I’m pretty sure that yesterday was the coldest day of the year so far. With temperatures in the 20s and major winds that made it feel like it was in the teens, it was clear that Old Man Winter decided to make an appearance around here and show us what he’s made of. Brrrrr.
Yesterday was the Run Your Heart Out 5k in Reston. I signed up for it a while ago, knowing that I had a 22 miler to tackle the day before and that it would be falling on the last day of my highest mileage week ever. So I really truly wasn’t ever planning on racing it. When I woke up yesterday morning and felt good, I considered it but quickly talked myself out of it. It was freezing, icy in spots, crazy windy and hilly. I really didn’t want to risk getting injured over this race and wanted to just enjoy being there with my sisters and good friends. Best decision ever. It was SO much fun!
We arrived at the race about 20 minutes before the gun went off. This race starts and finishes on the South Lakes High School track (our track) so we ran around the track for about 1.5 miles to warm up. Only … there really was no “warming up” about it. We were still freezing cold! I was all decked out in my pink and red but couldn’t bring myself to take my black jacket off. Oh well. So much for being festive. Meghan Ridgley won that prize – she was adorably Valentine-y in her amazing tutu. And she won the race, too!
The start of the race felt like one big party! Maybe it was just me or it was because we were all so freaking cold, but I felt like everyone was smiling and laughing and just happy to be there. The weather was so insane and the course was incredibly beautiful. After running maybe a quarter of a lap around the track we headed into the woods and ran along the paved Reston paths I love so much. It felt like we were running through a winter wonderland. The forest was covered in a light dusting of snow and it was serene and just lovely. These paths are hilly though, with lots of foot bridges that were definitely icy in parts. I was wearing my Kinvaras and felt unsteady on this terrain in them. I was SO glad I wasn’t racing. Jodi and Amy were wearing their trail shoes and on a downhill portion I lost them – I stopped to walk along the grass because I thought I was going to fall. Not long after that though I met up with Jackie from Lululemon and was really excited to see her. We ran the rest of the race together and chatted the whole way. It was a really perfect recovery run and I loved every minute of it. There was a smile across my face the entire way. I still haven’t even downloaded my Garmin from the race, or checked on my finish time online. I was so not concerned with how fast I was moving at all, but I remember looking at my pace at one point and it was somewhere around a 9:30ish pace. It was perfect.
|at the finish|
Once we crossed the finish line, the party continued for a little while and we chatted with new friends and old before we felt like we were going to freeze our faces off. It was so much fun. I wish all recovery runs could be such a blast!
I will definitely run this race again. It was my idea of a great celebration of the sport I love with the people I love. The only thing I would have changed about this race was the weather – I wish it had been just a *little* (ok, maybe a lot) warmer. I will have to work on that for next year!