Location: Richmond, VA
Temperature: 26 degrees with a feels like temperature of 15 degrees
Official Time: 1:15:41 (8:07 pace) for 9.3 miles
Garmin Time: 1:15:43 (8:05 pace) for 9.36 miles
Place in Age Group: 7/44
Overall Place: 192/636
The Company: I was joined by G (who thought this FREEZING COLD race would be a good idea), KC, 3L, D, J and Katye. Having a bunch of my posse at the start (and finish) almost made the temperatures tolerable. And of course we were the best dressed on the course. Here's a shot of me, G, Katye and KC before the start.
The Course: I had not run this race before and had been warned of hills on the course. Richmond Road Runners described the course like this, "The course is out and back beginning and ending next to the Cary Street soccer field. The course goes out Harrison to Colorado, through the neighborhood next to Maymont and into Byrd Park. Much of the course is flat, but there are a few testy hills."
Past experience has shown that if RRRC mentions hills in the course, they are probably worse than you think. Due to this, I was planning for much worse. There were rolling hills during the first two and last two miles of the course, but for every climb there was an awesome downhill which I tried to use to my advantage.
The Pace: My goal for this race (since I had never run a 15K before) was to use it as a half marathon goal pace run. That meant 9.3 miles at an 8:20 pace. It seemed doable, but I questioned whether or not I would crash at the end (as I historically do).
Anyway, 3L, KC and D were all looking to hold a similar pace. We decided to go together and once we navigated the crowds at the start, we fell into a comfortable groove. Through mile 2 we were averaging 8:10s. Around mile 3, 3L pulled ahead. I tried to keep up. It worked and at mile 4, I passed her. That's when I decided to "just run." No watch checking. No obsessing about the pace. I just wanted to run whatever felt comfortable enough to carry to the end, but hard enough that I knew I was pushing it. We looped back around mile 4.7 and I could see that most of the posse was right behind me. It was a total boost to see them. From then on, I just locked in and pushed to the finish. I felt strong until mile 8 (which was slightly uphill and directly into the wind). When I finished, the Garmin said I had an average pace of 8:05. Just the confidence boost I was looking for heading into my Spring marathon and half marathons.
The Post-Race Refreshments: After finishing, we headed to a parking deck (classy, I know) where we were given Diet Coke (my favorite post-run drink), bananas, bagels and oreos. Now, if they had only served Dunkin Donuts coffee, it would have been perfect.
The Temperature: Did I mention that this race is called the Frostbite 15k and that it lives up to it's name? Enough said.
Next race on the schedule: Disney Princess Half Marathon AND a sub 1:55 finish ...