Get in Gear Half Marathon 2012

Race day, what?

No, I wasn’t intentionally trying to hide something from y’all.

To make a long story extremely short, I had a 20 miler on the calendar this weekend and I opted to do it by running 7 + 13.1.  I thought that it would be nice to be able to run on a course with water stops and that I would have a lot more incentive to finish strong if I was being timed.

Oh, and this race marks my second birthday as a runner.  Not the “exact” date (we’re four days off), but running the Get in Gear 5k was my first race ever two years ago!

What was exactly the same about both of them: The unceasing rain.  The cold.  The wind.  It didn’t really pick up until 9 AM (gun time), so I didn’t have to deal with it for the first seven miles.  But once we were in it, we were in it.

Also the same: The appearance of the snappy blue Nike visor that has been a holdout from the days when I was a lifeguard at summer camp. 

Yes, in a past life I made my living parading up and down a dock in a red swimsuit.  It was a pretty sweet gig.

Today, that is neither here nor there.

Anyway, the visor.  I have only run in that visor once before and you had better believe that it was during that 5k.

Spooky coincidences, I know.

I think what set this race apart from so many others I have run is that instead of being in a competitive mode, I thought about some advice I gave Brady earlier this week.  I was grateful to log the miles.

My right foot has been a real treat to live with for the past week and so I didn’t even know if I was going to run this weekend.  At all.

I seriously considered deferring my entry or at the very least, exchanging it for entry to the 10k.  But instead of living in the gray land between victory and defeat, I decided to go big.

My rationale? I either wanted to have a GREAT long run or break a body part in such a definitive and clear-cut way that when I turned myself in to medical professionals, they would actually know how to deal with the situation.

Nagging injuries are their own special circle of hell.

Obviously I didn’t end up in an ambulance (win).

What I can say about the day is that there are few runs where I have experienced such a strong sense of gratitude.   Y’all know that I am a major fair-weather runner, so to be able to log the miles in those conditions with a smile on my face, finishing strong and without excruciating pain meant the world to me.

I was able to accomplish what I set out to do.

I will be forever grateful to Amber the Chiropractor and Darren the Aerospace Engineer from Lifetime Fitness in Savage.  Around Mile 9.5 I realized we were all kind of sticking together, so I asked them what their plan was for the remainder of the race.

Their plan = Keep the pace and finish running.

That was exactly what I was hoping to hear.  I KNEW that if I could find people to keep focus on as I continued to will my body forward (this was Mile 16 of my morning…I could not feel my legs), that I would be more likely to keep moving period.

So they let me tag along and we alternated between workshopping (they’re also doing the Tough Mudder Sunday Session) and rocking out on our iPods.

In case you were wondering what sort of bond can be formed between three running strangers, we definitely exchanged hugs after crossing the finish line.

Final time for the 13.1 = 2:05:51.  Considering that those miles were the back 2/3 of my long run, and the weather was (bluntly) horrid, I am extremely proud of that.

Post-race I had a more disheartening moment than that one time where Marcus was at brunch and couldn’t bring me ice for an ice bath.

You see, I was planning on meeting up with Ann, Jay, Hannah and Nancy (madre of Ann) once we all crossed the finish line because Nancy had our sweats.

What we did not think through: We were all crossing the finish line at different times, and while I had Ann’s number, I didn’t have Nancy’s OR Jay’s.


So, soaking wet and with only the space blanket that I Houdini-ed out of my Spibelt, I realized that I was totally alone on this earth and without any dry clothes to stave of hypothermia.

Yes, it was seriously just like that.

Thank the Lord for the kind woman in the pavilion who was doling out dry clothing from The Island of Misfit Toys to Runners Who Looked Like They Really Needed It.  Marcus is I am now +1 men’s size large, royal blue, long-sleeved technical shirt.

Without going into anymore details about The Shivering  or the part where I used the hand-dryer in the bathroom in an attempt to dry my pink shirt, we all crossed the finish line.

I’d like to say that it all got better.  That I couldn’t see my breath.  That the rain let-up.  That the wind slowed.  But the reality is that by the time we made it back to Ann and Jay’s, we were all but completely numb and ready to throw our bodies into the electric fireplace in an attempt to warm-up.

