When you have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old you don’t expect to get to sleep in……. ever. Something is going to happen by 7:00 am to get you out of bed, and this is the best case scenario. It is also the reason Saturday morning cartoon were invented. So, I did not bother to set the alarm for my morning Half Marathon today. There simply wasn’t a need, except today of course!
Through some incredible aligning of the stars I slept until 7:40 am, which was awesome. Unfortunately, I slept until 7:40 am when I needed to leave the house at 8:00 am to get to the start of the “Half Fast” Half Marathon with enough time to do the normal pre-race things. You know, stand in line for a bathroom/port-a-potty, warm up and get all your running gear situated (this takes way more time than it should, especially for a cold weather run). I didn’t get out the door until about 8:15 and realized immediately I had to get gas, crap. I was not going to make it to the start on time.
So, I drove fast, did a lot of lane changing, and said mean things about responsible drivers that dared cross my path. I knew it was going to be tight, I knew I was not going to have time to do my pre-race things, I knew that “I am totally late for my Half Marathon officer” was not getting me out of a speeding ticket if I got pulled over. At 8:57 am I pulled into the parking lot, three minutes to race time. A brisk walk across the parking lot while putting on layers of cold weather gear and untangling headphones counted as my warm up. I made it to the start line in time for the race countdown, but not for the bathroom break that I needed.
A quick tangent here, I run slow. The worry about the bathroom break is not so much about winning my age group, or hitting my goal time as it is about not placing last in my age group, or hell last overall. I checked the race times this evening and there were only 148 finishers. When I run a half marathon in MN, in February, and only 148 people show up there is a strong chance I could be the slowest person (I was not, even with TWO bathroom breaks on the course I came in 121st, thanks for asking). Point being, I know I am slow I just want to know I am not the slowest person there that day. I need to potty before the race (yes I have a three-year old we call it “potty”) because I am not making that time up on the course.
The run itself was on an open course that twisted and turned its way through Vadnais Heights, MN (open course = cars on the road with you wondering why the F all these people are running down the side of the road). The race director sent out a list of all the places you turn to help people prep, there were 23 turns listed and 2 turn arounds. Some how I managed to stay on the course, not have any close encounters with cars and enjoy the run (win!). It was cold but sunny (temp at the start was about 6 degrees but it was 20 by the time I finished so I was feeling good) the volunteers were cheerful and the route kept me on my toes. All in all I would definitely recommend the Half Fast Half Marathon if you are looking for a cold weather run in MN (they also had a half of a half and a 5k). I would sugguest setting your alarm to get there on time though.
To check if my wife actually reads these I will let you in on a secret (shh, don’t tell her). When I went to the Grocery store this afternoon I bought myself a doughnut as a treat for completing my February Half Marathon. I ate it on the way home and did not get one for her ( no she did not run today). Is this a big deal? Maybe not. Will I get an exasperated look if/when she finds out? Absolutely. Doughnuts are serious business around here (Raspberry Bismark if you were wondering).
Two down, ten to go.