Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentine's Day 15K Recap

There are a few working titles for this post.

How to Not Race a Race

Pulling Up The Rear

How to Have A Blast While "Racing"

But making it simple seemed to be the way to go. 

I woke up Saturday morning and knew I needed to do a few warm up miles to reach my 12 mile goal. I ran my 2.7 miles at a 9:50 pace on the treadmill and felt really good.

The snow was really starting to come down and the wind was picking up. During my warm up I had been talking to Natalie. We are a pretty close pace and had decided earlier in the week we would run together. She was worries about the weather and I told her we wouldn't race and just catch up. She agreed. I didn't even wear a watch. 

I got to North Park by the time the 5K was starting. I picked up my shirt and timing chip and met with Lauren and Mike. Chelsea was out doing her 2.7 miles and Jeff met us after he was done with his 15 miles. We all headed over to the start line. 

I met up with Natalie and her husband Jimmy. One of my other flockmates, Vicky, was running the 10K. We saw Karrisa finishing the 5K and met up with Kelsey. 

Some of the Pittsburgh Oiselle Team!

Since this was a charity race, there were a few walkers finishing the 5K, which delayed our start. It's really cold and snowing, we all just wanted to get moving. About ten minutes after the announced start time, we were off! 

Natalie and I started the race with Jimmy, Lauren and Chelsea. We were kinda just cruising along.  Chelsea had to tie her shoe about a mile in, so we lost her and Lauren. And then there were three. 

Note Chelsea, it was really cold!
And we're off!

Natalie and Jimmy had done the Dopey Challenge AND Star Wars so we spent a good part of our miles chatting about the trips. We talked about how life has been and did exactly what we said we would do. It was really nice. I didn't even notice how slow or fast we were going. Everything felt extremely comfortable even in the conditions. 

Jimmy was running the 10K so we knew we would lose him after our first loop. After he made his exit, I told Natalie if we wanted to speed up to be done we could. My water bottle top had frozen at this point and so did the zipper pouch. If we did speed up, I don't think either of us noticed. We were still chatting. 

We ended up seeing Mike right before the turnaround and Chelsea not that far after. She was having a rough time but was still getting it done. 

With about a mile to go, this HUGE gust of wind came and blew all of the snow off the trees. It was pretty much a whiteout for a brief moment, we screamed. I have never laughed so much in a race. We were really having a great time. 

In the final turn to the finish we see the others and waved. We crossed the finish line together, just like we started. 

All smiles coming to the finish!
Maybe my favorite photo ever!
We survived!!!

We both had a new race under our belts, and a new experience. We finished last in our age group. Not like we were there to win, but it didn't even phase us! We are middle/top of the pack kind of runners so chalk it up to a new experience!

Yep, that my friends is a last place age group finish!

After the race, The Flock girls met back up for brunch and a great time was had! Chatting about races, goals and life. It was an all around great day minute the weather. I learned a lot about myself from this.

First off, I finished my first 15K! This was redemption from last year when I had to drop down to the 5K of this race. The big thing I learned is how much I have grown in a year. At the 5K last year, I ran my slowest 5K ever because I was recovering from Disney still, and I was very angry with myself. Everyone told me to shake it off and move along. I couldn't. One year later, I could not be more proud of my last in my age group finish! At least I got out there and did it!

Did you race on Valentine's Day? Have you ever finished last in your age group? 


  1. Good job on the race! And in my book, finishing ,especially in those conditions, is a win!

  2. Steff, this sounds like SOOOO much fun! I can just imagine you gals, screaming as the snow was blowing all around you; I would have loved to have seen it! So glad you were able to meet up with this group and enjoy the race; thanks for sharing your experience and these adorable pictures. Love ya!

  3. You guys look like you were just out having a grand old time in those finish line pics! Congrats on your first 15K - I'd be happy with that finish too. The weather was ridiculous and just being out in it at all is winning to me!

  4. This is such an inspiration to me. I think not racing a race is hard, and the thought of finishing last always scares me. I love that you kept to your goal and didn't race and just enjoyed it, to the point that you were totally fine with your AG placement. Congrats! I was at North Park that morning for my long run (with Amanda). This race just didn't really fit in to our plans (plus had such a late start). But I think I must be running in the cold too much. I thought it was (relatively) warm there on Saturday, lol!

  5. Steffany Smith RubelFebruary 23, 2015 at 8:29 PM

    Thanks Jenn! I am so much in my head, when it comes to racing, that this was a huge step for me!

  6. Steffany Smith RubelFebruary 23, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    Thanks Nichole! It was an experience for sure! One I hope to never have to do again!

  7. Steffany Smith RubelFebruary 23, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    I will never forget that random gust of wind! So much fun!!

  8. Steffany Smith RubelFebruary 23, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    Thank you!