Then came the 12 hours prior to our race start. It was rough 8 degrees with 30 mph winds, 50 mph gusts and snow. Still, the On Center was packed with runners waiting for the beginning of the race. 8 a.m. the gun went off and we were making our way through the streets of Syracuse. It was cold but the sun was peaking out. Runners in Syracuse are not afraid of some cold weather – we train in it for nearly 6 months of the year. About 4.5 miles in I was hot and I tossed my hand warmers at the passing aid station. I have replayed this moment over and over in my head – sigh.
Let's dial back. This was my easy run, my run 6 DAYS after A MARATHON run, my beginning of my taper to my first 50k run. That's right, just an easy low key run.
Ok, .5 miles later…mile 5, began the hail. Not just a few drops of hail coming out of the sky…fast, furious hail falling down on your face, in your eyes and on your head like a hail monsoon. You couldn't see the people around you and you couldn’t see where you even were on the course. I had my Buff over my entire face with one eye peeking out. So much for a nice easy run. During the spurts of hail, heavy gusts of snow filled in the gaps. The roads were icy, snowy and slushy making all my stabilizer muscles work overtime. I picked up the pace for what my recovering body could handle (and what I thought was safe in these conditions; I was NOT going to injury myself before my 50k). I was so cold that my fingers were burning and I couldn't move them. I was honestly really fearful that some permanent damage was going to happen to them.
I thought about trying to cut the course and get back to the On Center but I knew regardless I had to get my mileage in for the day and I needed to stay warm so I had to keep moving. A very slow 1 hour and 52 mins later I crossed the finish line. I was cursing myself for not having fresh legs and for ever throwing those hand warmers away!!!! I got my medal and continued to run to the On Center and found Jared. He had to take my gloves off for me because my fingers wouldn't work. Seeing people running in this blizzard was like a wall of white with black fingers emerging from the wall.
No one can say Syracuse runners are soft. Every single person who ran that race has real drive and determination! Congrats Syracuse for being so crazy to run in that weather!