Monday, February 3, 2014

The Expo Run 5k Recap

The night before the Expo Run 5k, I was feeling pretty excited about the upcoming race. After a few good weeks of training and last weekend's successful Indoor Marathon Relay Race, I felt capable of a faster time. Call me crazy, but I was really looking forward to the burn of the miles to come.

I dressed for success and wore all Oiselle: Lesley Tights, Distance Shorts, Flyte Long Sleeve, Lux Side Zip Top (pictured below) and Feather Trials Hoodie. Heck, I even wore a pair of Randies for good luck. It sounds like a lot of layers but seeing as how it was a balmy 9 degrees at the start, this combo was actually quite perfect.

This top will make your winter runs 110 percent more enjoyable!

The only thing that was not my cup of tea were my clunky Brooks Cascadia Trail Shoes. Don't get me wrong - I love these shoes for winter running because they are warmer than other pairs of shoes that I own and provide better traction. But they are supremely heavy compared with the Saucony Type A Flats that I prefer for shorter distance races. However, a snowy course meant wearing heavier shoes was a must.

Trail shoes are great for training. Not so great for 5k racing.

Even though my feet felt like I had two bricks attached, I felt good standing at the start line waiting for the horn to sound. I decided to start a bit closer to the front than I normally do to try and avoid getting caught behind crowds of runners. I knew the course might be slick in spots so the less running around people, the better. However, I did have to pause for a moment when I realized I was standing next to Ruth Lunz - last weekend's Indoor Marathon Gold Medal Challenge Winner. She is super speedy - even after running both the marathon and half marathon races last weekend. But, I was already lined up so too late!

It took all of about two minutes to realize the race was not going to be a fast one for me. While it's true I've been running more miles lately and doing my share of workouts, I've been doing all of those miles at the Pettit Indoor Track, YMCA Indoor Track and Gold's treadmill. I was definitely not prepared for grinding through winter running conditions. Although the race did a good job of clearing the course as best as possible and making sure there were not icy patches, there was still plenty of snow and slush to run through. After falling and whacking my head on pavement my first year of running, I'm super cautious when running on any potentially slippery surfaces so even though I was doing my best to race, I know I was holding back a bit. Fortune favors the bold and at the race I was not as bold as I should have been.

My biggest race success: Making it through without falling! I underestimated the effort it would take to run in the snow and the time it might cost but it is what it is. Winter running is not my forte but I got in a great workout and I enjoy any opportunity I get to race. Running is a gift and not one I will ever take for granted.

The newest medal in my collection!

Mom also did this one and, as always after finishing my race, I ran back on the course for my cooldown to find her and run her in to the finish. Once again, Mom did great!

All smiles after the race!

So another race in the books. And because I am a glutton for punishment, the next one is in just two weeks. Until we chat again, I'll be knocking out quarters to prep for The Big Chill 5k ;) 

My questions for you:

  • Do you race during the winter months? Also, what do you like/dislike about winter running?
  • Do you have a go-to clothing item or outfit for races that makes you feel speedy?
  • If not running or racing, what made this weekend enjoyable?

In addition to racing, I also tested a bunch of recipes so new food posts to come in the upcoming weeks!

- ST


  1. I am decidedly NOT a fan of winter racing. I am also not a fan of heavy shoes so I run all winter in my new balance 1400s. I have (just this year) added screws to a pair of older ones and will discard them after the winter is over. they've worked really well for me for traction in the snow, slush, snowsand, and icy conditions. I run a lot on snow covered trails so something to avoid slipping was a must but the screws work well on roads too. I used them yesterday downtown running from veteran's park to water street to brady and back to the lake. I hate heavy shoes! my next race is next month and I'm worried it will be snowy still! hahah! great job on your time! I'm not even that fast in perfect weather so I think you did an awesome job!

    1. Thanks Nikki! I was interested to read that your screws work well for road running as well as trail running - that is something I've wondered about. Maybe I'll have to give it a try!

  2. You had a great run considering the conditions! I do not race during the winter (my last race for the season was the ELF run and that was winter racing for me), though I actually enjoy winter running. I hate running in heat and humidity, but cold weather is fine. My husband put screws in my shoes and they actually work decently for icy conditions. I will run while it's snowing, but I do have a requirement of running when it's above zero.

    I forgot to post after the ELF run, I saw you standing in line to get your time with your mom. You are taller than I expected! :-)

    1. Thanks Cathy! You're the second person to mention screws so I think I'm going to have to check them out. Maybe I'll see you at Luck of the Irish - the last GLM Winter Series race. Hopefully the weather is more spring like :)

    2. The screws work really well for running when there is a thin layer of ice/snow/slush or running on hard packed snow. They are a little loud on bare pavement. :-) When I use them, I only slip on areas where the snow is fresh over ice. I don't think anything helps in that case.

    3. My biggest concern is how they might feel on bare pavement. But I guess since so many runners use them they can't be too bad! :)

  3. I think that is a great run for the conditions! I have zero experience training in true winter conditions being from AZ. I raced in Wisconsin one time when it was really cold (for me), but luckily the course was dry and I was still feeling like an ice cube at the end :)

    I always feel speedy in my compression socks. And for some reason I like having part of my hair braided in some sort of way on race day. I guess because I don't really do it other times it signals that it's "go time":)

    1. Thanks Hailey! I agree about compression socks - I always wear a pair when racing when not forced to wear tights :)

  4. You and your mom are so stinkin' cute!

    Love that medal!

    Congrats on your winter race! I think your time is fabulous for a snow race - I wish I could have times like yours during normal, non winter season :)

    This is the last winter I will train for a race. I'm so over it! I'll spend next winter cross training, doing short treadmill runs and that is IT! haha

    1. Thanks Alicia! It's hard to train for races during the winter - that's why I say no distance longer than 5k ;)