The Securian Winter Half Marathon
Minnesota knows how to throw a runner a party! I woke up bright and early on Saturday for the Securian Winter Run and had my pre-race breakfast of a cinnamon raison bagel, my delish seizure medication, and a bottle of water.
The wind was quite literally shaking our house and so I put on tights and then layered my wind pants over the top. I put on my thermal underarmour top, my Emergen-C singlet, a wind coat, and then Emergen-C jacket over the top of all that. I set aside a warm hat, face mask, gloves, smartwool socks, Garmin, and my trail shoes and then attempted to relax a bit until it was time to go.
I’m a good one at trying new things on race day (I’m sure you’ve figured that out by now) so I had set aside my jug of Trail Toes in anticipation of this race. Right before leaving the house I slathered my tootsies with this goodness and then threw on my socks and shoes and headed out the door.
Hubby and I rode over to the Securian Center in our trusty old-new Limovan and I handed out samples of Emergen-C to the masses. If you’ve never tried Emergen-C, you really should give it a shot. It’s pretty amazing. There are even recipes available online so you can make smoothies with it or add it to your yogurt or ice cream. Mixing it with hot water is awesome in the cold temps and is similar to having a cup of tea and the raspberry Emergen-C in a cup of hot cocoa is so fantastic! Folks at the pre-race were enthusiastic to receive their sample, and that was nice to see!
Soon enough it was time to hit the cold air and start running the Securian Half Marathon. I walked outside and my first thought was “WHAT WAS I THINKING??” I almost turned around and went back inside. The wind-chill was -19 and my face felt instantly like when you eat ice cream too fast—you know that ‘brain freeze’?? Yeah- that was my FACE. Brrrrrrr. And I had a mask on.
The countdown to go was starting so I jogged towards where I thought I should start and then turned around and went…over the starting line and onto the course. I think I started my Garmin about 100m in or so when I could get my glove to hit the button. It didn’t really matter as I didn’t look at it until I was done.
The course was challenging. There were more hills than I expected. That wasn’t really the challenging part though. The tricky part was that the course was coated in a nice layer of ice. This wouldn’t be so bad…I’m used to running on icy areas, but this was ice you couldn’t really see. Suddenly I’d just start sliding. No grip at all anywhere. It was a game to stay upright for stretches at a time. Tip toe running. I moved along the side of the road and criss crossed to snowy areas to maintain a grip.
At one point just after 6 or so miles on one of the larger uphill’s, I hit one of those really slippery stretches and was feeling pretty confident about holding my own with my tiptoe running. I even picked up speed a little. Suddenly the ground went out from under me and my legs flew up in the air. I could see my own feet in the sky. It must have been an amazingly awesome sight. I’m a pretty good faller and didn’t try to catch myself and just sort of ‘fell’ rather than busting my arms. Instead I’m pretty sure I busted my butt. I was stunned for a second and then ready to carry on and so brushed off and attempted to get up. The ground went out from under me AGAIN as I slid forward this time, face first and palms down. I lightly knocked my head and shoulder and the ground but I think my boobs added a bit of cushion—THANKS BOOBS, you may not be much, but you were there when I needed you!
This time, I laid there for a bit. I thought about quitting. I’d like to say that it was my awesome determination and strength that made me get up and keep going. In reality, I got cold. Getting cold made me get up and go forward in a running motion towards the finish. Going forward in a running motion towards the finish made me keep running towards the finish and ultimately finish this race.
I moved pretty slowly in Securian. I got pretty cold. I actually had a great time and smiled a lot. Even after I fell. I was pretty psyched when I finished. No harm, no foul. I finished with a time of 2:11:11 which I can’t say was a very awesome time, but I can say gave me an opportunity to chat with plenty of people along the way, enjoy the scenery, and reflect quite a bit on how chilly out it was.
The Trail Toes? I pulled off my socks and my feet were…soft! So weird. It was as if I had applied a moisturizing treatment while running instead of ‘beating’ my feet. I’ll test it on a longer run but this was a nice trial to start with and it held up great. No blisters, hot spots, nada. My feet came out better than they went in. I give it thumbs up and an extra star for easy application considering all I had to do was scoop and slather and go.
Sunday I woke up and sure enough I had a few new bruises and a sore leg. I’m pleased as this seems like something that will go away in a day or two. Could have been worse and I probably entertained a few people with the fall.
Would I do Securian again? Sure thing. It was a well-organized race and there were people out cheering even with the cold gusts of wind, people volunteering and handing out water even with below zero temps. They had an indoor pre and post-race area to stay warm while not running AND you get a mug instead of a medal. I love race mugs. I’ll be back.
It was too cold out there for hubby to take pics so I just have some pics from the Emergen-C sampling. You’ll have to just enjoy the smiling faces of the people who got samples of Emergen-C!