Sunday, January 20, 2013

First Race of 2013 - Cascade Half-Marathon

I remember when we were planning our 2013 race calendar I said, I'm not going to do a race in January, it's too cold. But somehow I ended up at the start line of the Cascade Half-Marathon this morning.

A week ago, the forecast was 52* and partly cloudy, which sounded perfect for a race. However, that changed to 29* and foggy today. Definitely the coldest weather I have ever run in. I was only doing this race as a training run and to add another race to my 30 by 30 goal, so I didn't feel any pressure to finish in a certain time or hold a certain pace. I didn't even really look at my Garmin most of the time, I tried to just run at a comfortable pace and have fun.

After the first mile or so I had warmed up, but my hands and face were pretty cold. I could see frost forming on my eyelashes and people that I passed had frost on their hair and headbands. I had gloves on but after an hour my fingers were going numb. I took turns putting one hand in my jacket and holding my handheld in the other to try to warm them up, but as the race went on I lost more and more feeling in my hands. Some people had bare hands! I don't know what they did to keep them warm.

When I hit the 2-hour mark I was about 10.5 miles in, and I knew if I held my pace I could finish in under 2:30 so at that point I started paying attention to how fast I was running. Also I was slightly concerned about getting frostbite in my fingers and wanted to finish as soon as I could without pushing the pace too much since I was supposed to be treating it as a long training run.

I ended up finishing in 2:28:02, and for the first time ever I had a negative split! 1:14:15 for the first half, 1:13:47 for the second. I always have a slower second half so I was happy to finally speed up at the end.


The race was held at a high school, and they had chicken soup, bread, and cookies in the cafeteria for the runners. It felt funny going through the cafeteria line to get food and then finding a table, it was just like high school. We had plans to go to lunch after so I just had a piece of bread and some cookies. After the feeling came back in my fingers and face I changed clothes and we headed out.

Overall I really liked this race. I paid the highest registration fee since I signed up a week out, and it was still only $60. They provided Brooks long-sleeve tees and a nice medal, as well as a lanyard, luggage tag (kind of random), and hand warmers at packet pick-up. I really wish I had seen the hand warmers before the race! It was really well organized, and since it was held at a school we could wait inside the gym until it started and had access to real bathrooms and showers. Hubs, my ever faithful race crew-er, was able to hang out in the gym and use the school's wifi while he waited for me. I think I will definitely do this race again next year, but hopefully it is a little warmer :)

Crossing the finish line

Frost in my hair 

My chin was numb so I couldn't smile right 

Next up is a week off running, then training for my 12-hour race starting next Sunday!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Goals

Each year it seems I have fewer and fewer running goals. For me it helps to focus on just a few important goals, when I had a lot of goals they started to interfere with each other (i.e. increasing speed for a shorter race distance while also increasing distance to do longer races) and I ended up getting injured with overtraining.

These are my goals for 2013:

1. Run a 12-hour race

2. Complete 8 half-marathons (this is part of a larger, multi-year goal to complete 30 half-marathons before I turn 30 in July 2014. Currently I am at 16.)

3. Run 1000 miles (this year I ran 970 miles and was very tempted to squeeze 30 miles into the last 2 days of the year.)

Race calendar so far:

January - Cascade Half-Marathon

February - Heart Breaker Half-Marathon

March - Lincoln City Half-Marathon

April - nothing planned

May - Hippie Chick Half-Marathon (walking with my mom for Mother's Day) and Redmond Watershed Preserve 12-Hour Run

June - Helvetia Half-Marathon and Vancouver USA Half-Marathon

July - Fueled by Fine Wine Half-Marathon (birthday weekend tradition)

August - nothing planned

September - nothing planned

October - Autumn Leaves 50K or 50 Miler

November - nothing planned

December - Operation Jack Northwest 6-Hour Run

So there you have it! 2013 in black and white. Somewhere in there I will add 1 or 2 more half-marathons to reach that goal.

It's shaping up to be a good year.