Jan. 23, 2016 | Oregon Winter Half Marathon 2016
There are two kinds of people in the world: people who do stupid things and liars.
Let me preface this race recap by admitting that I had not run more than 3 miles since my last race back in November. For reasons of absolute ridiculousness, I had somehow convinced myself that it was a good idea to have my first race of 2016 be a half marathon. Was I setting myself up for a difficult run? You betcha.
The Oregon Winter Half took place on a golf course, with two loops around and through the course clocking in at 13.1 miles exactly. The conditions were, well, as you would expect Portland to be in the middle-end of January. Despite the course having relatively flat and even paths, deep pools of water formed quickly with the heavy rain.
The heats were separated by just several seconds. For the first mile, most of the runners were in one giant parade. It wasn’t until the first hill came along that the runners began to disperse throughout the course. The rain poured down, but not enough to soak the feet or the legs. The course took care of that though; as the race went on, what probably started off as little puddles became what basically were ponds. Runners veered to avoid the pools of water, occasionally stepping off the paved course onto the (soft and extremely muddy) grass in an attempt to stay as dry as possible.
I, for one, figured the rain was going to get me anyway and, at one point, there was no way for me avoid what could have only been called a lake several miles into the run. With no choice but to just continue running with a balls-to-the-walls perspective with regards to the water, I started to just plow my way through the water.
My socks and shoes can only hold so much water anyway.
By the way, in case any of you didn’t know, wet shoes and socks are heavy as sh*t. After the first splash into the water, I told myself that it was a poor decision; it made the run just that much harder. Yet, I kept doing it.
Sometime during the middle part of the race, when I was about to hit the 5th mile mark, the rain stopped. I have to hand it to Nike’s Dri-FIT material; after about 10 minutes or so, my jacket had completely dried.
That is, until it started raining again. Nature sure had a funny sense of humor that morning.
After the first lap around the course, I could feel my legs getting tired. I found it interesting that once I hit the 7th mile I had a burst of energy. I believe this is what some people call the Second Wind. But just as quickly and abruptly as the energy came, it passed right at the 8th mile mark. Was I upset? Kind of. I was hoping to glide my way to the finish line. Instead, I swam. Then trudged. (One would argue that my gait was worthy of a Muppet.) It wasn’t until the last 0.1 of the run that my legs magically sprung to life for the final kick.
(…because remember, as long as your finishing photo looks good, people won’t think you felt like dying during the actual run.)