My husband woke me up one minute before my fitbit alarm was scheduled to wake me.
Odd. I guess that means he’s coming with me. I wasn’t quite sure what the story was as it wasn’t discussed in full the night before. My girls had a busy day ahead of them, and if my husband were going to come along, we would have to drop them off at their first stop of the day an hour ahead of schedule. But they assured us it would be OK and that the school would be open. Since that was the case, we all loaded up at 7am and were on our way.
The temperature was nothing like they told us it would be earlier in the week. In fact, take that number and subtract 15. Yeah, 15 WHOLE degrees. If the initial forecasted number were 70°, that 15° would be a God send. But with the starting number at 25°, it was a wee bit disconcerting. I was smart enough to check the weather before I dressed in the morning and I rethought everything from scratch as far as what to wear. I donned a pair of capris under a pair of full length tights, plus calf sleeves, and my woolen toe socks. I added an extra tank under a turtleneck top, and my Under Armour thermal sweatjacket…in green, of course. I had my Get Lucky knit cap on, plus a Get Lucky gaitor from last year’s event. This year, we were promised a new style at the end of the race. But we ended up getting it at the start. I suppose that was because it was so damn cold.
I decided last minute to tote along two water bottles on my waist belt. In the end, though, that would prove to be futile. More to come on that later.
I also packed some warm, dry clothes for changing into after the race. Apparently I’ve learned something about running hard on a cold Minnesota morning.
I made a batch of Keto OS Bulletproof coffee, and we were out the door.
First stop, drop off the kids. Next stop, St. Paul to run my fourth consecutive Get Lucky Half Marathon. In actuality, this was my 5th Get Lucky in a row, but the first year, I ran the 7K in downtown Minneapolis. That one I don’t count.
Last year, it was the unprecedented warmth that made the event a stand out. This year, it would seem, would be the unprecedented cold. Yeah…cold. In fact, dare I say, it was more uncomfortably cold than the Polar Dash on January 1! This was the kind of cold that settled deep into your bones. Plus the fact that the race began 15 minutes later than it was scheduled meant a quarter of an hour of standing around with temperatures barely in the teens. I was just about to the point where I was ready to snuggle up to the nearest guy at the starting line just to absorb some body heat.
Get Lucky Start – 2017
We were told that all the barricades were not yet in place. The race venue was changed yet again this year. And I was a little miffed at myself for not taking a closer look at it before the run. Not that it really mattered. But, preparation was not my strong point for this run. I did everything so half assed, I’m surprised we even made it to the event at all.
The only saving grace about the Get Lucky event this year were the unlimited amount of indoor heated bathrooms at CHS stadium. I was only too grateful for that.
According to my Runmeter, the race start was delayed 12 minutes, and the temperature was a dismal 10°. We were crammed into a stairwell of sorts at the start line. This made me glad I started way up front. But the twists and turns to get out of the stadium were enough to make me slightly nauseous, followed by a downhill jaunt to get to the riverfront (this told me that the final few yards were regretfully going to be uphill). I had no idea where we were headed. I just kept an eye on the runners ahead of me for guidance. There were pacers, but I didn’t keep track of any of them. I just turned my audio book on and put blinders on for the entire 13.1 miles. I had my runmeter running, but my updates turned down, so I hadn’t a clue how fast I was running, or how slow, for that matter. I just ran.
It didn’t take me too long to recover from standing around in the cold. Everything above my ankles was in pretty good shape.
The worst thing for me about having a delay at the start line is the damage it does to my feet. Of course, once they go numb, I don’t have a problem. It is when the feeling comes back that I’m pretty certain I’m going to pass out. The pain is unbearable. I had to wonder when the feeling came back somewhere between miles 5 and 6 if anyone else was undergoing the same pain that I was.
I could actually feel the numbness traveling through my forefeet and out through my toes, as if squeezing five tubes of toothpaste at one time. Once all the toothpaste was out, I was perfectly fine. But as I said above, it took 6 miles…just about halfway…before I felt like I had any kind of relief.
I passed by all the water stops knowing I had water in my belt but I had no thirst whatsoever. And, I had no desire to fuel at the halfway point. I don’t know if this was because I didn’t want to take my windproof mittens off to fish it out of my pouch, or if I just didn’t care. To be honest, I believe it was the latter.
Besides, the fluids in my water bottles were now frozen. I could get them opened if I wanted to. Oy…
I played catch up and retreat with a few runners for the final six miles. But by the final 3, I had lost them all. We caught up to the runners and walkers of the other two distances running that morning; the 14K and the 7K. At the turnaround of the 14K, the traffic was minimal, but the contestants in the 7K were nothing short of a human bottleneck. I remember reading on the event website, the plea made to the walkers of the 7K to “KEEP TO THE RIGHT” for the sake of those running the other events. Apparently, no one else read that plea. It was serpentine…weaving through the crowds… the entire final 2 miles of the run. I swear it turned 2 miles into 4. To make matters worse, once we entered the stadium for our final trot to the finish, there was nothing but wall to wall people being stuffed through a 10 foot wide finish line funnel. NOT fun. I was so cold and uncomfortable and THIRSTY, I didn’t care. I just pushed my way through.
Pushing my way through the bottleneck.
Still, it cut a minute or two off my time. My garmin was dead, and I turned off my runmeter. It said something a little over 1:45:00. Good enough! I kept plowing ahead, just wanting to find my husband and get the heck out of there.
They shuffled us up and out of the stadium. This meant walking UP stadium stairs after running a brutal 13.1. miles. I emerged where the half marathon medals were being handed out, and managed to swipe an extra for Delaney. Then I spied the beer truck and considered grabbing a frosty one for my husband. But the line was long, and I was cold. I texted him and he told me he’d meet me at the entrance.
All done! Metal earned…
Somehow we found each other. All the while, I was trying to open my hydration bottles with no luck whatsoever. They were frozen shut. After he snapped my finish photo, he said they were handing out snack packs and water a little further down and I should just grab a bottle of water there. In fact, he had already grabbed a snack pack for himself, God love him.
The crowds were more than thick, and getting through was a chore in itself. I managed, though, and even spotted him waiting for me outside the stadium. We didn’t waste a stitch of time. He threw his coat over my shoulders. I was so blessed cold.
The walk seemed longer back to the car than it did earlier that morning in the opposite direction. By the time we reached the parking garage, my fingers were frozen and beginning to burn like my feet did earlier that morning. Still, I stripped down, put the dry clothes on, and we worked to warm up my hands while heating the car up, before heading out of town.
What a catastrophe for Team Ortho. I feel kind of bad for them. There was just no understanding as to how the event would end with such a bottleneck with the staggered starts. Too many people in a tight space all at once. Bummer. Good thing I didn’t much care. For me, it was just another run. And I was happy this one was over.
We had to make a few stops on the way home. I just sat in the warm car. This made it far worse to get out when we arrived home. In fact, walking at all the next few days was quite a chore. Was it the cold? Was it because I overtrained? Or is it because I’m just getting old. Yeah. Probably all three factored into this equation.
Seeing I ended up first in my age group was a bonus. Who would have believed it. I ran pretty quickly, in fact. I was quite shocked to see my average pace just over 8:00 per mile. No wonder I was so darn sore.
I’m still recovering, in fact. Over a week later. I feel like I did after I ran my very first half marathon. I haven’t been this sore in years after a run. Just goes to show you…what, I don’t know. But it just goes to show you.
I did get my Manhattan that night. Sometimes, that makes it all worthwhile.
Time to move on. Recovery’s a bitch. So is winter in Minnesota.
Yup. Time to move on.