Yesterday one of my besties, Nicole, and I ran a half marathon, called the Hypothermichalf!!
It was a very challenging run, the condition of the trail was super icy and we hit some major psychological walls during the run, needless to say we are super excited and proud…we did it!!
Here’s the thing, we did not train for this race. I know…seriously. We were both eager to get back into running after the typical winter hiatus a lot of runners experience. I have been recovering from a foot injury, while still keeping fit swimming and working out. My bestie is in great shape, working out multiple times a week with me and on weekends with her super fit hubby. Although the idea seemed a little on the crazy side, I am so grateful Nicole jumped in for the adventure!
We checked out the route a few days before the race and the trail, although icy, wasn’t too terrible. We ran almost 10k and felt like it was going to be challenging but doable race day. It also gave us an opportunity to fine tune our race gear for the big day.
Sunday morning, Nicole dropped off her three kids at my place and we headed to the location of the start of the race.
Big thanks to my amazing husband for looking after 6 kids while we ran and even bringing them to cheer us on at a turn point!
Initially the route was 10.5 km out then turn and 10.5 km back. However due to the conditions of the trail deteriorating further out, the organizers decided to change the route. While I totally respect they made the best decision possible, the way the route ended up being was really really tough psychologically for me. So we ran up 7km then turned back to the finish line, turned and went up 4km then back again to the finish line. Well to turn at the finish line when fast runners where finishing kinda sucked. If the bottom turn point was even like 1km from the finish line it would have been better I think for me psychologically.
Going back up was tough on us both. We did it, however A LOT of runners that were behind us didn’t. They quit at that turn point. I was reading Piper’s Run, and her recap volunteering for the Hypothermichalf, she stated there were a lot of injuries, including a broken arm! We did see one lady go down and a lot of people were slipping. It was crazy icy and I was so grateful both of us had extra traction on our sneakers and neither one of us experienced an injury. One spot on the route there was blood in the ice and that was super disconcerting too. It was seriously a challenging run psychologically and physically (due to the ice).
It was super cold at the start of the race, I wore long underwear under my running tights, knee high compression socks and three layers on top. Nicole and I bought identical, yet different colour coats the week before for the run. I had thick mittens that I handed off to my husband at the turning point and wore the gloves and neck warmer that were part of the race kit. Once we got running, I was warm and the sun shined beautifully all morning.
I would not recommend this run for a beginner. Everyone that took part looked to be seasoned runners. The weather can be very unpredictable and the trail conditions were so not ideal. I would definitely recommend Yak Tracks or something similar (my husband got mine at Costco a few years ago).
I am so glad we experienced the Hypothermichalf! It was great to feel like a runner again after recovering from an injury. I had the opportunity to spend a gorgeous, albeit chilly morning with a fantastic friend. We also took a chance, believed in ourselves and each other, encouraged each other and pushed our bodies to the edge. Bonus…the metal is so pretty!! It has sparkles and snowflakes!!!
Up next we will be running a half marathon at the Bluenose. We will definitely start training now so we are better prepared both physically and psychologically for the demands of running long distance.
Are you a runner? Do you winter run? What challenges have you faced? Or do you just think I am a little crazy (that’s ok I am a little!)?