The weather gods continue to not look kindly on me on race day. I’ll take the crummy weather for these races as long as it’s nice for Wine and Dine weekend, but more importantly, for the Dopey challenge.
For those keeping track at home, it has rained or snowed for almost every half marathon I’ve run this year, including 19 degrees and snow during a half marathon to kick off the year. We were tracking the weather all week and the forecast kept getting colder and rainier. On Saturday night, it looked like we might have a window, the heaviest rains weren’t supposed to start until 10:00AM. With a 9:00AM start time for the 10K, we had a shot of making it.
With temps in the low 60s, dressing for the weather is always a challenge. 60 degrees is generally my cut-off temp for wearing shorts, but rain complicates the issue. I absolutely HATE being cold. For this race, I decided to wear my running capris, a short sleeve tech shirt, and my light rain jacket. I completed the race day look with a running hat. When it’s raining, I can’t stand having water hitting me in the face and the hat helps rectify that issue. It also helps keep earbuds in my ears as they start to slip once they get wet.
As we drove to the race, the rains picked up and soon it was absolutely pouring. Cars were spinning out on the highway in the rain. I was running the race with Nicole, my mom, and my Uncle Mark who was meeting us at the race. Nicole, my mom, and I kept looking at the weather, looking at each other and shaking our heads. This was not going to be a fun race. Nicole and Mark were looking to use this as a proof of time for the Half Marathon during Dopey weekend. It’s hard to PR when both your shoes and your clothes are soaked.
We met up with Mark and picked up our bibs, deciding to wait in the car until about 5-10 minutes before the start of the race. During this time, the rain continued to increase and decrease giving us hope and dread. We debated whether to bring our phones and music with us during the race. All of us decided the rain was coming down too hard and we would have to go without. Finally, it was go time and we meandered our way to the gazebo where all the other runners were gathered, seeking shelter.
The race director even did the pre-race announcements under the gazebo, which was nice. The start and finish lines were under 8 inches of water, but at least we would start in a slightly different place, modifying the course to still make sure we got our 10K in. Unfortunately, the finish line would be in a giant puddle, but at that point, do you really care? I had done approximately zero research on this race beforehand, so it was at this point that I learned that the 10K course was actually two 5K laps. ICK! I hate when courses do this. Give me a good out-and-back or a large loop any day. Oh well, it was too late to turn back now.
All the runners marched to the start line. The 5K and the 10K would start at the same place and finish at the same place. I was nervous about this since the 5K course was an out-and-back and at a couple of places the courses would cross each other. There’s always room for confusion and error when that happens. Without The start was the police siren and we were off!
Obviously, leaving my phone in the car to protect it from the rain means no pictures. However, the course was nice running through the park and some residential areas. No music and no mile markers meant I was really happy I had my Garmin watch. Typically, I only go music-less for RunDisney races, but I definitely noticed the difference. I hate hearing the sound of my breathing. I think it makes me feel more tired. I started singing “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” to myself to pass the time. The course had some small rolling hills, but after all my hilly training runs it wasn’t anything too major. At the 3 mile mark, the criss-cross happened. Luckily, the race director was there to guide runners.
I do like courses where there’s a turnaround and when you can see runners coming the other way. It’s so nice to encourage others and hear their encouragement in return. That made mile 4 pass quickly, and before I knew it we were in the last mile, heading toward the finish line.
All in all, I was pleased with my results. It wasn’t the day for a PR, but I still finished with 6:53 splits over the 6.34 mile course and a 2nd place overall woman finish. The race gave out nice wooden plaques for the top finishers, which is a nice change from medals. I like nice bling as much as the next girl, but sometimes I enjoy when races switch it up a bit. Nicole won her age group and got a nice medal for her efforts.
All in all, we were happy that we participated, even if we did it a bit begrudgingly. It’s nice to have a race on the calendar to test what your top speeds are. As much as I try to push myself in training, races always bring out my faster times. It really gets my competitive juices going.
I’m looking forward to Dopey training this week, with another race (a 5K this time) scheduled for this upcoming weekend!