, but then again, I'm sure they were smarter than me and had on waterproof clothes!
Once I got to the transverse, even if I wanted to, I couldn't really cut across. There were about 20 volunteers guiding us in the right direction, so I just followed and said screw it. What's another 1.3 miles? I was already wet and frozen.
Then, the frozen rain started pelting me in the face again and I was officially over it. I had to put my gaiter, which was literally frozen stiff, over my nose and mouth to breathe. I don't know which is worse, inhaling water or inhaling snow.
Like a crazy guardian angel, Sarah appeared again (she's training for Dopey and had 13 miles on the schedule . . . yikes!). We talked for a second, but then she went on her speedy way and I mustered the strength to finish.
As soon as I finished the race, I skipped walking all the way to the bagels/ gatorade and made a beeline to the checked bags. I didn't tie my bag tight enough, so snow got into it= awesome. But I found a handicapped portapotty and changed as fast as I could into my semi-dry clothes. I decided to leave my earwarmer on my head, because I thought it was better than nothing.
It took me a good 20 minutes in the shower to gain feeling back into my fingers. I had a sore throat for over a week, like I need reminding of what an idiot I am.
So, that kind of sucked. But hey! Now, I have automatic entry to a race I don't plan on running. On the bright side? Last year this time, I was training for the WDW Marathon- I could not imagine doubling the 15k milage.
What's the coldest race you've ever run?