Where do you even start with a recap for a race that was almost a month ago?
I don't know. And honestly, the details of the race are a bit fuzzy at this point. What I do remember about the Seroogy's Run 15K? It was cold. Oh so cold. We're talking maybe 7 degrees when the race started, but when you factor in the wind, it was closer to feeling like -10 degrees. Yes, below zero. So cold.
And when I went to pick up my packet there was a tiny part of me - ok, a big part of me - that wanted to switch over to the 5K distance when I saw all the other runners doing that. But then I remembered I had friends who would be out on the course suffering through 9.3 miserably chilly miles with me.
So I didn't.
I ran with my friend Krystal - the one who paced me through the miserable conditions at the Oshkosh Half last spring - and I admit, this turned into more of a just get the 9.3 miles done kind of run rather than an actual race.
The course is a simple out and back, mostly through residential areas, but there was a pretty section through an abbey, which would have been prettier had I not been freezing cold and miserable. Yes, I was freezing and miserable within the first mile.
But I kept running. Keeping a somewhat decent pace. Actually I was feeling pretty good through the first six miles. Started to struggle a little bit after the turnaround point. Took a Gu Chomp and kept running.
Then I hit mile 7.5. And we turned right, which meant we were running straight into that bone-chilling cold wind - and uphill - for the final 2 miles. Brutal. So brutal there were moments I just wanted to find a pile of snow (because of all weekends it decided to snow the day before), curl up in a ball and cry. Or freeze to death. But Krystal wouldn't let me. So I kept running.
I was losing feeling in my legs at this point. And my face. And my IT band was getting a bit cranky (you would have thought the coldness would have numbed the annoying pain). And even though I had my hand-held water bottle with me, it wasn't very useful since it had frozen. Yup. I was left with a frozen bottle of Gatorade. So I kept running.
Eventually I made one last left hand turn and I was in sight of the finish line. Of course this was the crappiest footing on the entire 9.3 mile route. But whatever. I crossed the finish line. Frozen cold. But happy to be done. Krystal and I met up with Peggy - who rocked the freezing cold race - and we went and got our cheese and chocolate. Yes. The promise of chocolate was the only thing that kept going during those last 2 freezing cold miles. And the chocolate was good. Very good.
I ended up finishing in 1:50 and some seconds. Not what I was hoping for. But it was cold. And I could have stayed in bed or dropped down to the 5K distance. But I didn't.