It’s been four days and I’m just starting to get over the total terror that was the Hypothermic Half Marathon in Calgary.
I absolutely did it.
And I absolutely will never do it again.
Due to the -30 weather all week I wasn’t able to go for the last few runs I wanted leading up to the race, but I was hoping that the extra rest would do me well.
The day of the race had warmed up to a balmy -20, and by my 1pm race start it was apparently -16C with bright sun (-26 with wind chill however). Not too bad I thought.
Then I started to run.
I started off way too fast, despite my very slow and well paced training runs and my very slow CBC Ideas podcast about buildings in my ears (I purposely try to listen to slow talk radio to run slower). I was just a bit above my ideal pace, but kept getting faster until about the 10k mark. This was also likely due to the fact that both of my big toes were frozen until 6k and I couldn’t feel my face on and off for the whole race.
Then by about 12k I completely hit the wall. This is running speak for total energy/emotional/mental crash. It’s the worst feeling to have in any race and I think the hardest mentally to get out of. I seriously considered calling my partner to pick me up at this point and nearly started to cry. I’m a champion folks.
I somehow, convinced myself to keep running slow for the next 2k and then took walking breaks at every even K mark.
It was brutal, windy, cold and I also had no idea where we were going for a lot of it. The last half of the race was so grueling and ridiculous all I could do was fantasize about a warm shower and sitting down.
But somehow, honestly, out of nowhere when I could physically see the finish line I saw that the time was at 2 hours.
I finished in 2:00:19!! This is a 10 minute improvement from my goal!
I finished 68th overall between the two races of 800 runners in total; 28th overall in the 1pm race of 400 runners and 10th out of 59 female runners in my 1pm race!
I still cannot believe how dang brutal, awful, horrible that race was but how amazing my result turned out to be! I need to remember that pain though because even now I’m thinking, oh I did really well I could improve. . . .
BUT NO. NO MORE WINTER RACING. Maybe another a half. but not for a while!!!