As many of you know winter finally hit the south this past weekend and the city of Jackson turned into one giant icicle. The 10th annual Mississippi Blues Marathon was eventually canceled, but here is my story of how I would eventually run my 14th half marathon.
Last week I started feeling ill on Tuesday and was in the doctor’s office by Wednesday. I had a pretty bad upper respiratory infection and was the lucky recipient of several shots. I tried to talk the doctor out of the shots but she told me if I wanted any chance to run by Saturday I would have to suck it up. Did I mention I hate shots?
After being a couch potato for three days I was finally feeling better Friday afternoon. The husband and I made the drive north to Jackson that evening. I knew a strong cold front was coming through with the chance for some snow flurries. By the time we were 30 minutes from Jackson the entire highway was a sheet of ice. We were in my husband’s 4×4 truck so we were OK, but we passed numerous cars in the ditches.
We finally made it to the Expo at the Jackson Convention Center at about 7:00pm. I was super excited to get my number and the amazing race jacket. I took a few pictures outside with the ice (this is a big deal for us southerners) and made our way to dinner.
The Iron Horse was a few blocks from the race start and one of the stops on the post race Blues Crawl, also eventually canceled. While we were having dinner I got the news……the race was CANCELLED. I was upset and thought the race powers to be were overreacting.
I checked in to our hotel and had a pout session in our room for a few minutes. My husband forced me to leave the room since we did not have to get up early anymore. We found a hodge podge of runners drinking beer and hanging out in the hotel lobby. We decided to join them and trade running stories. While we were hanging out I was consistently checking the race Facebook page for updates and to see what the other runners were saying. I’ll leave it at this, hell hath no fury like a runner whose race was cancelled.”
The next morning I woke up to read the race officials were back at the Convention Center giving out packets and medals. I decided I would attempt to run the half marathon distance on my own then collect my medal after. I took two steps outside and almost slid across the hotel parking lot. Every cement surface was completely iced over. No running for me. By the way it was cold…..22 degrees with a 9 degree wind chill. Brrrrrrrrrrr.
I decided to walk to the Convention Center. It took me an hour and half to walk, slide, and shuffle my way there. I finally understood why they cancelled this race and agreed 100% with the decision.
I got my medal but kept it in the wrapper, promising myself I would do the distance to earn it.
We spent the rest of our weekend in Jackson checking out local restaurants and meeting up with some friends who lived in the area.
Once I was back home in much warmer Louisiana I decided to run my own half marathon. I set out Monday afternoon from my front door to Highway 22, which was a the entrance to my neighborhood. Most of my trek was along the highway which should be called an autobahn with how fast the vehicles go.
I thought it would be hard to motivate myself with the lack of scenery, other runners, and aid stations. I actually felt good, thirsty, but good.
I kept a steady pace and finished the 13.1 miles in 1 hour, 56 minutes, and 27 seconds, good for first place………just kidding. I was happy with my time considering the factors.
I went inside my house, opened my medal, and had my own mini celebration. I wish I could have partaken in my traditional post run beer, but I had a 12 hour shift to get to.
The half marathon distance is getting somewhat easier for me and I’m learning to be more consistent with my pace. Hopefully now that I have tackled not hitting the wall I can step up my speed.
That was my last half marathon until the Fall, and my last race in the 30-34 age group. My next race is the kick off race to the Quadburners Series 2017, The Frosted Fanny 4 miler, on January 28. Until next time!