Sunday, January 26, 2014

F^3 Lake Half Marathon [A Race Report]


Well, well, well...SURE, I'll run a half on the Lakefront in Chicago...in JANUARY...during a POLAR VORTEX.  To be fair, the high for the day was about four hours prior to race start time (10:00am).

I spent my early morning (after sleeping in!) enjoying sipping some coffee and doing some blogging.  Around 8:45am, I started getting dressed and we took off toward Montrose Harbor.  No lie, I've never participated in a race that started this late in the morning.  I was beginning to get hungry!  Since I haven't found a good food to nom on before any kind of run, whether it be long or short, I just don't eat before taking off.  I have successfully completed 14+ miles without food, so I figured today wouldn't be any different.  I realized it sort of WAS different, since I usually run earlier in the day.  Much earlier.  Like hours earlier.  Ahhhhh.

When we finally arrived and found parking, which was about a half mile from the race start, we realized that it was FIVE MINUTES until race time!  My emotions were teetering on the fact that I didn't feel prepared, but that it was a chip-timed race, and I wasn't *racing* it, anyway.  I could waltz over the start line five minutes after they began the silly thing if I wanted to.  Luckily, they started the race in waves.  There were parts of the path that would've been just downright frustrating having to deal with everyone at once.  The best part about being late?  SO MANY PORT-A-POTTIES!  Not ONE was occupied.  This isn't to say that I took my sweet time and chose the cleanest one with the most TP in it, but it was nice to not have to stand in a line.  The first wave had taken off before I even got near the start line; the second wave took off just as I finished up and was ready to go!

Despite my ridiculous timing, this race was clearly extremely organized!


Source
As you can see, it was REALLY tight at the beginning!  Everyone was running right on top of each other, stumbling over patches of ice and mounds of snow.  We even stopped completely at one point; for what, I have no clue.  They had shoveled and cleared the entire route before the race, but the WIND kept blowing more and more snow onto it.  I just concentrated on people's feet in front of me.

    

Meanwhile, Harry took some really wonderful pictures!  Welcome to #Chiberia!







The first half was pretty nice!  I sloshed through mud, shuffled through snow, and slid ever-so slightly over icy patches.  I kept the pace extremely easy, as I was just treating this like a long run.  I tried to pick up and tempo a bit, but I eventually hit more snow and ice, so I slowed back down.  My feet started to ache from all of the bouncing and dodging around people and winter elements.  Up top, I was burning up!  I had put on two layers, knowing that the temperature was going go drop quickly.  I was ready to turn my back to the sun.  The wind eventually started blowing HARD, nearly knocking me over into the oncoming race traffic.  It felt nice.  :P

Source
I hit the turnaround and thanked several volunteers for being out there.  If I was freezing my tooshie off while running, they must be absolutely frigid!  

Eventually, I started getting REALLY tired.  Why?  I'm assuming from running in ankle-deep snow and sand (SAND!  Sand had gotten up there, too!) and from dodging puddles.  I took a GU (see above about me eating and running...this goes for DURING, as well) around mile 7, as I felt my tummy turning over itself.  When I say that I "took a GU", I mean "chewed a GU slowly over a mile".  Now I had a GU-cicle in my tummy.  Great.  

Miles 8-12 were really just me putting one foot in front of the other.  Times were tough.  My feet were muddy and freezing, and my legs were heavy!  I kept saying "I'm not of my body, I'm not of my body", attempting to control the mentally enduring portion of this run.  I did not want to stop for anything.  I saw so many people walking, which mentally messed with me...taunted me..."You know you want to walk, Tiffany...it's only a long run...you can stop if you want..."; with which I would fire back with "NO, I don't care, I can't stop...I'm not of my body..."

I finally got to mile 12 (after successfully watching every tenth of a mile tick-tick-tick away...*le sigh*) and I got excited.  Hooooray, food is near!  



