I ran a local Veteran's Day 10K in the cold, wind and unrelenting rain on Sunday, in what the Scots call a scowthering gale. The weather was so bad that of the 1,600 runners registered, only half of them showed.
I decided it to take it easy. I wasn't mentally prepared. Plus, I read in The Competitive Runner's Handbook that one shouldn't run any race within a month of finishing a marathon.
"Leisurely" is an understatement: I jogged slowly with two friends, L. and M. And when I say slow, I mean glacial. The first 2.3 miles were at 11:20 to 11:30/mile pace! I knew I needed to pick it up when, in only Mile 2, I saw the leaders pass us, coming the other way.
Also, we were completely sodden. The fleece jacket I had tied around my waist was heavy with rain, and water squished in between my toes. My fingers were stiff and cold as icicles. The sooner I finished the race, the sooner I could get out of the elements.
I bade goodbye to my friends and gradually sped up. No spectators lined the course. Just a bunch of wet and miserable runners, some of whom were walking with their heads down in the cold hard rain.
Whew, the headwind was killer in the last two miles. I kept a hand on my head to keep my cap from blowing off. I flew past dozens of runners, putting in a good effort, but not all-out racing. Way too late for a PR.
I ran the remaining 3.7 to 3.8 miles or so in 28:36. Good enough.