Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years Day Freeze Your Butt Off 1/2 Marathon

At 6:30 am on Saturday January 1, I dragged myself out of bed. I stood by my alarm clock looking down and the pile of running clothes, back to clock, back to my warm bed, back to my clothes and sighed. I was up, I paid the money for this, I might as well go. Starting the new year off with a DNS would not be a good sign.

After a warm shower, I started putting on the layers of clothing. Tights, shorts, tights, long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt, thin pair socks, long pair of mid calf socks, shoes...then it was in for a light breakfast. I turned on my iphone to check the weather....3 degrees..."Oh Da@#" I thought to myself. After breakfast which consisted of a protein drink and a PBJ sandwich, I filled my bottles and got the rest of my gear together. I got my jacket, gloves, ski mask, Garmin, ipod and headed for the door. I looked like a walking running clearance rack. Just put in the store window with a sign that says "cold-weather running gear with your own personal runner attached."

I drove to the start of the Marathon Maniacs New Years Day 1/2 Marathon. This was a "bare-bones" event thrown together 3 weeks before. We started from the race organizers house, we timed ourselves, the restrooms consisted of finding a gas station, knocking on someone's door at 8 am, or finding a Honey Bucket along the course (which actually turned out to be pretty frequent).

We met in the garage of the race organizer, signed our wavers, picked up a bib number and a map, and got ready to run. The gun sounded something like "Everybody ready? Let's go.." and we were off. There were no aspirations of a PR (it had warmed up to a toasty 5 degrees), but high expectations that no one would slip and break a leg. After a mile into the race, we veered onto a snow covered trail (not snow packed) for 3 miles. I learned a new pacing in the foot falls of those who ran before you. It worked surprisingly well.

Somewhere between mile 1 and mile 3 there was a turn off. Myself and two other ladies missed the turn off and ended up 1 1/2 miles farther East than we needed to be. So we turned west and caught up with the route and continued on. The race organizers wife was the mobile aid station. She met the group at mile 4 (which we missed), mile 7 and mile 11. At mile 7, I stopped to get a drink only to discover that the pull caps on my bottles was frozen. The mobile aid station had enough water for everyone so I took off my belt, threw it in the van and got a water bottle.

At mile 7, we were getting a drink when a police officer pulled up behind us and wondered what we were doing. We explained that a group of us had put together our own New Year's Half-Marathon. He just looked at us bewildered and told us we were crazy. I agree...

The miles went by, my layers and layers of clothing paid off. The ski mask worked beautifully, but the moist air when I exhaled traveled up to my face to form icicles on my eyebrows and eyelashes.

The end of the race consisted of us stopping in the driveway of the starting spot and cheering ourselves. We promptly starting taking off layers as we went into the home to fresh homemade chili, donuts, chocolate milk, french bread and yogurt. We all received race medals. In true race fashion, we put the medals on each other. The remaining runners (there were 40 of us total) came it a various times.

All said, my 1/2 marathon consisted of 14.4 miles and 2:16 time which was faster than I thought we would be considering the two aid station stops.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate the New Year...ok, well that's not entirely true...but it did feel good to get a long run in with others who enjoy it as much as I do.

1 comment:

  1. Way to start the year out right! Perhaps the mask you wore to the masquerade ball last night could offer some protection on your next run...