You know me, I love to race. Small, big, whatever I love race day. But in this instance, I won't lie, there was little about this race that I enjoyed and I questioned my sanity throughout it. The weather certainly did not help. Many people signed up months ago and well you can't know for sure what the weather is going to be like, but I did know and still signed up. I have no excuse.
I got up early on Sunday morning and layered up.....two pair of pants, 3 shirts and a vest, 2 pair of socks, 2 pair of gloves, a t-shirt neck wrap, a thin beanie and a stocking cap. I felt just like Randy in A Christmas Story. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to move, much less run. But it was COLD. It was about 12 degrees, and wouldn't reach 20 by the time I was finished.
|That's me on the far left|
OK, finally we really did start. I felt stiff, and immediately felt some pain in my right medial shin. I had been having some pain there that was starting to get a little worse, but in the cold it was really bothering me. I didn't feel fluid or loose at all, but I wasn't freezing which was good. The first few miles went by fairly quickly, as they usually do in a race.
I figured they would have a really hard time getting volunteers for this race and I wasn't wrong. We finally reached the first water stop at mile 3.5 or 3.6 (which seemed really far) and you had to literally stand in line while the 2 girls at the station filled a cup at a time. One holding the cup, one pouring. They had one jug of water. But at least this stop had water. Of the 5 or 6 water stops on the course, only 3 had water...the others were out....again FAIL. Come on, I know it wasn't super hot and we weren't losing a ton of fluid, but you still need water - and there was also a full marathon...I was worried some people wouldn't stay hydrated. And water was all they had...maybe there was some Gatorade early in the race, but the only thing that was ever available when I reached the aid stations was water. Yes, this race was getting on my nerves.
For the first 5 miles, the course runs along a trail on a little creek and is pretty flat. You were also protected from the weather somewhat. I was feeling pretty good, but then about mile 5.2 you begin to climb, and then the course takes you out on a main road. You start climbing, and climbing, and climbing. The wind was only about 5 mph, but when it's 12 degrees it can feel like 30 mph. All of a sudden I was freezing! We were running straight uphill into a head wind. This was no fun. You climb from 5.2 to 7.2. It's only about a 150 foot climb, but a 2 mile climb is tough (at least for me). And once you finally crest the top you think you are in a for a nice downhill right...well not so much, you get to crest two more little 50 foot climbs. Finally after about mile 9 you get a nice downhill stretch and then it flattens back out as you get back on the trail.
That little 4 mile stretch really took it out of me. I was just ready to be done. And soon I was - 10 minutes slower than my half the previous weekend. I crossed the finish line and found some much needed water. A guy finished a few minutes behind me who had some very negative words to say about the water situation, which wasn't cool because there were some kids around.
Anyway, I was glad to be done and I couldn't have been much colder. I hadn't felt too cold during the race, but now I was freezing. I headed back to my car and just sat their and turned the heater on. I was shaking too bad to drive just yet.
|Jack wearing my half marathon medal....taking all the credit as usual|
Honestly, I know the cold weather definitely had an impact on my thoughts on this race, but come on a 15 minute late start, no water at half the stops, and did I mention no mile markers on the course? And well, just that hill in the middle didn't make me too happy, but it's not like I've never ran a race with hills, there are plenty of those here in Kansas City, but I just wasn't a fan of this race.
What I did appreciate more than anything were the few volunteers. I know they had to be absolutely FREEZING standing out there not able to keep moving like we were. I know how cold I was volunteering at the KC marathon a few weeks ago and it was like 40 degrees, so honestly they had to be cold. And I know the race organizers want everyone to have a great experience and the weather probably impacted their ability to get everything set up and organized the way it might have been normally...so I can't judge it too harshly.
For the race you got a hoodie, a medal and bag...all of which they ran out of...but they are ordering more for everyone which is nice. I did get my bag and medal, but not my hoodie, which was the main reason I decided to do the race. I should have it in a few weeks.
Unfortunately, as I said in the very beginning this was a bad decision. I think I came out of it with my first running injury in 2013. I woke up this morning barely able to put any weight on my right leg. I am HOPING it is just a really bad shin splint. I have a 5K Thursday...which I will take super easy if I run at all, and then it's probably no running for me for a week or two to see if I can get this to heal up. I think I might have just over done it a bit lately. I've done 2 marathons and 3 half marathons in 7 weeks....yeah, maybe a bit too much.
Oh well, I've had a blast doing most of them, so hopefully this is just a bit of a set back. And I won't mind a little time off anyway. It's been a long year.
Anyone else had a race in the FREEZING temps this weekend?