Pete at home
Freighbor, The Petite Pacer, and I were texting each other about the frigid conditions. I was waiting for someone to suggest going back to bed and forfeiting the race altogether, but by the time it was mentioned, TPP was already en route. Foiled! I grabbed my winter jacket and walked two houses down to the Freighbors' car and jumped in. We got on the road a little after 6:30 and headed to the Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue. On the way, we were trying to figure out whose bright idea it was to sign up for this torture session. Actually, for days the forecast had been in the mid to high 30s. Totally acceptable winter running weather. Then out of the blue, it dropped down to the teens. The days leading up to the race were in the 30s and Sunday's forecast was 45. Someone (I'm thinking Mother Nature) obviously hated us.
Two large tents were set up outside the brewery to stage the pre-race activities and the after party. There were large heaters inside that people flocked to like moths to the flame. We all had our hands up to reach the lamps as though we were worshipping the Fire God of Outdoor Tents. We found TPP and then headed to the starting line.
photo courtesy of beerlovescompany.com
Inside the tent
(photo courtesy of Mark Stearns,
GLIRC Facebook Page)
(photo courtesy Mark Stearns, GLIRC Facebook Page)
I decided not to line up toward the front to prevent myself from going out too fast, a mistake I had been making in my recent races. TPP and I hung out in the middle waiting for what seemed like eons for the race to start. I thought I might freeze to death in the middle of the street. There was no anthem, no announcements, and no gun. Finally, the crowd began to shuffle ahead. I crossed the starting mat and pressed play on my iPhone.
The day before I made my first playlist for a race. I used to just hit shuffle on my library when I would run with music. However, right when I was rocking out to Girl Talk or The Beastie Boys, I would be rudely interrupted with some song from the Frozen soundtrack or a Minecraft tune (Thanks, kids). Trying to fast forward these anti-running songs in my armband was always a chore because I didn't have tech gloves and/or it was just an awkward pain in the arse. I was psyched to not have to worry about this during the race.
The Brewery Run is a ten mile race put on by the Sayville Running Company, the Blue Point Brewery, and the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC). The loop course would take us along the neighborhood streets of Patchogue, Blue Point, and Bayport. During the first mile, I thought about frostbite. My fingers were so cold they hurt and it seemed like there was no warming them up. I wondered if they were black underneath my gloves and if they would have to be amputated. The Mile One clock read 7:49. I hit Mile Two at 15:23. I finally started to thaw out during the third mile. In fact, I was so warm, I took off my outer fleece gloves. The scarf I had around my neck also felt like it was slowly choking me to death. I loosened it before I needed to alert people to call 911. I arrived at the Mile Three marker at 23:xx, close to my last 5k time. Miles Four through Eight ticked by very quickly. I ran them between a 7:30 and 7:50 pace. I slowed down the last two miles. They seemed to go on forever. The wind hit us on this last stretch and there was an ever-so-slight incline (really, like a speed bump, but at this point you would have thought I was scaling Mount Everest). I finally saw the clock and crossed the finish line at 1:19:45. I figured since I started mid-pack in a crowd of 1200+, I could shave off the minute it took me to reach the starting mat. It turned out it was 10 seconds.
I look very serious in this picture because
I am wondering if my fingers will be cut off
by an EMT along the course
or a volunteer in the beer tent.
(photo courtesy of
the JSL Sports Photos
I chugged five cups of ice cold water which was surprisingly refreshing, considering the weather. I saw TPP cross the finish in 1:25:33, a huge PR for her considering her goal was to come in under ninety minutes. We walked back to the tent to warm up and get some food. GLIRC had their usual variety of baked goods, an Oreo cake in particular was taunting me. A great live band performed classic tunes, like Paul Simon on stage. I grabbed a tasty Blue Point beer and picked up a call from my daughter. I somehow lost TPP as the crowd kept getting bigger and bigger. We finally found each other, as well as the Freighbors. I gave into the evil Oreo cake taunts. Even though the tent was reaching its maximum capacity for people, I was shivering cold. My turtleneck was soaked at this point. Thankfully, Freighbors wanted to go home.
photos courtesy of beerlovescompany.com
The results were posted outside the tent. My net time was 1:19:35, I was 5th out of 98 women in my age group, 73 out of 594 women overall (top 12%), and 314 out of 1292 overall (top 24%). This was a ten miler PR for me, but I was hoping to run it under 1:18. Considering the conditions and the low training mileage, I wasn't too disappointed. GLIRC always puts on a good show. The route was flat with enough turns and pretty scenery to keep it interesting. I definitely recommend this race, especially if you're a polar bear or Arctic fox.