Sometimes you just have to accept the natural order of things.

What have you been up to this weekend?

Get in Gear Runners, how was your race?

18 responses to “Get in Gear Half Marathon 2012

  1. Great seeing you this weekend! You are my running inspiration 🙂

  2. Ummm….I am kinda appreciating living in Hawaii about now. 😉
    Really though–I have very fond memories of races in the cold and rain (Oregon,) and though I was miserable at the time, I remember feeling extremely super-human afterwards…and the coffee is all the more appreciated.
    Good work–and keep it up!

  3. Awesome race, girl!!! Those race conditions were terrible. I wanted to stay around and cheer on the finishers but my body could not hadle it 😦

    But it was great to see you be four the race!

  4. Hey Kat!! Great job on the race. I”m finally getting back to running next week – i’d love to meet up! BTW- i signed up for birchbox! 🙂

  5. I just rolled out of bed and had started the coffee. I was laying on the couch trying to figure out how I was going to get 11 miles out before the heat came out.

    I am back in the USA and my body is wiped from jetlag. Your post go me moving though. Thanks for the great post. Tenacious is the right word.

    I share Erica’s sentiments, you are an inspiration.

  6. Two years ago? You just started running two years ago? I’m stunned. You’re like my ‘runner on a pedestal’ runner. I think of you as THE runner. I’m even more proud now of what you’ve accomplished in such a short time. Way to rock it, little frozen one!

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  8. Wow, only two years of running like this. Very impressive. It’s fun to hear you recount your running experiences. You do a great job.

    This weekend: Yesterday it was swim tryouts for the older three. They made it no problem, my children are fish. Their dad played polo (water) through high school and college and, dove on the team and swam for the team. So the kids have all seemed to inherit this natural capability to swim so far. My husband said, “watching our oldest son swim is like watching himself swim, his arms come unraveling out of the water like a squid.” It’s totally true. My husband has crazy long arms. When you put your arm span out to the side it’s supposed to equal your height. My husband is 6’2 and his arm span is just over 6’5!!! My oldest son is following in suit. So naturally this unusual arm span will make swimming a snap….

    They also had tennis academy after swim tryouts. While the younger kids are at academy we take the even younger kids and my oldest who is done by then to the park.

    Today we go to church from 9:00am to 12:00pm, but I’m home with one of our sons who has a stomach bug….bummer.

    Take great care and enjoy the rest of your weekend!


  9. Awesome job! That’s a great time considering you had already done seven miles. Crazy!
    Ooh, that after the race cold feeling from crappy weather is awful.
    This weekend included getting sunburned, watching some football, and accidentally switching desserts with my dad. Yup.

  10. WOW!!! You’re awesome! To run a race in conditions like that . . . bravo. Bravo! XD

  11. Umm… yes shivering. Totally did that.

    Great job staying strong! and excellent finish.

    Also, I totally took notes for my proposed (and much debated) Women’s Rock Half in conjunction with 20 mile long run.

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  13. While y’all were on that freezing course, I was in hot yoga sculpt dedicating my sweaty practice to you, Ann and Jay staying warm. Clearly I’m not as hardcore as you. Glad you made it through the race without injury or hypothermia of the hospitalization sort!

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  15. Running in cold rain is the worst! Rain can be fun, cold is bearable…but together it just plain sucks. And I think you did pretty darn awesome with your half time considering the extra 7 miles and the weather! Great job!

    I also ran 20 this weekend…only it was breezy, sunny and only a little chilly at the beginning. I’m thinking your 20 was a little more hard earned though…

  16. Making new friends who are chiropractors is very wise! And Happy Birthday! I am a Taurus too. It explains so much. Congrats on the run!

  17. So proud/inspired by you keeping your head in the race in those conditions. You are a major RUN-inspiration for me. And I cannot believe that you have only been running for two years! Amazing! Great job and so looking forward to hearing how all this hard work plays out for you on Marathon day. I have a sinking feeling that you are going to crush 26.2 😉

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