Well, ok, according to the official results, it actually ended up being a 14.4K race on Sunday. I’m guessing because about three quarters of the route was made up of solid ice and they had to reroute a portion of it.
The temperatures (39F/4C) were pretty mild when compared to the sub-freezing temps of the previous week, so I’m sure that’s what led to the melting of the snowpack and its refreezing into solid ice. In any case, the first few hundred meters I had flashbacks of falling on the ice (hard) while running in Oslo last year, but once I got going it was more or less ok. I figured, well, several hundred other people were managing, so I guess I would have to as well.
The race involved 3 loops around the Bürgerpark — not so exciting, but at least it gave me a sense of where the iciest stretches were and when to be especially careful. (I didn’t fall once!)
I did have to change my race strategy though. I usually prefer to start off conservatively, and then negative split the hell out of the second half of races. But given that I really couldn’t get any traction on the ice, I decided to just run steadily at my goal pace (10:15 per mile) throughout. And that kind of worked:
I’m pretty happy that I was able to hold my pace strong throughout, even a bit faster than planned. If Sunday had been a full 15K race, I would have beat my personal record — from February 2003 (apparently I don’t race 15Ks that often) — by about 5 minutes. That particular race may or may not have been run during a New York City blizzard — do you any of my NYC running peeps remember?
Anyway, Sunday’s run now gives me a really good idea of what to base my training off of for the 20K in March. And who knows? Maybe I’ll set my sights on a half marathon in April if I can keep myself healthy and uninjured…