Old Man Winter Vs. Heart of Gold

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Leave it to Old Man Winter to arrive promptly before my first race in almost 16 months.

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Impeccable timing, Old Man.

I swear, it was mild and there was no snow on the ground when I booked the race. As soon as I booked, a storm moved in on the weekend and the temperature plummeted. Go figure. I guess that is the thrill of racing during the winter. You never know what the conditions will be like.

After waking up to the blowing snow and a nasty –14C windchill, I was clearly overjoyed to be racing… 

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bahaha. Where is that runner’s high when you need one? I swear to you, if I hadn’t blogged about running this race, I probably would’ve bailed on it. Nothing like online accountability.

For warmth, I wore 4 layers on top (tank, long sleeved shirt, pullover, and zip up jacket), one layer on bottom, two pairs of socks, gloves, hat, headband. For “entertainment”, I brought my ipod shuffle and Garmin. For breakfast, I had a smoothie with frozen berries. I figured I could acclimatize myself with a cold drink! No such luck. I also had a ginger tea for the car ride as my stomach was feeling a bit jittery.

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One good thing about this race was that it didn’t start until 10am, so I got to sleep in a bit longer than most races.

Thankfully, Eric still wanted to come despite the weather. And he drove us as well. I was already nervous enough about racing on snow-covered roads, so it was nice not to have to drive on them too!

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On our way, the snow was coming down quite hard. I started to get really nervous as I’ve never run in these conditions before!

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After getting my chip and bib and killing a 1/2 hour before the start, it was finally time to line up. I was freezing my tail off, but decided not to warm up because the rest of the roads were all slushy and I didn’t want to soak my feet before starting. Nothing like starting a 5km race with frozen blood!

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This was a special Valentine’s Day race, so they had all the couple’s wrists tied together with a piece of red ribbon! Very cute idea. I debated hand-cuffing Eric to my arm so he’d have to run with me, but with his ball and chain it would probably slow me down. No one needs that. ;)

I was really just jealous that he got to go inside (in the warmth) to wait for me!

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As you can see, it wasn’t a huge race! I would guess around 175-200 runners.

No shot gun, no horn, no bell. Just an old-fashioned count down and we were off!

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In all of my races, I’ve always tried to start off slower and build speed, but with the 5km most runners seem to just sprint the entire distance, so that’s what I ended up doing too!

I didn’t have a time or pace goal for this race, but I settled into a pace around 7:15-7:45 minute/mile for most of the course. And by settled, I mean I struggled and fought my absolute hardest to stay there. I noticed some runners were slowing down after the 3km mark, so I used that opportunity to pass about 6 or 7 runners throughout the second half of the course. It was a great way to boost my mental stamina, especially when I started to get really tired.

Thankfully, Old Man Winter relented and the snow stopped during the race. I just had to deal with the cold, which was quickly freezing my toes, nose, and fingers, even with all my layers. My nose was also running like crazy. About 3 km into the course, my feet and hands finally warmed up.

The course was a basic flat loop with a couple small inclines. Finally, I turned the last corner and saw the finish line. It was hard to believe that I had been running just over 20 minutes at this point because I felt exhausted!

I couldn’t really find the energy in me to sprint near the end, but I realized that was probably because I was already sprinting! I just maintained my speed and picked it up right before the finish line.

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As always, I was so happy to be across that finish line!

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Catching my breath!

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My official chip time is 23:07!

I was also given a beautiful finisher’s medal!

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I’m not sure what it’s made out of, but I’m going to pretend it’s 14 carat gold. ;)

And boy is it HEAVY. It’s easily the biggest/heaviest medal I own.

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Who needs jewelry on Valentine’s Day when you have this bad boy?

Shortly after arriving home, Sketchie peeked his head out of his favourite box and said, “I don’t run for anything!”, before curling up for the rest of his afternoon nap.

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And just like that, I ended my 16-month racing hiatus. Somehow, it feels like I was never gone.

Next up, the Chilly Half Marathon and Frosty 5k on March 4th. I’m already looking forward to it!

