Last year when I started training for the winter half marathon, I was coming off of having run the marathon. Even though it had been several weeks since I had put in any long runs, when I picked it up again, that muscle memory was pretty much there.
This year I don't have that. I've been running throughout the year, but none of my runs have gone over 5 miles. Added to that, the weather has turned colder much quicker. I am already wearing clothes that I was wearing only toward the end of training, in January, and it's barely December.
So yesterday morning, while checking the temperature and seeing it was hovering around 10 degrees with a -2 windchill, I waited for the text, email, Facebook update, anything to tell me the training run was cancelled. CARA cancels the runs when it hits zero (either in real or windchill temps). So as I got ready, I kept an eye on the weather. But once you don three layers of running clothes, you might as well go out.
Of course, almost as soon as I got down there, the training run site director let us know that it was cancelled. But, like me, there were too many others of us out there ready to go. What's a little zero degree weather to stop us? So out we went. And really, with the clothes, it was fine. Sure, I was cold at the beginning, but by mile 1 I was warm. I was ready to have yet another great 10 min pace training run.
But around mile 2.5 I was starting to feel pretty winded. We had gone out a little fast (possibly in an attempt to get our 7 miles done with quicker). And while we had slowed back down to pace, it wasn't enough for me. So I dropped back. Assuring the group I was OK, and wondering where the 10.5 min pace group was, I kept my own pace for the last half.
Ironically, I came in before my pace group because I turned around before they did. I turned around at what my watch said was the half way point and that was good enough for me. Especially in that weather. So in the end I didn't keep up my 10 min pace - more like 10:40. And I'm worried that 10 min, in this weather, is just going to be too fast for me. But I'm going to give it one more shot next weekend. Right now the forecast temperature is 30...but there's also a 40% chance of snow and 10-20 mph winds.