You do get medals for running around in circles at the Olympic Oval, however. So that's how I chose to start my 2014 season. The race wasn't the most exciting I've ever been to, but there were some familiar faces there to keep me company. Well, to keep passing me every couple of laps or so anyway. It was nice to have an aid station available on every lap and it was stocked with Swedish Fish, a welcome treat at any race.
The best part was being able to watch the speed skaters whooshing around on the ice track just inside the running track. They made it look so effortless, and it was a nice distraction from running in circles. Another nice distraction was the people who were spinning on the bikes for the whole time. They had it worse off than we did.
Aside from the obvious boredom of track running for hours, there was the issue of lap counting. They had sensors out that were supposedly tracking how many times one went around. You could hear a faint beep as you passed over, letting you know it registered. But there were times when too many people went across at once and it didn't seem to be able to get everyone. In the end, it said I had registered 48 laps, enough to be a half marathon. But those 48 laps took me 3:20:23, which is close to my worst finish time ever, the finish time where I walked most of the time due to IT band issues. I am consoling myself with the fact that there were issues with the lap counts, as well as the fact that I was running in the outside lanes of the track, thus logging more actual mileage. It was a well put together race aside from the lap counts though. The very friendly volunteers and a cool venue made it a nice way to start the year.
|Half marathon #36 in the books.|
|It's not THAT cold. (Yeah, right.)|
|I did indeed freeze my buns off.|
|Really regretting my life choices right now.|
|Despite the look on my face, it wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be.|
|The look of relief is priceless.|
|The worst picture of me in the history of the world. But also, a picture of victory. And a really great, green towel.|
I'm also going to be more involved in the volunteer side of races this year. Next month, I'm heading down to Moab to help out with the Red Hot Ultra and in April, I'm flying out to North Carolina to volunteer at the Umstead 100, as well as pace a friend through a portion of her first 100 mile effort. I think this is going to be my most fun year yet!
Happy running :)