The Chilly Half-Marathon Results:
Time – 1:49:39
Chip Time – 1:48:32
Division Place (45-49) – 21/224
Gender Place – 143/1671
This was not my best race, but I couldn’t realistically expect to have run any faster. A rough fall of pneumonia and a calf injury (warning: do not support your almost 40 pound child on your leg with your heal in the air or you may create an incredible knot that won’t go away for a very long time), I had very little base mileage – okay, none as of December 1st. Carrying my 40 pound sleeping child one cold January night resulted in a back injury that kept me off running for another two weeks. That left me with 4 long – if you can call them that – runs: 2 – 8 milers, a 10 and an 11.5 miles. So, realistically, I expected to finish between 1:45 and 1:50 and, that, I did.
The morning started off fine. Even Daddy wasn’t complaining too, too much about getting up early for Mommy’s half-marathon. Careful planning the night before meant that #2 didn’t find a reason for a last minute temper tantrum about what he needed to take or what he should wear (last race, he insisted that he should wear a t-shirt in zero degree temperatures). Once we got there, parking was simple and there were no outrageous line-ups for the bathrooms – pretty amazing for a venue hosting well over 3000 runners.
I waited at the start line with #2 and noticed my heart rate was starting to climb as it does before any race. But this time was for a different reason. When I write “start line”, I don’t mean at the side; I mean in the corrals with my four year old son, surrounded by thousands of half-marathoners. Daddy and #1 were nowhere to be seen and I wasn’t about to leave my treasured spot to go looking for them. With less than 5 minutes to go, I did think about walking away and starting late – but that idea only irritated me more. With less than 3 minutes to go, I looked at #2 and joked that he might be running with me (we spent all week prepping him for running with Mommy at the end). In the last 2 minutes, I did it; I pulled #2 out of the line and started looking for Daddy, who nonchalantly walked up to us and said, “I’m right here.” Fortunately, I didn’t have time to comment; instead I rushed back to the corral in time for the 10 second countdown.
Weather conditions were atypical with temperatures close to 12.5 degrees celsius at the end. Starting temperature was about 4 degrees and the first two kilometres were into the wind which brought the temperature closer to zero, pretty much been training in. Once we turned around, though, the wind was on our backs and I quickly overheated. By 5K, I was pulling off my hat and gloves, and by 6K, my outer layer was around my waist, leaving me with just my base layer. Between 4K and 9K, I was uncomfortably hot. By the time we headed back, there were only 8K left. We ran straight into the wind, which was much better and I quickly found myself pulling my outer layer back on. But I had such a terrible first half of the race that I just couldn’t hold my own for the second half and ended up walking quite a bit. Still, when all is said and done, sub-1:50 is respectable.
The biggest disappointment, though, was losing my fleece glove. I carefully tucked both into the back of my tights at 5K and pulled them out at the finish. Somehow, I managed to run 16K with a pair of gloves hanging out of my backside but I lost one when juggling them, a bottle of water, banana, cookies, medal, #2’s new-found treasure (a rock) and holding his hand. This pair was the first running gear that my husband bought for our first Christmas together 18 years ago, making them sentimental and comfortably well-worn. My moans about losing one made Daddy laugh. His solution is simple: buy another pair. Men!
Hmmm. My husband just gave me the go-ahead to go shopping. I guess it’s not such a disappointment after all.