Sweet baby Jesus.
I am so glad that this race is behind me. I signed up for this half, and the half I did in January (the Snowman Half) as a way t build in long runs in my marathon build up. I have done these races before, but shorter distances, in 2013. So it has been awhile, despite that though – I knew the weather could be terrible in the sense of there could be snow and ice, or there could be very very cold temps and wind, or all of the above.
Last month the Snowman half was chilly, but the challenge came from the ice and snow on the dirt roads. This time the challenge came from the beyond bitter temps. It was 3 degrees when we arrived in Mt Pleasant – FORTUNATELY there was very little wind, and the wind that was blowing was coming from the southeast- so by the second half of the race it was predominantly a tailwind.
It was also physically challenging, a few people in my group agreed with this – because we ran on old dirt roads it took a lot of maneuvering throughout the course to avoid potholes, and dips and changes in the terrain – parts of it were more like a trail run than a road run. So I am feeling different muscles the day after a race than what I normally do, especially in my lower calves, and ankles.
Two things that really helped me get through this was being dressed for the elements, and being there with my run group friends. The biggest thing that got me through was my running buddy Emily. Sometimes it’s just the footsteps you hear next to you, and the awkward things discussed during a long run- that don’t need to be mentioned in a blog- that get you through.
I also was not sure how I was going to feel in this race- as I said it was built in as part of my marathon plan- so for this half the plan was for me to run on more fatigued legs- so I had ran 7 miles the day before.
Despite that I was able to run some nice negative splits starting shortly after mile 11, and felt good throughout despite the cold, and legs that hadn’t been rested the day before. I ended up running a 2:08- which ended up being good enough for 3rd in my age group.
All in all, it was a fun experience- but in terms of the conditions I’m glad it’s behind me- but despite the conditions the day was still so fun based on the company and friends that were around prior to, and after the race. From road tripping to and from, to openly wondering if we would get frostbite (and in which places) the whole day was so fun.