I’ve always enjoyed the winter carnival half marathon. It is normally very cold but this year it was very balmy!! Saturday morning I woke up to 32F! Wow! I decided I’d wear light leggings with a skirt, one long sleeved top and a pair of light gloves and light buff. No screws in my shoes! No ice! Yay!
Last year, due to foot surgery, I wasn’t able to run the race. I was very excited to sign up this year.
I arrived to the race an hour before start time. I always like to leave plenty of time to find parking and find the race start. For road races the biggest stressor for me is to find a bathroom as soon as I park. I always have an hour drive or more. Luckily for me, there was a bathroom in the parking ramp. Yes!
With only a short walk to the pre race festivities, I had plenty of time to pick up my number, shirt and mug. I couldn’t believe all of the people that I knew at the race. With a race of over 1000 people it always shocks me that I can pick out friends whom I have no idea are in attendance. As I was walking through the skywalk I ran into John, then Amy and Shawn, then Jeff. Pretty soon it was Dan and Karen. Amazing! Kate and Brian. Quick fun chats with everyone.
With just a few minutes to go before the start, I mosied outside to find a spot among the runners. I decided I’d run between the 200 and 210 pace groups. I was in no rush, this was just a training run to get in some miles on my feet. I wanted to see how my feet would stand up to the asphalt. I’ve entered Grandmas Marathon in June and haven’t really run any asphalt yet since my surgery. I figured a 915-930 pace would be just great.
The first few miles were new to the course. We circled around downtown before we headed out onto Shepard Road to run along the river. There has been a lot of reconstruction of the road and the area surrounding it since I’ve last run this race. The road is heavily slanted and I kept moving around the road, trying to find the place where my feet were on stable ground. At times this was in the middle of the road and at times it was on the shoulder. Very strange. I could feel the slant of the road in my ankles and in my knees.
The sky was blue with bright sun and just a hint of breeze. It really was a beautiful morning. I could hear the jingle of dog tags following me so I turned to look, sure enough, a large poodle was prancing along with a woman. The dog was as happy as could be as I watched the women feed her a cliff bar. They stopped often as the women let her dog drink from her water bottle. So awesome to see.
I had 4 gels and filled my water bottle once during the race.
I was running 915s most of the race, this was a comfortable pace for me. I was surprised that my heart rate was quite high-my average HR during the run was 162. Too high, really. My highest HR was 182, as I climbed the final hill to the finish line.
The route is an out and back so I was able to high five and holler out to each of my friends, whom I mentioned earlier. I also saw Kate while we were running. I did not see her at the start.
What a blast of a day! I felt great, I finished in 201 and nothing hurt. Woot!!! The pavement was OK on my foot so I am feeling good about Grandmas.
After I arrived home Troy and I went suit shopping for the first time. He has a Career Fair at the U of M, where he attends the College of Science and Engineering. I asked John at the race for a recommendation as to where we should shop. He suggested Men’s Wearhouse so that is where Troy and I went. We were blown away by the high level of customer service and the ease of purchasing his suit. We will certainly go back.
Next up is Psycho Wyco 50K on February 20. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to this one. Looking forward to it!!