Old Man Winter Vs. Heart of Gold

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on February 13, 2012

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!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

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Alexandra February 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Beating old man winter! Definately winning! ;)

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Triathlonbabe February 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Wow Angela, you rock it! I think my last 5k back in Nov. was a 29 min., so 23 min…..yowsers!!!

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Lauren February 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Awesome time! What is your 5K p.r.?

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life February 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Wow you are hardcore! I seriously would have bailed – I can’t run in cold weather at all, I feel like I have bronchitis by the time I’m done! Yay for you and your kitty is adorable!

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Becky February 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm

This story motivated me to get outside in the dreary Washington weather today and run! Thank you!

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Tracy February 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Congratulations Angela! Your will power is truly inspiring :)

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Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe February 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Great job Angela! A great start to the set of races you’ve got lined up. Keep it up!

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Leigh February 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Congrats on your run!! I really would have debated long and hard about heading out in that weather. Ugh! Awesome medal and a really fab finish time, girl!

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Gail February 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

That’s great! It makes me jealous that you’re doing that. I really need to get back into it – I’ve been in a slump myself and gaining weight and just feeling overall blah! Maybe if I start training for a race it’ll get me out of my rut.

Love the cat!!!

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Bri Carpenter February 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Congrats, I think you did awesome! Hearing about your race kinda makes me want to do one too some day. All of your snowy pictures made me miss Ontario so much!

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suzanne February 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Congratulations! Did the chilly weather add to your sense of accomplishment/runners high? I find that when I do a run in especially cold temps (though I only do 2 races and they are in warmer weather ;-))- I feel even better when I get home (though more tired too as it does take more energy no matter what the speed). What a great way to get back into it!

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helen February 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Congrats on a fantastic time! Woo!

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sophie February 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Girl – you did good! The fact that you didn’t bail….AMAZING :)

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Julie at Burnt Carrots February 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Congrats on getting back into the running!! I did a marathon last fall and didn’t even look at my running shoes for 3 months after. :) Great time too!! I had my best 1/2 marathon time ever when it was 10 below. I think I ran faster just so I could go inside sooner!

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Erika - The Teenage Taste February 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Congratulations on an awesome race, Angela! Those conditions sound terrible, but you managed to run a kick-ass 5K nonetheless! ~23 minutes is amazing – was that a PR for you?

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I hope that medal is 15 carat gold because you seriously deserve it for running that race! And in 23 minutes to boot! I could barely bring myself to walk outdoors this weekend, let alone run in it. :P Congrats Angela!

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Mary February 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm

What an amazing time for the race!!! And it’s a good thing you are so fast – you could have froxe. It was cold out!

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Mary February 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm

(I meant froze haha).

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Jane February 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Congrats! Spiffy medal! :)

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[email protected] February 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Congrats on the speedy time! I dragged the boyfriend to a couple’s race this weekend. 2-4 inches of snow were predicted, but we got absolutely zero! I didn’t mind one bit.

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Deirdre @ Ladies Holiday February 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I’m guessing the thrill of crossing that finish line after weathering the storm was far greater than had it been a sunny 65 degree day.
Well done!!

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Joss February 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Congratz! Beautiful medal :D It was defo a crazy amount of snow and cold weather we got in a very short period of time this past weekend!

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Meg February 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

and i am so happy i did NOT register for that race. lol I couldnt even drive through my city, let alone to Toronto. brutal weather this weekend.

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Michelle February 14, 2012 at 12:43 am

Way to go!!! Haha this bring back memories of when i was in track and field and had to sprint two miles in the blistering wind and cold!

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com February 14, 2012 at 1:49 am

I couldn’t stand a -4 and you did it well below that temperature. Bravo and congrats sweetie :)

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes February 14, 2012 at 4:26 am

Well done for getting to the end in such horrible conditions!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers February 14, 2012 at 7:36 am

You are crazy! I would never attempt to go in the snow, fear of falling or worse yet being cold! You go my crazy friend!!!

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LizAshlee February 14, 2012 at 8:47 am

Wow, congrats Ange..that would have been a tough one to do!

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Anna Crouch February 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

That’s an incredible time!!! Congrats!!

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Adrienne February 16, 2012 at 10:14 am

I was there!!! I just looked at the race results and saw your name and immediately came over here to see if you wrote about the race! And to top it off, I’m in your photos! I’m the brunette girl with the purple headband and navy North Face jacket. I can’t believe we missed each other! Congrats on your race- I was just a bit behind you at 24:50 :)

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PoochesForPeace(Anna H.) February 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm

yay, good job!!! that change in weather wouldve thrown me for a loop.

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Amanda February 19, 2012 at 10:44 am

Congrats! I am surely a fair-weather-runner so I’m very impressed. Maybe you’ll inspire me to get outside and run today. Heck, it’s not even snowing so I have no excuse! :)

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