Race: Run For The Gold 3K
Place: Frankfort, Kentucky
Date: March 17, 2013
Take that…last year’s time. I just beat you by 2 minutes and 21 seconds. HA!
And I did it…when I really, really, really didn’t want to.
As I stated in my previous blog…the weather…got ugly. Very, very ugly. And it turned in a blink of an eye. No warning. No gradual recession back into the winter blues. It went from 72 degrees and sunny on Saturday to a gross, wintery mix of snow, sleet, rain, and cold all at once…the following day. That day…was St. Patrick’s Day. And I was to head to Frankfort, Kentucky that evening…to run.
Also, as we all have come to find out…if I run in Frankfort, Kentucky…it will rain. Whether it does so before a race, during a race, or following a race…there hasn’t been a run in Frankfort that I have attended where it hasn’t rained. I. AM. NOT. JOKING.
Well, it seemed evident on Sunday that rain was happening. Why? Because starting really early in the morning, before the sun even came up, the rain began to fall. Not a sprinkle…no…downpour. It really soured my mood that morning. After glancing at the radar, it looked like the rain was with us the entire day. Here in Louisville, and certainly there in Frankfort.
Well, you can’t change the weather…you just make the most of it. And it’s not like I haven’t run in the cold and wet before. I just…wasn’t feeling it that morning. I didn’t want to do it. I said as much to my roommate that morning as we were packing up my running bag with my running clothes to change into, as we were going to spend a good lot of the day in Louisville before heading to Frankfort. There would be no return trip home. So pack and go. We’d get the required pre-race gluten-free pizza from Uncle Maddio’s for lunch. And then…we’d do a bit of shopping and walking around at the malls. Anything to stay inside as much as possible and out of the cold wet. I decided I didn’t pack an appropriate top for the run, with this sort of weather, so we ended up heading to Dick’s where we spent, probably 45 minutes trying to find something that wasn’t expensive and would keep me warm in the cold wetness. I found something. And bought it. As much as I didn’t want to.
By early afternoon, the rain had turned into sleet and snow. Big, wet flakes were falling to the ground. My mood was getting worse. It was cold. It was wet. And I was still NOT feeling it.
So, what do I do? I go get ice cream. Now…I am lactose intolerant, and while I can take something to help with digestion, eating ice cream before a race is generally not something I would do. But, as I told my roomie…I didn’t care at this point. So, ice cream it was. I ate my mint chocolate chip ice cream, which I topped off with hot fudge, before ducking into the bathroom at the ice cream parlor to change. And that was when I realized…I had no sports bra. I forgot to pack one.
Mood…just got worse.
We left the ice cream place and hopped back into the car to drive home, on precarious roads, so that I could get into proper chest-holding gear. As I was gingerly walking across the slick pavement at my apartment, I asked my roomie if, perhaps, I needed to bring my YakTrax. Why? Because here the pavement was coated in slick slush. I didn’t know what it might be like in Frankfort. She agreed it would be a good idea to at least have them on hand. So, after I changed into my sports bra, my new top, and threw the tech shirt I originally planned to wear over that…we were back in the car and now making our way through the driving rain and weather to…Frankfort, Kentucky.
We had rain the entire way. Much suckage.
As always, we arrived in Frankfort with time to spare. So, we parked in our usual parking garage and climbed the stairs to make our way over to where packet pick-up was happening. I ducked inside and got my packet, which always comes in a reusable bag, complete with race bib, goodies, and my t-shirt.
Normally on St. Patrick’s Day there would be quite a festival going on, however, with the rain…that wasn’t happening this year. Nothing was open. Nothing. Except the local coffee shop. So, after we dropped a few items back over at the car and made our way through the cold rain, we stopped inside the coffee shop and took a seat in a corner. At least it was warm and dry in there. Cathy went to get us some water to wash down our pre-race protein bars with and returned with that…and a banana to split after the race.
As she was making said purchases, two very nice ladies came and sat down opposite us. They were just really fun girls and I was glad that they were there to keep us amused and talk about crazy stuff with. Seriously. Some of the topics of conversation were…very different.