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{ 123 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 13, 2012

OMG Ange, I can’t believe you actually did it!! Online accountability at it’s finest! I’m glad you had a good race, and what a beauty of a medal. ;) Is that one framed and hanging up in the living room yet? :D

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Tracy February 13, 2012

Congrats! I can’t believe you did that in those cold conditions. I would have promptly got right back in bed and pulled the covers over my head! You should be so proud! and isn’t that your time in the picture of you crossing the finish line? 23:07? Amazing time if that’s what it was. You inspire me! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 13, 2012

Thanks Tracy! That’s not my official time on the clock in the photo, as it took me a few seconds to cross the start line. I guess my official time is just under that, but it’s pretty close.

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Samantha Angela February 13, 2012

WoW! That’s an impressive speed (official or not) especially in that weather. I’d love to get my 5K down to that.

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Jen February 13, 2012

Good work, that’s real commitment to go out in that weather!!

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Mish February 13, 2012

I think that giving yourself the space and break of 16 months is fabulous. you listened to yourself and now you’ll probably find that you do it for the same and more defining reasons. good on you ange! keep up the great work!

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Amelia February 13, 2012

Congratulations. You are much braver than I! You definitely would need a hot bath, cup of tea, bowl of soup, and warm bread after those bitter temps! At least it was only a 5k. :)

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Angela February 13, 2012

heh yea…I came home and had soup, tea, hot shower…nothing better!

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Michelle@PeachyPalate February 13, 2012

Well done on the race! Running in the cold is a killer, so hard to decide what to wear! I usually end up sweating like crazy up top yet still have freezing hands and feet! Can never get the balance right! Any more races now planned? Have you gotten the racing bug back?

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Angela February 13, 2012

Thanks Michelle! I’m running another 5k in march and a 10k in April :) maybe it will make the winter go by more quickly?

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Michelle@Peachy Palate February 13, 2012

I’ve only recently taken up running…doing my first 5k in March and then a 10k in June…super excited! I can almost taste the summer!

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Jen February 13, 2012

Congrats on your race, I give you so much credit in those conditions!!!! Sketchie is too darn cute!

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Nancy February 13, 2012

Angela! You’re a speedy one, holy Moses. C grats on getting out there. :)

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Nancy February 13, 2012

Uh by the way. C grats isn’t a fancy terminology for anything but congrats.I can’t type on my iPad. :( lol

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Angela February 13, 2012

hah I hate that auto correct!!

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Karen February 13, 2012

Good going, Ange…Huge congrats on yet another personal triumph!

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Clair February 13, 2012

Wowee…go you! What an inspiration!

Love love love the last few shots. The medal is soo pretty, and perfect for Valentine’s day! And of course, I always love seeing Sketchie. =)

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jenna February 13, 2012

Congratulations on persevering and enjoying it! You look so proud in your last photo! I love the pic of Sketchie in his box.

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes February 13, 2012

How great!! Good for you girly :)

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Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots February 13, 2012

I think the I would have seen the snow and said I am going back to bed, good for you for going and what a great time for having a 16 month hiatus!

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Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon February 13, 2012

Good for you!! I definitely would have wimped out–despite having spent the past four years in vermont, I’m so NOT tough when it comes to cold and snow!!
I hope the weather is better for your next race!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 13, 2012

You are a brave soul! And you finished so quickly! Congratulations to you.

How bad does the weather have to be before they cancel a race in Canada? I don’t know if the Atlanta crowd would have shown up. LOL!

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Angela February 13, 2012

heh I’m really not sure! I haven’t heard of a race being cancelled before, but maybe someone else has :)

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Lauren February 13, 2012

Congrats on the run and actually going through with it! My goodness, I can’t say I would have done the same thing. This post made me feel so warm inside (despite the snow-filled pictures). My favorite part was your ending with a pic of your cat looking all toasty in his cave. Murphy (my beagle) is such a lazy hound dog. I’m watching him curled up on the chair right now…snug as a bug! gotta love those animals. :)

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Amanda February 13, 2012

Great job! Don’t you feel so hardcore?

