Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Brainsport Brainfreeze Half Marathon Report

Farewell February and Hello March!

I have reached the point in the training schedule where I am at the peak of my workout plan.  I am hoping that some extra sleep, great nutrition and good recovery will help me gain tons of fitness after all my long, hard workouts.  This past week was a good week in terms of nailing my long events however my running for this past week was scaled down due to some left calf tightness which equated to IT band tightness in the quad and hip.  I was really nervous about Sunday's long run as it was a 13-14 mile run according to the plan and if it was any other regular Sunday, I would be at home on the treadmill and I could stop anytime I felt it was necessary.  However, this past Sunday was different.  We travelled to see our university son in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and had also registered in the Brainsport Brainfreeze Half Marathon.  I was locked into 13.1 miles.

This seemed to be a bit unsettling for me but I had bigger problems than that.  The main one being that it is desperately cold.  I think it has been a colder than usual winter for almost everywhere in North America and we are no different here in the central, western, Canadian prairies.  Our drive on Saturday morning to Saskatoon started out at  -37 Celcius and with the windchill, took it to -51 Celcius.  Our destination (Saskatoon) was supposed to have windchills and temps of -64 Celcius that morning.  We were sure questioning our sanity in even leaving our home but life does need to keep going on and we had many reasons for our trip; meeting and appointments that couldn't be postponed or changed to another time.

So there we were, registered for running a half on Sunday with a forecast of a sunny (thank goodness) and -22 Celcius day with wind it was -28 Celcius.  And if you know anything about me, one of my greatest fears is being in a situation where I am really cold and can't fix it.  I was once snowmobiling with my husband as a rider in a poker derby and I got really cold, really cold and couldn't get warmed up and you are in the middle of nowhere so it takes a long time to get somewhere warm.  It left a real fear in me.  That's why my snowmobiling trips are limited to short trips, I don't go ice fishing or like to go cross country skiing on long out and back trip and only run outside where I have short run loops that repeat.  It always gives me a way "out." Runny a long out and back- what happens if I get cold?  What can I do about it?  I took my phone so I could call my son if this happened and he could pick me up.  It wouldn't be instant but it comforted me enough that I was ok to run.

The race started at 1:00 in the afternoon so it did allow for the day to warm up a bit compared to the morning.

[caption id="attachment_539" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Too sunny to see what I was taking a picture of.  Lots of roaring runner a little of me. Too sunny to see what I was taking a picture of. Lots of roaring runner a little of me.[/caption]

I started my Garmin and it froze while finding the satellite then shut off completely and wouldn't turn on again.  Thought it was still all ok as I was bringing my phone so I would use Map My Run. My total distance after the run as .21km so obviously I was tec challenged.  Perceived exertion was the way I ran and it was quite liberating to not be checking on my watch all the time.  The course was very scenic along the North Saskatchewan River.  The paved Meewasin Trail was quite slippery in many places and sometimes the running was demoted to shuffling.  There was also a lot of ups and down and turns.  I was planning to take some pictures along the way, but it was so darn cold on my hands.  The turn around point was welcomed with warm water and gatorade as well as some gels.  The event was in support of the U of S Huskie Track Team so the aid stations were staffed with cheering and motivating university students.  Good to keep the momentum going.

At about the 10 mile mark, my eye caught something and upon looking down I discovered a mouse had jumped out of the snowbank to my right (by my husband) and was making his way across the trail to the other side.  I had a major fit and provided free entertainment to all those around me with my yelling and screaming.  I asked my husband why he didn't warn me and he said it wouldn't have made a difference, I would have freaked anyway.  I guess he has a point.  The funny thing about this is that about 2 min later, he was the one that needed to find a washroom!  I kept running as I couldn't afford in my heavily sweated up state to stop and walk for even a minute otherwise the cold would consume me so I proceeded on alone for the next couple miles.  This last bit was all uphill as we crossed a bridge and then climbed a big hill.  There was a couple runners just ahead and there is nothing like a bit of healthy competition to get to the finish a little faster as I tried to pick the off one by one. I turned around as soon as I crossed the line and headed back to finish with roaring runner.  He was just coming up the hill so only had 2 blocks till the end.  My official time was 2:08.  Funny how you can tell yourself that it's just a practice run but then get bummed out by the time.  Not very good at lying to myself yet.

We headed inside to grab some goodies; cookies, gluten free brownies, banana, oranges and hot chocolate.  Didn't hang out long as we didn't want to get a chill.  Showered up at our son's apartment while he cooked us supper and a protein smoothie.  On the road an hour later for home.

I'm sure most runner can relate to some of the one way conversation going on during that 13 mile run.

" Oh man, what AM I doing?  Whose idea was this?  It is so freakin cold.  Ok, smarten up, this isn't helping anything.  Look at the positive side, it is nice and sunny and you are getting some fresh air.  Not feeling any better yet.  Hmm, I like that black jacket that lady up ahead of me has on.  Maybe if I pick up the pace a bit I can get close enough to see what kind it is?  Come on, pick up those feet.  Oh shoot, no name or tag on this side.  Rats!  Is there time to get some shopping in yet before we go?  I can't believe that guy only has that light jacket on and tights.  Isn't he freezing his tush and other unmentionable parts?  I have 5 layers on- I dressed smart for the weather. No cold butt for me.  Oh crap,  I am getting so hot now.  How can this happen; dressed too hot when it's so cold? I feel like a stuffed sausage ready to bust the casing.  How can I be a runner for so long and totally mess up the dress code for this one?  What have I learned, maybe back to dressing for a race 101. Just go with the flow and relax, it's all going to be great.  Darn, nearly kissed the ground that time, pay attention! "  And so it went on and on!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Anyone run any races?


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