That pretty much sums up how this particular race felt. Snow, sleet, slush, wind, rain...we had it all. Waking up a few hours before the race, I looked out the window and there was so much snow it was practically a white out. I was prepared, though: Earlier in the week I picked up some fabulous green and white striped knee-high socks with shamrocks at the top. The St. Malachi run is held around St. Patrick's Day so they were appropriate footwear.
|Proof I need new capri running/yoga pants: this pair was tight around my|
calves when first purchased about a year ago.
My mom told me later that while looking for me at the start of the race she saw a woman in navy running gear she almost thought was me, until she realized that I would probably be in brighter colors. Like, say, neon pink and green.
One of the bonuses to this race was that I live super close to St. Malachi, the start and end point to the race. Close enough to walk, which means not having to worry about my car. And, let me tell ya, with 5000 runners it was a bitch of a parking and driving situation. Because of the race, certain bridges and roads were closed and so my parents had to take a rather convoluted route and I wasn't able to see them before the start.
Fog. We also had fog. Going over the Detroit-Superior bridge at the very beginning of the race, it was so bad part of the Cleveland skyline was obscured.
For the most part the race was fairly flat. The course took us through downtown, past Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Rock Hall, and Burke Lakefront Airport. The water station was near the airport and to just give you an idea of what the weather was like, this wasn't just water it was ice water. That is, after sitting outside on the tables there were not only ice crystals in the water but around the rim of the paper cups as well.
There were a few slopes and hills, but if there's one thing I've learned after all of my races it's that I get better time power walking the hills than I do attempting to run them. So that's what I did. And, let me tell ya: running over the Detroit-Superior Bridge at the start of a race is one thing. Having to come back and do it again after running 4 1/2 miles is another beast entirely.
The weather required as much mental strength as physical. You had sleet stinging your face and ice patches on the road to watch out for and puddles to dodge (some I did, some I didn't). And even though just a few weeks ago I had run 6.2 miles, 5 miles in crappy weather can take it's toll. But coming down the final hill of the bridge and knowing the church -- and, thus, the finish line -- was just around the corner, I picked up my pace and finished strong.
|Find me on Instagram: @Jill_Grun|
Official chip time was 1:08:58! With an average pace of 13:48, I ran faster in this race than I did the Rodeo Run 10K a few weeks ago. Apparently winter running really does agree with me.
After, the parentals and I headed up to my apartment so I could take a quick hot shower and change into dry clothes (yay for this race shirt being long-sleeved!) before heading to Happy Dog for post-race grub. I guess other runners had the same idea because I saw quite a few people in their shirts as well.
Despite the miserable weather and cold precipitation and the fact that I was freezing at the end (after lunch I came home and took another hot shower, this time a loooooong one), I really enjoyed this race. Decent course, lots of energy from the runners even with the snow and slush, fun and fabulous green costumes. St. Malachi is a long-standing annual race and I think it's considered the start of the racing season here in Cleveland, which may be why it brings out so many participants. Me, I'll definitely be signing up next year and running again, regardless of weather. As for this year, well, as my college roommate Megan put on FB later, Running in sleet kind of hurts, but now I know I can run in anything.
I also have to give major props and thanks to the Hermes Cleveland employees and volunteers. We runners were at least moving through this weather and able to keep warm that way while the Hermes folks were just standing at the water station or mile markers or designated corners, etc., but they were still rock stars.
The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet. Oh, yeah, this was also my first weekend with my new Moving Comfort Fiona sports bra! So be sure to come back later this week when I'll talk about it more in my What I Love Wednesday post.
Were any of my Cleveland runners/readers also at St. Malachi? If you raced this weekend, how did it go?
Love from the ashes,