Harry was settled about .15 of a mile from the finish line.  Of course, I looked stupid-happy to see him.  I looked forward to the finish line and smiled at every camera I saw.  There's definitely nothing more humbling than running that far in that weather, in those conditions.  Unless you were volunteering that day.  Then you win.  :)

Harry found me grabbing food and water.  I was trying to show him that there were ice cubes in the water...you can see what I suspect as frozen snot.  *le blush*

    

Aftermath mud!



All in all, this was an absolutely fantastic, fun, well-organized race!  From packet pick-up, which had been situated in several locations all over Chicago a week out up to race day, to the traffic coordinators and volunteers.  Plus, they had nifty Finisher's medals and 1/4 zip long sleeved race shirts!  The hat was a gift from Harry.  D'awwww.


Did you run in F^3 (EFFING FREEZING FROZEN) weather this weekend?

16 comments:

  1. I'm chilled just reading this. I would have gone home and put on the finisher shirt and hat and cuddle under a blanket after that one. I've been on the treadmill for almost 2 weeks now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In all honesty, that's exactly what happened when we got home, bwahahaha! I took a lonnnnnnnnnng, hot shower, and cuddled up under my heated blankie.

      Bummer about the tready! When I lived in Texas, I had to be on that stupid thing during the summer. It's sort of flip-flopped here! I definitely hit the sidewalks when I can; I will run over ice to not be on the 'mill. :\

      Delete
  2. Hi! I saw your comment on Marcia's blog and was like "Woo hoo! Fellow Chicago person and personal trainer!" so I had to click over :)

    WTG on this race! It looks like a fun challenge, with the snow and with it being so late in the morning! I usually get hungry during a late race! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Allriiiiiiiiiight, high-five for the Chi! Are you enjoying this Polar Vortex v2.0 day? :)

      Thank you! It was a fun time. I was told that I am officially a Chicagoan after doing this. Haha!

      Delete
    2. Ha ha! I am! The cold and snow doesn't bother me :) I kind of like it :)

      I was wondering what you would think of it all, though, coming from TX!

      Delete
    3. I absolutely love it here. The cold and snow don't bother me all that much, either! I wonder if it's because I'm a winter baby? I've just always enjoyed the cold weather, and most especially snow. Harry seems to be getting peeved that I'm still "not over it". Hehe! :D

      Delete
  3. Oh wow. I thought of you guys when I heard the crazy wind kick up. Even though it wasn't 'that cold' relatively speaking, it must have been pretty miserable. Kudos to you for being a good sport and having fun with it. I think the hat from Harry is my favorite piece of swag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, yeah! It was pretty intense. I had taken off my hoodie (I had an ear-warmer and a knit cap on under it) while I was running into the sun. On the way back, I couldn't get my hoodie back up fast enough! Brrrr rrrr.

      Delete
  4. you are on brave soul! i'd die just looking at the snow. haha!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, friend. If it hadn't been for the warm Jeep ride to the Harbor, I would've b-a-i-l-e-d!

      Delete
  5. Wow... that sounds like quite a race! Have you been able to warm up yet from the experience? How many days until spring? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, yeah! It took a while to thaw out, though!

      I'm not going to lie: I'm absolutely loving this weather! I don't care that it's sub-zero (of course, I'm about to walk half a mile to my doctor's appointment, so we'll see how I feel then). I just love the cold weather! :D

      Delete
  6. I am SO impressed by this! I can barely run outside when it's 30 degrees; anything lower is treadmill city for me :) Beautiful blue sky photos too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You're literally crazy! I can't imagine running in that crazy cold weather :) I also can't imagine how accomplished you must have felt at the end though. Congrats!! This is just awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just found your blog and would have to say that I understand what you dealt with! This "polar Vortex" as they call it has been "oh so wonderful" to run in! There are days I feel like Randy from A Christmas Story getting bundled up to go out for some of my runs. When people ask me if I am crazy... well of course I am! Doesn't everyone go out and run in -10 weather (not including the windchill!)?? Thanks for the smiles as I read this!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow by Email

Blog Archive