I did this race last year and it was enjoyable. Cold with the bitter wind chills, but enjoyable. This year, though, wasn't as much fun.
First off, it was even colder than last year. Probably the coldest race I've ever done with temps in the teens but the wind chill much colder. I struggled with breathing from the get-go and knew I'd be in for a longer race when I started to take my walk breaks around Mile 5 (I usually save the walk breaks for the water stations later on in the race). Then, my legs became numb around Miles 8-9. At that point, you just power through. Lastly, it was a double-loop course, which meant you saw the same things twice. I completely understand why some races have to do a double-loop, especially on a holiday when the police aren't available (and it becomes expensive to have them shut down the streets in a longer out and back route). It just seemed more boring than last year for some reason, more gray weather-wise than last year, and overall not as much fun, in my opinion.
But it happens. Not every race is going to go great. You simply power through and finish strong. My ultimate goal was to finish in under two hours and I did just that - crossing the finish line in 1:56:37.
Fellow running mama Lisa snapped this pic of us pre-race. Lisa is a rock-star runner and finished in the top 30 and won our age group. Way to go, Lisa!
The finish line never looked so good!
Thawing out a bit inside the warm boathouse post-race.
While I'm not sure I'll do the half-marathon on New Year's Day in 2016 - I told hubs to remind me of the bitter wind chills, cold temps, and not-so-great time when I get tempted to register later this fall - I am glad that I've been able to kick off the New Year with some longer miles these past two years. It's a great gut check and always a treat to see fellow running friends (though not as many running friends joined in this year with the bitter cold weather!).
Here's to the start of more running adventures in 2015!