It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

November 25, 2013

The Gobbler Grind - Aptly Named

On Saturday, I made a bad decision.  For some reason I decided that even though it was going to be 10 degrees the next morning, and I had completed a half marathon the weekend before that I needed to do another one.  And so on Saturday, I went to packet pick-up and signed up for the Gobbler Grind Half Marathon - and what a GRIND it was.

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
I arrived at the race at 7:30 and the race was scheduled to start at 8:00.  I hopped out of the car and hit the porta was cold!  I started questioning whether or not I had on enough clothes. I went back to my car and decided I would wait where it was warm til closer to start time.  At 7:45 I decided it was time to make my way to the race start.  I slow jogged to the start to warm up some and then just tried to keep moving before the race started.  Finally at 8:00 it was time to start - no wait - what's that an announcement - THE RACE START IS DELAYED TIL 8:15.  - FAIL!!  I'm sorry, I have a real pet peeve about this at any race, but when it is 12 degrees....start the race on time...I don't care what it takes!!  People were clearly unhappy.  I timed everything so I didn't start freezing cold.  Now I had 15 minutes....not enough time to go to the car and back, so I had no choice but to stand there and get cold.  I kept moving and stretching, but I was getting colder by the second.

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
And that was it, I finally made my way home and headed back out for my step-son's Birthday lunch.  A long hot shower would have to wait til later. 

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 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?


  1. You've been a racing machine! Definitely maybe time to give yourself a slight break. ("Definitely maybe"'s that for a strong stand?)

    Kudos to those poor volunteers. I volunteered at a race in the low 20's and that was plenty cold for me!

    No races for me this weekend, but both my trail run Saturday and my mountain bike ride Sunday were below freezing.

    You're Christmas Story picture cracked me up. I reference that movie all the time. :)

  2. Another half marathon finish, well done! That is cold! Difficult for the organizers but still you expect them to be ready for cold weather. I hope your leg feels better soon. A beak will do you good so relax and enjoy. We are getting warmer and warmer now and I still prefer the cold weather running.

  3. Uh, newsflash ... I was with Jack all day Sunday, and he didn't do CRAP! That medal is a lie!

  4. Maybe it's time for a racing break. Did they send out a survey after where you can voice your opinions? I like it when they do that.

  5. Good job woman! I would say racing is truly an addiction. (It is for me) I don't love the training but I love to get out there and run with other people and get a shirt and medal. You are my idol :)

  6. OMG I did the grind a few years and was always the worst weather day of the entire year, it might be cursed :)

  7. OMG, I'm cold just reading it. I hope your shin is better and nothing serious - but it's probably a good sign to cut back a bit.

  8. Kudos to you for running, but that sounds freaking freezing! We're having really cold temps here lately as well and I have been having a tough time layering enough to not freeze. And so. much. laundry.

    I hope your shin is feeling better soon! Lots of ice and advil!

  9. Sounds like you might be racing too often, hopefully that shin problem is only minor.

  10. Good luck with the shin. I hope that it heals quickly.

  11. THe race sounds awful. 5K was plenty on my cold day. I would have been royally p........d that it started late. No excuse. Hope the hoodie is a great one. You are a racing machine!

  12. Brr! Sounds like a miserable race. I think it's the name. They need to rename it the Gobbler Gambol instead...

  13. Yea, for Hunger Games just seems like they could have spent a little more time on the other tributes, and just made the movie like 2 hours, 45 minutes or even 3 hours, fans would have liked it more I think.

    If you like Hunger Games you will like Divergent for sure.

    haha on the sports posts, there will be some more until after the NFL playoffs start (and end when the 49ers lose) lol