One of my Winter Goals is to run at least one race, so, although running outside in the cold is not my thing, I laced up last Saturday and joined a few hundred other folks on a chilly, windy weekend morning.
The Race: Oak Forest Fleadh 5K, Oak Forest IL (March 5, 2016). There were 412 participants. Quite a few people were dressed us in green as St. Patrick’s Day is just about 2 weeks away. There’s also a parade abut 2 hours or so after the race, and a Special Olympics Challenge.
The Course: It’s awesome that they block off the streets for this race! It’s a simple course with undulating inclines (not quite hills). There’s a long straightaway to start which I quite liked and helped to calm me down so I could run at my pace and not go too fast.
Weather Conditions: 32 F but with wind gusts of 10 mph it felt much colder to me (and everyone else).
Race Bling: The top 3 Finishers as usual, and 5-year age group awards (usually the age range is 10). I finished 5th in my age group at 28:59. A little faster than the Santa 5K, which was the last race I ran.
Worth it? Yes, if you make a family day out of it and stay for the parade. Otherwise … not unless you’re local – which I was not.
Lesson Learned: Keep a closer eye on weather reports.
My Race Gear: All black everything. I started out with the Danskin Now Dri-More Core Leggings (Walmart – $9.00 and I’ve had it for years – highly recommended) but decided to also run with my Reebok sweats over it. My top layers were the matching Danskin Now long sleeve fitted performance Tee with a larger long sleeve fleece lined jacket over it.
Running Shoes – Brooks PureFlow 4 which for keeping your feet warm when running outdoors in the winter. But even it couldn’t keep the chill from my feet this time – they were NUMB the entire race.
No gloves this time. Despite the cold, I haven’t found any gloves that do more than trap the cold inside them. So I went without, and although my hands / fingers eventually got cold – the race was almost over by then.
Music – I bought these $50 Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones a few months ago, and they were kinda like my “ear muffs” since I didn’t have a hot on. I’m glad I wore sweats because I slipped my phone in my pocket, and played my “Sound of the Beast” playlist for the entire run.
My time is definitely nothing to brag about, so I thought I’d mention WHY I run races and my approach. I like being in and interacting with the running community. I find them inspiring in their dedication and spirit. I also like going to races because I usually learn about new places and often, I go hiking after. I no longer use running gadgets – watches or apps – because I don’t care about that sort of thing. My race pace is as fast as I can go for as long as I can maintain it … whatever that “it” may be. I do track, but only distance and using a simple spreadsheet.