On Saturday I set out to run the Frozen Buns 10k in The Loop. I felt pretty good about it, considering I’d smashed through my old PR during my race course test run a few days prior to the event.
Friday night before going to bed, I laid out everything I was going to need…my racing clothes, bib, running watch, water, etc.
It’s here that I’d like to point out my hamartia, my fatal flaw. You see, I’d made careful note of where the hills are and how I wanted to handle them. I knew just where to start sprinting, which side of the street to stay on for the next turn, where the water stations were. I know this race, I told myself the night before the race. When I considered what to wear, I couldn’t quite remember what the temperature had been during my test run. Maybe 40 degrees? Sure. The forecast for the race predicted around 43 degrees. Yeah, that seems about right, I thought. Probably about the same temperature it was during the trial.
Or so I thought.
Since my outfit worked out just right during my test run, I decided to wear almost the same thing for the race, just a different top for my outer layer. To refresh, here’s a bit of how I looked during my test run:
My very warmest leggings with ski socks layer underneath, a thermal shirt designed specifically for winter running, a cozy jacket, and an ear warmer. And gloves because cold fingers are the worst.
And so I donned the same outfit (but exchanged the jacket for a pullover because I was just feelin’ it), enjoyed a bowl of oatmeal, and headed to the race.
I noticed an odd phenomenon while finding a parking spot by the race start: some people were wearing shorts. I thought maybe they were just the crazies – you know, those men who wear the same fluorescent short shorts and teensy sleeveless top to every race, regardless of the weather? Nope, turns out I was the crazy one. I stepped out of my car and quickly decided to lose the gloves. Still, I don’t like to be cold when I run (yes, I realize I just contradicted myself after what I did yesterday), so I thought I’d be fine in the outfit I was wearing.
The ice sculptures being displayed near the course seemed to agree that the weather was chilly.
BIG FAT WRONG.
It seems rather pointless to me to recap every single moment of a 10k because the actual event goes by rather quickly, but I’d have to say it was one of my hardest running experiences ever.
Some races feel perfect (my Go!Stl Half last April, along with 2011 and 2012 Gumbo Flats 10k’s). Some races are challenging in a good way (Hey there, marathon). And some are borderline torturous. The Frozen Buns run falls into that last category.
I was just way too hot. My sleeves were pulled up and I got rid of the ear warmer during the first few minutes. By the time I encroached upon mile 3, I was aching to stop and pull off my sweater, but that would have meant unpinning my bib, repinning it to my other shirt, and carrying my sweater for the rest of the race. All I could do was keep reaching into my sweater and pull up my other shirt, but it kept falling and I was still baking. There were even instances when I wished I could just take a quick vomit break in someone’s dumpster. (sorry)
Given the fact that I know I can demolish that hilly course, I’m certain it was the heat that did me in. I was running in 54 degrees, but dressed for 15! My pace definitely suffered, although I still sprinted the very last bit. I was so happy when it was over. Aaaand, there was no PR: I ended up missing it by a minute and a half. I know it’s not really a huge margin, but I was just a little disappointed.
I sent a few “that race sucked” texts to Sean who, of course, supported me and made me feel awesome, and soon afterwards I was fine with how it all went. Do I wish that I’d been smarter about my clothes? Of course! But it’s just funny now. After all, I’d been SO worried about how I didn’t train enough in the cold weather and how I didn’t want my buns to be frozen, and look what happened! My lack of weather prep punished me…just not in the way I thought it would.
So. Onwards and upwards, right? I’m going to go search for my next race!