Up there in the tagline, I claim that this blog is sometimes about running. But mostly it’s not. Probably because while I do enjoy running, I’m kind of lazy about it. Do it as I like, without too much pressure. Which is awesome. But today I did a race that I’ve been working toward for a few months, so I thought I’d do a little race recap for the Hypothermic Half marathon.
The one thing that stresses me out more than anything is being unprepared and late the morning of a race. So last night I took the time to lay out everything I’d need. After looking at the forecast, I discovered that the temp was to be at about -27c at the start of the race. So I started with a base layer of tank top and sports bra, followed by fleece lined running tights and a fleece lined long sleeve top. On top of that, a fleece zip-up jacket, and on top of that my t-shirt that I’d designed and made specifically for this race. (Yes, I’m that person.)
After a bit of deliberation, and a few more glances at the forecast, I decided to add a second pair of pants into the mix, and dug out my running windpants. Set out my socks, my shoes, my ice spikes, my race bib and safety pins, my sport beans, my water bottle, my gloves, and my inhaler. Then I took a step back and panicked a bit.
What had I gotten myself into? Running a half-marathon in sub-zero temperatures? At 20 weeks pregnant?
And so with those thoughts running through my brain, I went to bed at the semi-reasonable hour of a little before midnight. And proceeded to have a terrible night’s sleep. It was like night before the first day of school, I kept dreaming about the race. In one dream, I was there at the start, in plenty of time, but when the race actually started, I realized I wasn’t wearing my socks or my shoes. And they were back in my locked car across the parking lot. It was stressful.
Then a little later I had a dream that I was in the middle of running my race, but it was some kind of challenge race, not just a regular half-marathon. And some of it was inside? I was running around and around this one room, like I was running around a coffee table, again and again and again, and somehow I thought I was getting someplace? Then I realized that on one corner of the room there was a set of stairs tucked over to the side and I had to go down those. Once downstairs, there was some kind of drinking game treasure hunt type challenge that involved a fridge and some Lego guys submerged in an aquarium filled with beer? I don’t know. I couldn’t read any of the clues, which made the entire thing kind of impossible. I was running all over the room trying to find the next clue without any luck, until I finally woke up.
It was 3:00am.
And then I tossed and turned for a while. And finally fell asleep and slept for a couple hours until a whole bunch of little girls pigpiled onto my bed at 6:30.
Fast forward through a couple hours of cereal and coffee and a stressful rush of trying to put on snowpants and mittens and backpacks full of snacks, and we were out the door.
We arrived at the start line approximately 4 minutes before the start. Nate pulled up to the side of the parking lot, I jumped out, and jogged over to and nearly straight through and the race was on.
The first half of the race, I felt great. My layering was perfect, I wasn’t too cold and I wasn’t too warm. I fell into a great rhythm. Ran the first 5k, then walked a bit, ran the second 5k, walked a bit. We were running on the road, which was pretty much all hard-packed snow. I never once felt unsure of my footing, which was awesome. The course was a bit weird, it headed out in one direction, then made a loop and doubled back past the start, then did another out and back in the other direction, and then you did the whole thing again. But the views were great, and the sky was blue, and the air was crisp and clear.
Good morning, Edmonton.
By about the halfway point, the spout of my water bottle had frozen solid and it was useless. I also started to feel a blister form on my toe. Crap. Since I was about to double past the golf course clubhouse where Nate and the girls were eating snacks and watching the Olympics, I texted him in the hopes that there was a stray band-aid in my backpack. There wasn’t.
So I gritted my teeth and kept running. By the 8-mile mark, it was getting pretty unbearable. Luckily, just past there I passed the water station, and the dude working it had some band-aids in his car! Hurrah! Took of my shoe and sock and covered up what had become quite a nasty looking blister.
Blistered toes with band-aids. You’re welcome.
Started back in with the running, but I was slowly running out of steam. My leg started bothering me at about the 9 mile mark, and I had to slow up to a walk for quite some time. From that point on, I did a lot of walking, interspersed with some bouts of slow (and slower and slower as I went on) jogging. Ate a few sport beans at about 11 miles. Passed the finish line with about a mile and a half to go (again, it was a weird pass-the-start-and-go-do-another-out-and-back), and that kind of gave me a little oomph. That faded, but then this lady who’d been plodding along steadily at about my pace or a little slower, jogged past me and said “You’re nearly there, hun. Just another kilometer.”
And thanks to that lady in the flowery running skirt, I dug deep and found a little something and picked up my walk to a jog to a slightly faster jog. Hit the parking lot and poured on the gas to cruise through the finish line at a strong pace, with a time of just over 3 hours. Annnnd then I died.
Okay. I didn’t die. But I was hella stiff and sore as I walked down a zillion stairs to the clubhouse, where a delicious buffet brunch was waiting. Fresh fruit, and coffee and juice, and muffins, scrambled eggs with sausage, potatoes, french toast, bacon… it was amazing. I was a happy little monkey.
Now I am tired, and I am sore. I have done what I set out to do, and I am proud of myself for that. Annnnnnnd I’m def sticking to distances less than 10k from here on out.
At least till after baby.