October 17, 2006 at 7:49 pm #5654
Anne, did you survive the snow? Just curious how you half went. Let us know.
October 18, 2006 at 2:03 pm #21819
At one point I was wondering if we'd survive the trip up there, there were some tense times on the highway Friday night. My husband was not too keen on driving up there with the weather forecast being what it was so we took the wait & see approach, give it a try & if it got too bad turn around.
It was fine until 35 miles south of Ashland when the storm started & conditions went from o.k. to complete whiteout. We were inching along trying to find a place to pull off when it stopped, just like that. Windy but no snow for the remaining 11 miles of the trip. Big, big sigh of relief.
We found our “resort” which is another story altogether, I expected Rod Serling to walk into the room at any minute & tell us we'd just entered the Twilight Zone. At this point I knew I was going to owe my husband big time.
Woke up at sunrise Saturday to the sound of duck hunters blasting away, could have left the alarm clock home. The weather was actually much better then what I expected, partly sunny, cold but not terrible. We were sheltered from the wind so I couldn't tell how bad it was until I got to the start of the 1/2 & we were out in the open. It was a cold wait & trying to stay warm was a challenge, you could tell some people were having trouble.
The only thing that really bothered me were my toes. I wore an old nylon jacket over a zip up l/s Dri Fit shirt, tights, mittens & hat. Took the jacket off at 3 miles & was fine for the rest of the race as far as temps. The projected temps with windchill was 19 but it didn't feel that cold to me but then I warm up fast.
The 1/2 course starts out with a 3 mile loop on a county road then we turn onto the trail portion of the course that leads us back to Ashland. I had been told when I picked up my packet the 1/2 course was in excellent condition-next time I'll ask for a definition of excellent. The pavement portion was fine, had to watch ice patches. It was when we turned onto the trail that was the surprise, it was covered in a layer of ice over snow over very soft dirt. Footing was not good, felt like you were running in crunchy beach sand.
Hit the first wooden bridge & a couple of people slipped ahead of me so I was cautious going over. At the second bridge there was a spectator or volunteer who warned us that the bridge was slick, he was right. Not 15 seconds later my foot shot right out from under me and I turned my left ankle trying to catch myself. That hurt & for the next couple of miles I ran very carefully on it trying to switch my stride to try & find a way to keep the impact to a minimum, not an easy thing to do.
The conditions of the trail had improved around mile 6 so that if I stayed to the far right of the trail the surface was firm, the less I had to dig in for traction the better my ankle felt.
The rest of the the race was pretty uneventful. You get off the trail & run on pavement back into town. Went across the finish line, got my medal, met my husband & went to the car while he got some ice for me.
Skipped the food & refreshments & went back to the cottage to put my foot up & keep the ice on. It wasn't until later in the afternoon that I realized I'd forgotten to get my finishers shirt so we swung by on our way to dinner later in the evening to pick it up. Bright green tech shirt, no one will miss someone wearing that color, think alien green.
My ankle was swollen and tender the next couple of days, today it's slightly discolored but feels much better.
I had hoped to better my Green Bay time & hit 7:40's, my 1/2 MP in training. The results show:
1:44 chip time, 7:56 pace
5/94 age group (45-49)
I didn't mind the temps. but I did feel sorry for the volunteers, it had to have been pretty bitter those first few hours. It ended up being quite nice later in the day & Sunday was beautiful.
So I've had the hot & muggy of Grandma's & the wind & cold at Whistlestop, wonder what's next? I'll be sure to find out because I like the 1/2 distance & want to find another one in the spring, late spring, further south. 😉
October 18, 2006 at 7:26 pm #21820
Thanks for the report Anne. Good race, despite the conditions and the ankle. I can sympathize with your ankle sprain. On my Sunday run, I hit a patch of loose asphalt in the dark and went down hard, severely spraining my left ankle. Of course I was 3 miles from home, and it was 26 degrees out. After a mile or so of hobbling, I got a ride from a samaritan and made it home ok. So just taking it easy now.
Check the Striders website for 1/2 marathons in Springtime. I'm sure there's something out there that'll work for you.
October 18, 2006 at 7:33 pm #21821
October 18, 2006 at 7:59 pm #21822
Trailbreaker is good (and happens to start/finish a few blocks from my home) but, if I were looking for a race to shoot for as a goal, I'd check the Striders website for the South Shore Half, which is usually anywhere from the same week as Trailbreaker to 2 weeks after. I've done Trailbreaker twice and South Shore once and think South Shore is a little more well organized, although it doesn't have all the little extras. It's obviously organized by competitive runners. Minimalistic but well organized.
Being in the late March/early April timeframe, though, both can run the gamut as far as weather conditions go. The snow could be flying or it could be 70 and sunny, which feels tropical at that time of the year.
October 19, 2006 at 4:10 pm #21823
My ankle hurts out of sympathy, Anne. (Until reading about your misfortunre, it was the PF I now have in both arches that's kept my attention.) Might have been worse if not for all the ankle-strengthening trail running you did this summer, who knows?
You have experienced Mother Nature's range of moods, haven't you? Well, you should be pleased with your toughness. That's a very respectable time given the conditions.
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