This past weekend, I ran my first race of the year – the ZOOMA Run Love 10K on Saturday, February 13.
This was the inaugural virtual race hosted by the ZOOMA Women’s Race Series. Runners had the option to run either a 5K or 10K.
As much as I love running in the winter, the ZOOMA Run Love Challenge was brutal on race day! Let me tell you all about how it went!
Disclaimer: I am a 2016 ZOOMA Race Ambassador and received a free entry to this race, but please know all opinions are mine!Check out my recap of the ZOOMA Run Love Virtual 10K! #runchat #zoomanation Click To Tweet
This was my first time running a race in February and let me tell you, it was rough! You never know if it’ll be 50 degrees or 5 degrees in February. I’m not sure what the exact temperature was but the winds had to be 40 mph at points. It was not for the faint of heart!
Due to the weather I had to layer up like crazy! It’s always tough for me to judge in temperatures below 20 degrees, so I went a little overboard:
For the second time, I decided to run a virtual race on my favorite trail – Forbidden Drive along the Wissahickon Creek. When I ran the virtual 10K hosted by Gone for a Run last spring, it was the perfect location – scenic and not packed with runners.
Since the weather was going to be in the single digits all weekend, Bret and I decided to get through the run on Saturday morning since it was only going to get colder! We got out of the car and soon as we could, we started to run.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that we started out at a pace that I could not maintain. It was so cold and windy out and Bret just wanted to get warm…however, it doesn’t take me that long so I ended up feeling pretty miserable pretty quickly.
Despite my core feeling warm, my feet were numb. They were actually numb! And the tips of my thumbs felt frostbitten. I tried to think about just getting the race over with, but then we hit a very steep hill…and the hill won. I briefly walked a bit after making it to the top. This happened 2 more times while on the run. I knew this was not a day for a PR.
As we ran, there were people out on the trail – runners who actually wave to you (which is why Forbidden Drive > Kelly Drive), and people with their dogs. You have to have a good attitude if you’re crazy enough to be outside in such cold weather!
The first half was a struggle, and my shins were bothering me at various points on the run, but after mile 4, things started to get a lot better. I finally started to feel comfortable and found a good, but challenging pace. Bret continued to push me, and we finished strong. Here are the splits to show you why this was a challenge: 9:01, 10:34, 10:51, 11:32, 10:39, 9:50, 8:30 (0.2).
When we finished, I had a smile on my face. That’s all that mattered to me.
It was very cold and windy as heck, my feet were numb, fingers frozen, the hills were steep and I walked a couple of times, but the #zoomarunlovechallenge virtual 10k is complete! Didn’t go sub-60, but we finished strong and got it done in 1:04:22. Thanks @zoomarun for putting on a great program! I can finally wear my new sweatshirt and place my medal with the others. And shout out to @jmichelle08 knocking out her 5k! #zoomanation #sweatpink #cityfitgirls #RUN215 #trailrunning
While I really hoped to finish this 10K under an hour, I ended up a few minutes short with a finishing time of 1:04:22. With all things considered, I’ll take it!
After the race, Bret and I feasted at our favorite brunch spot, and I had to go for the Southern Comfort – catfish with cornbread waffle and lots of gravy! It was just what I needed!
The ZOOMA Run Love Challenge was a great way for me to keep in shape before the full-blown spring racing season, so I’m really glad that I participated. Virtual races can be challenging in that they are so flexible, but I’m glad I treated it like a real race, instead of a training run. Now, I know that I still need to work on my pacing and keep up the strength training. Oh, and I still need to do hill training!
I highly recommend the ZOOMA Run Love Challenge. My sister did the 5K and I’m so happy for her! It was great to see runners of all levels participating and supporting each other on Facebook. For me, running is ALL about building community!
Thanks so much to ZOOMA for allowing me to participate in the ZOOMA Run Love Challenge! I think the race was a big hit and hopefully a new tradition, I had a great time!
Did you run a Valentine’s Day-themed race over the weekend? Does running in the cold slow you down or speed you up?