I could say it was the wicked headwind.
I could say it was the at-times slick and snow-covered path.
I could say it was a (not-so) rookie mistake that left tying my shoes within the first quarter-mile.
Or I could just say it: I didn't make my "A" goal at yesterday's Fanny Freezer 5K. And that's OK.
After weeks of fake winter, Jack Frost arrived just in time for yesterday's race. It was 20ish degrees with wind gusts making the windchill 9 degrees. Even with a 2 p.m. start, I found my teeth chattering as I awaited the start. Thank goodness L was so willing to cuddle with me as I waited in line to get my bib and chip!
There was little fanfare at the start. It seemed like everyone just crowded around the start and then started running. So I did the same.
And that's about where my memory of the race begins to fade.
I remember having to tie my shoe very early on. I remember climbing the hill that I learned to hate during W.O.O.F. training in 2010. I remember saying hi to a guy on the downhill and realizing it would be better to run in the grass. I remember hitting the half-way point and feeling pretty good. I remember the hill wasn't so kind to me the second time around. I remember chasing a very lean woman in tights and legwarmers (!).
However, if you wanted me to tell you how each step felt, give you a recap mile by mile or explain how I felt effort-wise, I am not sure I could. I actually listened to music during the race (shocker, I know) and I kind of just zoned out to "Bye, Bye, Bye," "Jai Ho" (from "Slumdog Millionaire") and Young Jeezy. I pushed when I could and held back when I couldn't.
For a brief moment, as I headed toward the finish, I thought I might make the sub-27 goal. I kicked it as best I could but the home stretch went on and on and on. I watched my goal tick away as neared the finish. I crossed, according to the GPS, at 27:35*.
*Official times haven't been posted and the race was gun timed.
Yes, I was just off my goal but it was the first time I maintained a sub-9 pace for an entire run and it was the first race of the season. I gave it all I had and, more importantly, I had a great time racing with a great group of girls.