The atrocious half marathon…

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Ok,maybe it wasn’t quite this bad…

There’s something refreshing about running in atrocious weather. Not that I don’t love a nice 60 degree sunny run, but facing the elements gives one the clichéd ” feeling alive” sensation. I wouldn’t want to do it all winter long, but this weekend I faced the winter head on and loved it.

It’s no news the whole nation seems to be under a nasty arctic blast. In Texas that means freezing rain and 20-39 temps. You Minnesotans and New Englanders may laugh at me, but as much as I pride myself on my ability to handle 90 degrees and 90% humidity, I lack any fortitude when it comes to the cold. So misty and 29 degrees is my personal idea of brutal….and that was my weather for the Decker half marathon.

I scheduled this race back in June with a friend. We planned a “for fun, but let’s keep it pretty brisk” kind of run. But my friend had to do a last minute race bail. When I saw temps forecasted in the 20s, I gave serious thought to bailing too. But, 1. I already paid for it, 2. The alternative was 2 hours on the treadmill or loops in the he neighborhood in the he same crappy weather, and 3. I had cleared this with Mike ages ago and he already had planned the morning with Jasper, aka a kitchen pass. I had to gut it out.

Driving a short ways out of town to the county expo center where this race is always held, and there was freakin’ snow on the ground. This just doesn’t happen here! One saving grace was that we wait in the expo center for the start….as in heat and indoor bathrooms with hot water. Got my packet, dashed out to the car,made a last minute wardrobe decision,quick bathroom stop,then headed out for 13 miles of misty, sub freezing fun.

As I mentioned, I love this race. It’s not on the same downtown loop that all Austin races seem to favor. It’s out on country roads, super hilly, and very well done. There’s no gimmicks….just runners who want a tough day to run a little harder than we would on our own. Once I got started, I tried to enjoy the experience. As I said, sometimes atrocious weather is wonderful. I had a loving atrocious weather kind of day. I dipped way under my estimated finish time (1:54, goal was just sub 2:00). I had moments of being too toasty in the warmest fleece I own but a wind would hit and I was happy to have it. The volunteers for this race are some of the best out there. I probably was grimacing as I ran since the cold pretty much paralyzed my face, but I was smiling on the inside. Freezing mist, hills, occasional bits of ice, what’s not to love? It went by quick and I was so glad I sucked it up and gutted it out. I did make a mad dash for my car at the end, and called home to request a fresh pot of hot coffee….once I’m done running in the atrocious weather I am ready to get warm!

Despite my temporary love for all things tundra this weekend, I will be confined to the treadmill all week since Jaspy and I are flying solo. I don’t really think Jasper wants to sit in stroller in 28 degrees. At least I had one big, atrocious weather running moment before I spend the rest of the week running in 70 degrees inside with an iPad. Catching up on shows in a warm house while it’s 28 degrees out isn’t exactly a bad gig either…..

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