I ran a 5K a few weeks ago, it’s called The Penguin run. Our winter in Buffalo has been so mild this year and I thought it’d be ok for a 5K…..instead it snowed HARD with wind. There was at least 3 inches of melty slush at the beginning. After half a mile it alternated between packed snow and not so packed snow. I ran it with my friend and probably wouldn’t have gone if she wasn’t there. We had so much fun despite the weather and snow blowing directly into my eyes.

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Angela February 13, 2012

nice work! Your race conditions sound worse than mine were! It is a great feeling once it’s all over :) All day long I kept looking out the window thinking…I can’t believe I ran in that!

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Leia February 13, 2012

Well done! 23 mins for 5 km is an amazing time – it takes me about half an hour to run 5k!

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Stephanie @ Legally Blinde February 13, 2012

Wow, congratulations! That is such an impressive accomplishment. Just reading about the weather conditions was making me shiver. Hope your next race is a little more pleasant, but at least now you can say that you’ve run in freezing, snowy weather, and excelled at it, as well!

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Jessica @ Chockohlawtay February 13, 2012

Congrats! It must be such a great feeling to finish a race… I wish I could do it, but my endurance is terrible (I am about to die after one mile, embarrrasssingggg). Anyways, good job!

I think it’s so funny how Canadians never cancel anything due to bad weather. I used to live in Calgary and there were no such thing as snow days, even with 2 feet of snow!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh February 13, 2012

Congrats on the run! It stinks winter deciding to show up for it but it sounds like it wasn’t an issue for you. Love the picture of Sketchie. He almost looks like he was caught doing something naughty!

Have a great week!

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Sana February 13, 2012

I totally would have stayed home! Great job :)

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Alex @ Raw Recovery February 13, 2012

Wow I really admire the fact that you just jumped back into racing and completed the race with such a good time! I’m just trying to get back into running my body is still getting over some ED complications so I need to take it slow. Congratulations on finishing and for just signing up and doing it! That’s really great.

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 13, 2012

Whoo! You are totally awesome for still going to that race!! I would have totally bailed and stayed home with my coffee and heat!

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hannah alehandra February 13, 2012

Congratulations and well done, Angela! Aww Sketchie is just too cute.

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Melissa February 13, 2012

Good for you! :-D

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Veggie V! @Veggie V's Vegan Adveture February 13, 2012

You’re braver than me for sure! I would have whimped out. I don’t even like walking in the snow. Thank goodness for treadmills! LOL

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Rhona February 13, 2012

Congrats! Your timing was awesome. I have to say, if it were me, I would still be running. :)
And, yes, Saturday’s weather was just awful.

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Therese February 13, 2012

Congrats, Angela! My best friend and her fiancé did that race as well (nicely tethered together of course), it’s a tradition they do every year!

Kudos for doing it in that weather too! You must feel extra proud!

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Angela February 13, 2012

love that! I saw so many cute couples. I love the idea of being tied together because it’s all about team work.

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Amy February 13, 2012

WOW amazing time!!! Holy smokes! Especially in those conditions! You rock! Welcome back to the racing world! Wooohooo!

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Sarah February 13, 2012

Impressive!! I think that if I saw that snow out the window, I would cuddle back under the covers. :) Your dedication is truly an inspiration!

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Carolyn @ Eat.Live.Be Well February 13, 2012

Awesome come back race…. looks like you picked up right where you left off.

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amy February 13, 2012

Congratulations! As usual, your sense of humor is inspiring!

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Emily February 13, 2012

Haha, this reminds me of when I would try to convince my boyfriend to run with me last summer. He always went out alone because he could never keep up with me and I “made him feel lazy” :/

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Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous February 13, 2012

You are so brave for running in that!

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Alaina February 13, 2012

Way to go Angela!! Those are some not-so-nice conditions, and you kicked butt!! :-)

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Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove February 13, 2012

That’s amazing! I never could have done this (I would’ve stayed in bed and been lazy all day)

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Ashley February 13, 2012

Congrats!! What a fast run! I think I could run at that pace for about 1 minute. Well done. :)

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Ileana February 13, 2012

Congrats! Can’t believe you ran in that cold!

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