I took the el from my friend's apartment where I had stayed the night. The walk to Montrose Harbor was about a mile from the station. I kept seeing other runners who were warming up or getting to the race. There were also many runners staying warm in their cars.
At the start line, I overheard that 1800 people registered and only about 1300 people picked up their bibs. I guess the winter training isn't for everyone? And there were quite a few people around me in vibram five fingers and all I could think is that if I, wearing socks and shoes, cannot feel my toes, how can you? I checked multiple times to make sure my socks weren't wet because my toes were so cold I couldn't feel them. All that just from standing around waiting for the race to start.
|First mile. The runners spread out quickly.|
I found myself running on a weird snow/sand mix that covered the path. Not having trained on that at all, it was confusing and difficult. My shoes didn't have enough traction despite being my trail shoes. I can't imagine how much slower I would have been if I wore my normal kicks.
|Weird mysterious snow stuff|
I started feeling a bit of knee pain in mile three and I had to ask myself...If I take an ibuprofen will I be able to continue? If I finish the first out-and-back will I be able to finish the second? I decided to take the ibuprofen and a gu, then I decided to do the second out-and-back. I didn't want to give up.
I gotta say, I was mostly bored during this race because the field thinned out so much. There was only a few people that I kept playing leap-frog with because we were run/walking. Because of my knee pain, I decided to walk a minute every mile, or less as needed. I couldn't have finished if I didn't walk as frequently as I did.
|Mile 5 (ish)|
|These aren't the leaders but they are about 3 miles ahead of me.|
I kept watching dogs and their owners play on the icy beach. So cute! The water is deeper here, where they have open water swim in the summer. I wouldn't want to go in the water now. COLD.
|Finally on my way back in.|
On my way back in after the turn around--all those other runners ahead of me; all the beautiful water to my right. No more sun on my face (it was much chillier after there was no more sun on my face, but at least I wasn't getting sunburnt anymore).
|Around mile 9 there was some really neat ice in the water.|
I made it to ten miles and just kept saying, only 5K to go! You can do a 5k!
During this last 5K, I had to walk more frequently. I wasn't upset by this, I was just annoyed that the race wouldn't be over as soon.
You know how if you're in class or something and you keep looking at the clock thinking 10 minutes has passed and only 1 has? That was how I was feeling.
|Around mile ten. 5K left!|
My race medal is a cowbell. This is mostly why I didn't want to give up. I wanted that damn cowbell (cause I got a fever)(and the only cure is more cowbell).
Official time was 2:50:50.
Edit: The official race photos are here.