As my NJ friends may recall, December's weather was warm. All along my Dad said "watch out for January." January 1 I decided to do the Hamilton Hangover 5 miler in Veterans Park. Sure enough, it was cold!
I think it was about 37 at the start -- and WINDY. That makes trying to figure out how many layers are needed a challenge. I knew I would warm up within the first mile, especially if the wind was to my back.
The only other time I did this race it was cut down to a 5K due to ice. That year the start line for the 1 mile race was the same as the start line for the longer one. This time the start line was in a different spot. Fortunately I found it. I also found running friends. :) Kim saw my post on FB and decided to sign up the day of the race (love a race that does not fill up moments after registration starts). I easily bumped into her. Gabrielle told me she was running, too. I saw her blue sparkle skirt in the parking lot dashing to packet pick-up before it closed. Then I saw Princess Debbie -- called such because we met at the airport on the way to the Princess Half Marathon.
The race started about seven minutes late. It was cold waiting those few minutes. They did not sing the national anthem, or have moments of silence, or big speeches, it seems they were just running late.
The course went through the park. We started by the dog run, and went over to the playground we would take Ashley, past the airplane (where I stopped for a picture).
We did a loop on the path before heading to the reservoir. This is the part that was skipped when I did it in 2013 (I don't see a blog post about it, sorry). The trouble with this was that we had a steep downhill to the reservoir and a (you guessed it) steep up hill back to the course.
Along the course I bumped into my neighbor, Lucy, and Sharon.
My watch had the course at 5.17 miles, making my overall pace 10:56 min/mile. They clocked me at an 11:17 pace -- still faster than I was a year ago. My watch said I did the longer distance in 56.03 (shouldn't have posed for that picture!) and the clock timed me at 56.29 (it was not a chip start, too). I finished 47/67 for my age group, which makes me feel like more of a middle of the packer than a back of the packer. Or is that a back of the middle packer?
After hanging with Gabrielle for a few minutes (before we started to get too cold), I picked up some New Year's Day lentil soup and went home to chill on the couch. Gabrielle noted we didn't pass on the course like we used to when I was going slower. She said weight loss equals faster running times without extra effort. Incentive to keep this weight off.
Based on the weather for the past few days, the cold temperatures are here to stay for the rest of winter. Some changes in my running attire are needed. Thanks to my parents, I have this new fleece lined running shirt that kept me super warm at the race.