I haven't checked the weather forecast for tomorrow, but really hope the race lives up to its moniker, and doesn't wind up being the Snow Blowing Sideways 10K. I suppose that might be good preparation for the Eisenhower Marathon, though. April weather in Kansas=total crap shoot.
The Winter Sun 10K was a race effort of which I was very proud last year. It was the last event prior to my partial thyroidectomy and a necessary four week break from running following surgery, and my motivation was high to go out with a bang. Of course, I got sick in the days prior to the event, and didn't meet my goal of cracking the top ten of my age group, but ran hard and finished with nothing left. That's a good feeling regardless of time or placement.
This year, I am riding down with my friend Suzanne, who lives an hour east of my home. We didn't know each other last year but discovered while checking out race results that we came in back-to-back at Winter Sun, with some other crazy-close finishes, including the 2008 Canyonlands Half Marathon. We both are running Winter Sun coming off of our first marathons in October, so this ought to be interesting. Coming off five weeks of marathon recovery and beginning a new marathon training cycle, I'm still running higher mileage than this time a year ago, and have had some better results at shorter distances without a dramatic difference in perceived exertion. I think I can run the race faster this year between increased weekly mileage, being free of illness, and not having last year's worry of surgery a week later. We'll see if those factors result in a new 10K PR this year.
Above all, I just want to have fun running tomorrow. The course direction and race management at the Winter Sun are outstanding, the shuttles to the start are well organized and there are nice door prizes (including coveted Guaranteed Entries in to Canyonlands!). Last year, my friend Jess couldn't find her gear bag after the race and the race director personally tracked down the runner with a similarly numbered bag who had accidentally picked it up. If you'll excuse the bad pun, they really go the extra mile to make this a quality event for those of us out here in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah, making it well worth the drive.
I'm editing this post to include one little unrelated footnote. At my husband's urging, I recently emailed Steve Runner, host of the Phedippidations podcast, with a link to my Marine Corps Marathon race report. My email to him was basically a thank you note, as there was a very helpful mental trick I heard him mention in an archived episode as he was running a marathon. The mental trick/mind game just made sense to me, and I used it with success through most of my running of MCM. It was cool to actually get an email back from Steve, because his podcasts often kept me company on my treadmill during the week, or outdoors on the weekend during long runs.
Well, imagine my surprise this morning when I did my usual Friday check to see if the new episode was available for download....there's a link to my blog in the show notes! I've always enjoyed listening to other people's race reports on the show, and it was a pleasant surprise to be included this week (especially since that MCM race report is as long as War and Peace ;) ). I figured I'd go ahead and share the direct link to the race report, as it is archived back in my October posts now.