oh I know...It won't be THAT cold...nooooooo. But it was. It was -26C (That's a balmy -15F).
Now that temp would be fine to stay inside and "chill"...but instead...I forged out to run a half marathon.
Yup. Good Gawd.
Oh Hypothermic Half. What an appropriate name...
I got up extra early to eat, ASSess the temps (somehow in my wee little mind I kept thinking it would warm up) and get my layers on. It seemed NOT so bad when I got out to start my car. I figured a sparkle athletic skirt would add some sass too!
Then once I parked and had to walk several minutes to the race start I realized it was hella freezing out there. REALLY FreezIng! ack. The walk over was slippy. And Cold. Did I say cold???
As I arrived and headed straight inside to stay warm with the rest of the runners. Immediately I see Sue and Kev. And right about that same time Cori comes racing over. I think all three of us practically shouted, "Who's @#$@#$% idea was this?" Then my friend Tara (who was WALKING the course) came up! Much laughter and photos ensued. And bitching and whining.
And giving mother nature the finger.
And then we headed out. I know you are wishing you are with us....
Or right this is a race recap. sigh.
I could have titled it my slowest half ever. Or THE PW (personal worst). But that wouldn't be very positive would it? Nor would it to bring up the cold again. It was COLD.
This race is a gamble. Its a bad time of year. Sometimes its lovely and warm (well still winter but close to 0C). And then other times its deep freeze weather. you never know what you will get. And crazy enough it sells out VERY fast.
So. I'm here. Let's do it. Enough Bitching. We get going. At first it is a gong show with a ton of us on ONE sidewalk. So we are all shuffling along. And even that is a tad slick. We all start together. Slow and easy. the goal (for me) is to finish and not die frozen in a hep on the course. I think that is a good goal. I figure that is isn't snowing so it cannot be worse than that Hypo Half I did in Edmonton when it snowed 16cm. And I ran reaaaaaaal slow.
Cori Sue and I start together. The map I saw outlined the route. Head out west, then back to Fort Calgary for brunch. As we were running we are directed to turn EAST. We all look at each other and say...no why are we going this way. But Why would people at the back of the pack be right when EVERYONE else was headed the way that I KNOW the map didn't outline.
Slow and steady we keep going. Sue pulls ahead. Cori and I decide to stay back. By the first walk break it is evident that our GPS is WAY off what the course markers say. Shades of Chestemere's Loop around the Lake (I think Cori mentioned that several times as did I...no we aren't bitter. nooooo) Cori an I aren't impressed. We are seriously off. This race had BETTER smarten up.
We take a few more pics giving mother nature the finger and Cori's phone dies at the 7km mark. I think at the 8km I snapped this on the bridge...we look so happy. NOT.
That was the last of the shelter really. We cross that Crowchild bridge and man...the wind picks up. VILE it is cold and we feel it. We also wonder where the hell is a water station. We do have water...but both our damn bottles have FROZE. There are a few volunteers out cheering, but not many. So on we forge. The goal is to just finish. But
Just a kilometre before the turnaround Cori runs ahead to get in the bathroom! Sue passes me saying the turnaround is jsut ahead. And then I see Cori. And, I do something I have never done in a race. I say EFF THIS ant turn around to join her. I already know that I am WELL past the halfway mark and that I will get in 21.2km...so I do not care to run up to the the water station.
We ran together for a bit, but I was not running well at all. Cori pulled ahead just before Crowchild. And when I got there there was signage that was lying on its side. Do I go left. Do I go right. Stupidly I go right. And realize that I shouldn't have. So I come back and wipe out (HARD) on the down hill trying to get back on the path. SO I keep going. and figure at next bridge I will double back over. Because now I see not one sign. (it's OK...apparently I didnt miss anything since there wasn't a single volunteer or very few signs - or blown over signs on the other side of the river).
So at 14st I whip across the bridge and am back on the path. I do not see any signs. I hook up with a pair of runners very unhappy about lack of volunteers and signage.
I keep running. It is clear that running to the zoo will make this a 23km route for me (thanks to my stupid wrong turn). I keep questioning the route? I see NO signs. And again...I see something. its a sign NEEAAR the bridge. oh really??? so veer right? Or straight? Last time I went with gut and went wrong. Sooo. I ignore gut and turn. And again no signage. But I think I have to be right. There is only about a kilometre left to what I THINK is the finish. And I will be well over 21.1km on my watch. SO am I wrong. I am I disillusional? Am I seeing a mirage? Am I falling into that sleepy zone people who die in snowbanks experience? OK fine. Sightly ovedramaaaaaatic. But you get the picture.
So I keep on the pathway and and follow the path to the path up back into Englewood. As i come up to the bridge I see Cori. And fully realize I created my own course the past 7km. FRIG.
But I have run almost 22km. And frankly that is worth something. We race to finish. And run into Sophia! I think we both warned her NOT to turn east at the start!! ha!
Then we RACE inside to the bathroom. Poor Cori was about to burst!
And when we get into the bathroom only one stall is available.
|oh look! Our own Sochi bathroom!! Wohoo Olympic Spirit!|
Kev, Tara, Cori, Sue and I all had personal worst times.
But as Sue says We Bloody Did IT! (she may have cursed too!). Something to be proud of.
We got our brunches. And then had to go up two flights of stairs (Cruel Punishment for after a half don't you think?) to the dining lounge. Had a great time laughing about the race. And me getting lost wiping out and well really buggering up the race.
|Brunch was delish! Tea was EVEN BETTER!|
Thanks to Sue for the Photo!
Yup. We conquered the cold. Managed to muddle thru with PWs (never to be repeated)
and survived icy brutal paths and lack of water stations (a bit of an unforgiveable error for me).
Isn't it funny how the after pics make ANY race look fun and more fab
than the actual misery of the 'bad' race?
I don't think I might not be doing another winter race soon.
I am signed up for a I have a half marathon March 22nd.
(yes. it's ok if you call me batshit crazy!)