So.... February. What happened? I "raced" a couple of times. Quotes because they were more workouts than races, but they were in a race environment, which I like to do in February, so that once March rolls around, I'm (hopefully) ready both physically and mentally for real races.
What races did I run, you ask? Well... let me tell you.
February Race #1: Dion Winter Goose Chase (snowshoe race)
It's a 7ish km race in the trails at Shade's Mills Conservation Area in Cambridge. This was the second year of the race, and as the name implies... there's chasing of a "goose" involved. The "Goose" and "Gander" are the male and female winners from the previous year. Last year was the inaugural year, so there were no previous winners. Lisa (the RD) asked me if I would run as Gander (although due to misprint, I was the Goose and the guy was the Gander). I finished 2nd female last year, but as of the week of the race, this year's Goose was injured and unable to make the race. Lisa emailed me and asked if I would again fill in as Gander. Of course, I would. So... I was once again running with a literal target on my back.
After the race, there was a bonfire at the finish area, pancakes and coffee inside, and then awards.
I ended up leaving with a pint glass full of Clif products (this was the registration gift), and two mugs also filled with Clif products (one was my prize for 3rd and the other was a draw prize), and a pair of gloves (pre-registration draw prize). It was a great way to spend the morning and I'd recommend this race to anyone.
February Race #2: Re-Fridgee-Eighter 8 Mile
I'm pretty sure I've done this race each and every year since I started running.... now I need to check and confirm that "fact" to ensure that I'm not making shit up... but I don't recall ever missing a year. It wasn't always the same distance (there's an 8K and an 8 mile), but I believe I've always been at the event.
Alright. I've checked. 2007 & 2008, I ran the 8K, my very first race ever was in the fall of 2006, so... so far it looks like I am correct. I will continue to look. 2014 was also 8K, but 2009-2013 and 2015-2018 were all the 8 mile distance. I was not mistaken! Yay!!
OK... back to the event. This one, I generally run as a tempo around half marathon pace. It's a good test of fitness in generally less than ideal weather conditions. This year was no exception weather-wise. There was some snow-cover, some slush, and then freezing rain for at least half of the race. Singlets were frozen solid at the end of the race, watch faces were covered in a layer of bumpy ice. It's "character building" or something.
Anyway.... I felt zero pressure for this race, since I wasn't intending to truly race it and also since the weather forecast was crap. I lined up at the start near some people who I knew would be running around the same pace as me and off we went. I stuck with Jan for the first few km, but he started running slightly quicker than I wanted to, so off he went, then after the turn at 4ish km, Emily caught up to me and we ran together for the rest of the race. We ended up reeling in Jan and finishing just in front of him in a finish gun time of 56:08, and were surprised to find out we finished 4th and 5th female. We were chatting most of the time we were running. It was a great half marathon effort training run!
Next up... Chilly Half Marathon next weekend. I'll try to write something shortly after that... but no guarantees. We all know I suck at posting. ;)