With about 30 minutes before the race, I finally was able to eat my protein bar. Usually for this short of a race, I would split the bar, but technically…this and the half a banana would be dinner. So…the entire bar was eaten. I also normally would have done that further away from start time, but the line for drinks was long. It took Cathy a lot longer to get through for the water and banana than anticipated. So…I finished my bar, drank my water, and sat there for a little longer.
The rain suddenly…stopped.
It was still cold as heck out there, but it was no longer raining. Were the weather gods finally smiling upon me? Perhaps?
With ten minutes to go before the race, Cathy and I stepped outside with our new friends (this was their first race, btw). Already people were lining up in pace groups, so Cathy gave me a hug, wished me luck, and I went to find a spot in between the 6 minute mile and 8 minute mile pace groups.
I mean…this race wasn’t even 2 miles…so it would be a quick one regardless. No sooner had I found a spot in the small sea of humanity…that the starting pistol was fired.
Holy hell…the race was starting…and it was a little early.
Thankfully, my Garmin had found its satellites at that point because I hit it as I pushed over the start line and hit the course with the rest of the pack. I guess I should just be thankful that we didn’t decide to linger a little longer. This meant, however, I did absolutely no stretching to loosen up my muscles, which, I remind you, really dislike cold and wet…especially together.
Frankfort is a really great place to run, and I think that’s why I keep going back there for different races throughout the year. The Frankfort Trifecta, however, is one of my favorite racing series to do. And the Good Shepherd Run For The Gold 3K is the race that kicks it all off. For the second year in a row, under very different circumstances, I now found myself running through the streets once again in this sprint out and back race.
Last year, it was about 74°F out during this run. This year…it was 34°F…with a crazy cold wind. It was SO chilly. So, we’re talking a 40 degree difference between the past two years. That’s crazy.
But…enough of that…I’m running here…
This is a very fast course, mind you. It winds through downtown Frankfort, taking you up towards the Governor’s Mansion, but not around it as most races there tend to take us. We turned around before making that loop. It was a rather quiet run. Thanks to the weather, there weren’t the normal crowds lining the streets that most of these races see. The volunteers were out, and there were a few spectators shouting words of encouragement…but most people stayed nestled in their homes…and I couldn’t blame them.
The cold air was wreaking havoc on my lungs. I could feel this rattling wheeze with each breath. I was not liking that…but I needed to keep pushing. I reached the bridge and ran down the hill, taking the roads back through the town, rounding the corner, and spotting that finish line up ahead.
I ran…I ran with everything I could find in me to cross that finish line. It felt great, seeing the time on the clock, knowing that even though I was not really feeling this race…and with my mood and choice of ice cream before hand, lack of stretching, and just…general BLAH over the entire day…I just accomplished a new PR on this distance and race. Awesome. It actually felt great.
Soon after crossing the finish line…Cathy and I scurried back to the coffee shop to get hot apple cider before they closed. Then we went to wait at the finish line and see if our new friends we made in the coffee shop crossed the finish. They did. And we went and congratulated them on a good race.
Results were being posted as we were hanging around…so we went to get the official results and…I placed in my division. Second in my division. Second…behind someone who finished 2 minutes behind me the previous year. WHAT?! Ah well…some people get faster…some people get even faster than the people who were faster than them last year. Such is the life of a runner. This now meant we got to hang out in the cold even longer now…for the awards ceremony. I pulled my jackets out of the bag and finally got back into them to stay warm…and Cathy and I finally split that banana. The awards were handed out…and I was in the 30-39 group. Which…placing second in an age division that goes up by 10 years is beyond amazing. I accepted that award quite proudly. Maybe all I needed was a fast little run to lift my spirits.
Anyway, the official results of the Good Shepherd Run For The Gold 3K are that I finished in 13:02. I was 38/423 finishers overall. I was 2/69 in my division. And the 30-39 women’s division was the largest overall for the race. So…this felt good. I didn’t think it would…but it did.
After receiving my medal, Cathy and I decided it was time to make the drive home. No sooner had we gotten into the car, the skies opened up and the rain poured down again. Good timing. It stopped just long enough for the race. Couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Except maybe a little warmer temperature.
Maybe next year…
Because, trust me…I’ll be running this one again next year!