Before the race, I had on a long sleeve shirt, and 2 jackets and was still shivering! I didn't bring any gloves so I was wearing socks on my hands to help keep them warm. We jogged 2 miles to try and warm up and that helped a little bit but it didn't last long. We tried to keep moving more than usual to try and keep warm before the race, but it wasn't really that useful. Even with strides and such before the race, everything was still freezing. As the race was about to start, rain and then sleet came, making things even more fun!
Stripping down to just jersey and shorts was just painful and grasping the baton hurt. As the gun went off, I just settled into about 5th on the outside in lane 2. Right away I realize that we weren't going to run fast and to just race and forget about any splits. Coming into the homestretch on that first lap was pretty freaking bad. The cold wind just hit you all at once. At around 600, Thorne from Texas took the lead and I moved up to his outside and back a little bit. We came through 800 in like 2:02-3ish I think. Things pretty much stayed the same until 100m to go. At that point my legs were pretty much frozen and my hands hurt like hell. Instead of pushing to kick in, I tried to stretch out and lengthen my stride that way which is a big No-No. But anyways, we went 4 wide down the straight and I handed off in 3rd or so just a step behind the leaders in 3:02ish.
After the race, I wasn't even really tired as breathing recovered pretty much instantaneously, but the legs were frozen like no other. The most painful thing was probably trying to hand off. It hurt to try and open my hands up. The other guys ran tough, but Daniel had a rough one on the anchor leg (who can blame him, conditions sucked). After we got off the track was probably the worst, as I couldn't use my hands to do anything. Putting on my jacket and pants was rediculously hard and trying to untie my shoes was not going to happen. It's rather comical looking back, but man did that suck.
Overall, I was just happy to get done with the race and get out of there! With everything surrounding the race, I wasn't focused enough on the race, but it was a good effort.
On another note, I highly suggest you check out the Canadian athletics coaching website. In particular their, audio interviews. There are some really good interviews/articles on the website for coaches. I wish the USATF would do something like this. I think it would be very valuable to our coaches to get some of the best coaches we have to do some training interviews like were done by the Canadians. In particular, check out Tom Tellez' interview. It's lengthy but very good.