Half Fast Half Marathon – Race Recap

I always tend to shy away from events that are “out and backs” or “two loops” or “three loops”. Probably because when I run long distances, it is way more satisfying to end somewhere far from where you began or just get the dang run over with without having to pass “GO” too many times. This doesn’t translate in my day to day runs, however. Running to and from home suits me just fine. It is just the event runs.

This weekend I ran the “Half Fast Half Marathon” and it wasn’t until just a few hours before the race that I realized it was a “two looper”. At first, I was a little miffed at myself that I didn’t check on this sooner. But I accepted it quickly since there wasn’t an opportunity to run any other long run event in the near future. This would be my only shot, so it would have to do.

As you can guess, this was my first “Half Fast” and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It is sponsored by a local health club, Tri-Fitness, here in the Twin Cities. It isn’t local to me, however, which is probably why this is the first I had heard of it. I don’t always seek out half marathons in February, either. It does look like they put on a handful of events throughout the year. This was quite fun, so it is likely I’ll be doing another in the near future.

I did get there very early, but it turned out to be a blessing, because I had plenty of time to park, get my bib, go to the bathroom inside, change my sneakers, and reassess my clothing choices. I also popped my Energybits a half hour before my run, and sipped my Bulletproof coffee while I waited. I departed my car at 8:50 am for a 9:10 am start.

Half Fast Half Marathon Pre-Race #selfie

Half Fast Half Marathon Pre-Race #selfie

It was a small event, and probably rather local as well. I’m guessing I traveled the furthest to run this. Last year, it looks like 59 people signed up to run the half marathon, and even less ended up actually running it. This year, I’d say it was probably close to the same. The mumbles in the crowd were pleased with the weather this morning, despite the 14° temperature, because last year, it barely inched above 0°. Gotta love Minnesota in February! Not only that, but as I pulled up into the parking lot an hour before race time, the snow had started to fall in earnest. And it was piling up fast. It was then that I was grateful I had decided last minute to bring my screw shoes. The route, which winded though residential roads, would likely be newly snow packed…or if Vadnais Heights was anything like Lakeville, still snow packed from the last “dusting”. And again, I heard the mumbles from the crowd, “I’m glad I wore my trail shoes,” and “I wonder if I should go put my Yaktracks on.” I already had.

My screwed shoes.

My screwed shoes.

It is a friendly little race, and the woman in charge of it all wore one giant hat. And she did a hell of a job, God love her. From handing out bibs and tech tees, to organizing volunteers, firing the starting guns, and cheering us all into the finish corral. Truly spectacular! I need to send her a thank you note.

And the runners were friendly as well. Sidewalk space was limited, but everyone did a great job of hanging to the right so passers could get by. There were no fans, or folks to cheer us on, except the volunteers, but they did a great job! So, I’m glad I opted to run while listening to a few podcasts. It kept me entertained.

I had no idea what to expect on this run. I went in it half blind. And I say “half” because since it was a “two looper”, I’d actually learn a little something about for the first 6.2 miles. That was kind of a bonus, especially considering the conditions at hand. I found myself saying, “Remember the downhill at the start. And the snowpacked residential roads beginning mile 3. Quite the incline at mile 4. A little reprise at mile 5. Ooooh, a little climb before mile 6. And a quick jaunt to the end.” Now, repeat.

Yeah, it was kind of nice!

Half Fast Race Data via Runmeter

Half Fast Race Data via Runmeter

What it forced me to do was test the waters the first half…watch my pace, and then turn it up a bit the second half since I now knew what I was up against. I ended up negative splitting the run, although my heart rate ran a little high. I can’t explain that, except to say that running though the snow packed roads was like running through greasy sand. Perhaps that was enough to turn my little ticker up a notch. It may as well have been a trail run.

But, it was a good run, and I ran much of it alone. I have no idea how I ended up in the pack, but I’ll find out when the results post on Sunday. There weren’t too many of us “senior” women there. In fact, there were more men than women, I believe. And that you don’t see too often anymore.

Half Fast Half Marathon Finish Line #selfie

Half Fast Half Marathon Finish Line #selfie

I got back to my car sweaty and stinky, and quickly changed into some dry, warm clothing to prevent any onslaught of Raynaud’s. And I did go to the advertised hangout afterward to perhaps await the award ceremony, but I knew NO one, and soon became rather uncomfortable just standing around. So I left, hoping that if I did win something, they would be mailing it along to me in a few days. In the end though, I just wanted to run something…anything. And since I missed out on registering for the Hypothermic Half Marathon before they shut it down, this run worked out just fine. It turns out that temperatures are going to drop all day today, leaving in it’s wake a high for the Hypothermic Half Marathon of about 2°. So, I’m glad I ran today.

I noticed after this run, however, I was famished. And the long drive home was difficult as I found myself very lightheaded. I couldn’t get home fast enough to scarf some bacon, eggs, and avocado, jump in the shower, and whip up a Bulletproof Mocha.

Inevitably, too…any winter run in Minnesota turns into an entire load of laundry.

2015-02-21 14.10.53

Ahhhh! It looks like Race season has begun!

Do you race in February? Are there many race options in your neck of the woods?


6 Responses to Half Fast Half Marathon – Race Recap

  1. petitepacer says:

    that’s so funny! My breakfast every morning is eggs, bacon and avocado!

  2. Congrats on a great race and the AG win!

    The reason I don’t like out and back races is that I hate seeing the faster runners who have already looped around and are on the back half, heading towards me! It feels somewhat demoralizing…

  3. Colleen says:

    Wow, as someone who runs in Florida, I’m impressed with the screw shoes and the attitude that 14 degrees is great. I wouldn’t be able to convince myself to get out door in that kind of weather.

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