I spent all week watching the weather. I mean, this is Northeast Ohio. In autumn. The weather can change at the drop of a winter hat and, in fact, while at the beginning of the week it showed that it would be partly sunny (yay!), by the end of the week it showed rain and snow showers (boo!).
In the end it wasn’t that bad: while I woke up to rain, by the time I actually got to Edgewater Park for the race, it had stopped. Chilly, yes, but as long as it was dry, I could not have cared less about the rest of the weather. Hello, I was going to be running. That’ll warm you up right quick.
One of my cousins was also running in this race and as soon as he saw me he asked if those were the TARDIS socks. Looks like they are practically famous now. While I realize I may have looked slightly ridiculous, all that mattered to me was that I was warm. (And warm they are. I’ve worn these almost everyday this week, so as far as I’m concerned they’ve already paid for themselves and I’m slightly tempted to go back to ThinkGeek and order the Dalek knee high socks, too.)
And then we were off! Aside from the one hill at Edgewater, the course was flat and as this is one of my regular weekend running spots I felt good right from start. Also only took about half a mile before I was able to shake off feeling cold. The hill itself is weird because the incline isn’t too bad, it’s just loooooong. So you feel like you’re running up and up and up. I knew I’d walk up that beast faster than I’d run up (I learned something from my experience at the zoo) so as soon as I hit the spot where the incline really started, I stopped running and started hiking. Once I hit the top I began running again.
|Photo courtesy of my cousin|
I went in not caring about time or pace. In fact, before starting the race, I turned off all of those notifications on my Runkeeper App. And because I had my headphones in and my Beauty of Speed playlist going, I was unable to hear the volunteers when they shouted out times as we passed at the two mile mark. So I had absolutely no idea how fast (or slow) I was going.
Which is why, when I rounded the corner at mile three and looked ahead at the clock, I did a double take. As “Eye of the Tiger” came on (I love how my playlist somehow just inherently knows what song to shuffle next), I picked up my pace and finished in 41:33.
That, ladies & gents, is a Personal Record!
Apparently the key to getting a PR is not caring about getting a PR. Which, in some ways, makes sense. Focus too much on pace and you’ll inevitably psych yourself out. Good to know.
After the race, I was chatting with my cousins and their kids and my parents waiting for the awards to start. I knew I hadn’t won in my age group, but I did get the “Extra Mile” award as the top fundraiser!
In the end I raised a total of $1065 which is phenomenal, considering my initial goal was only $300. So thanks again to everyone who donated! This was my first race medal and I kind of love that it was for fundraising. Just goes to show there is so much more to races than, y’know, running.
Once all the awards were handed out, my parents and I headed over to nearby Happy Dog for a post-race lunch. My mom has been wanting to go for awhile now, so it worked out well. And, let me tell ya, veggie Italian sausage and my favorite tater tots were just what I needed after such an awesome race. Even with the tots and dipping sauces, etc., I still lost 1 1/2 pounds this week for a total of 114.8!
I really, really enjoyed this race. The course was great, location close to where I live, LMM staff and volunteers super friendly, and I know my cousin has run in it in past years. I even enjoyed running in the cold weather! I’ll have to bundle up more as winter comes, but I admit I’ve been kind of concerned about how I’ll feel about running in lower temperatures but if this was any indication, it’s definitely something I’ll keep up with.
The Run for Shelter 5K is a long-standing annual race and I’m already thinking I’ll sign up again next year. So if you’re also at the 2013 race and see a redhead in Doctor Who striped knee-high socks and pink shoelaces, chances are it will be me!
Love from the ashes,