I’ve run the Get Lucky 21K the past three years and I have to say it is one of my favorite spring races. It’s low key, easy to get to, and well run. In 2015 and 2016 we had beautiful 50 degree days, but this year? Not so much.
It was 19 degrees with a real feel of 6 at the start. I ran 2.5 miles to the start line to get some of my mileage in before hand and I spent the whole warm up dreading the race. My hands were cold. My face was cold. And the wind was craaaaazy.
I tried to adjust my attitude at the start line. I love racing. I should be excited, right? I didn’t really set expectations for myself. I knew a PR would be tough on my tired legs, but I always get this adrenaline rush during races that gives me some speed.
The first 6.5 miles flew by. I was cruising. All of my miles were 7:30 or faster. I felt confident I was actually going to PR easily…and then I hit the turn around.
WIND IN YOUR FACE. I had tears blowing out of my eyes instantly. The wind was insane. I felt like I was sprinting, but getting no where. I was hoping that it would die down after a mile or two, but no such luck.
I wasn’t even really checking my watch for the entire second half. I felt like I had slowed down a lot, but I wasn’t sure if that was just the effect of the wind or if I really had. I’ll be honest, I just wanted to get to that finish line.
I felt so bad for the volunteers too. They were frozen. There were ice chunks in the water it was so cold. And my hands were too numb to open my pack of chews, so I didn’t have anything throughout the race. That didn’t help either.
At mile 9 I lost all feeling in my left hand. It really freaked me out. I was trying to massage it with my other hand and shake some blood into it, but it wasn’t working. It was distracting and concerning and was my slowest mile of the race (7:52).
I decided to just ignore it because what else could I do? I had less than 3 miles to go and I knew I just had to get there. I had no idea what my time would be or how fast I needed to run to PR, but I didn’t really care. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.
I did pick up my pace the last few miles (7:20 average) even though it didn’t feel like it. I crossed that finish line at 1:38:59. 7:34 average pace. Missing my PR by 16 seconds. 16 SECONDS?!
I was bummed for a minute. I thought wow I should have checked my watch and tried harder those last few miles, but the truth is I gave what I had. I was not having fun. The wind was absolutely brutal and I just wanted to be done. And this time is nothing to scoff at. I have to be proud of my hard work. I battled the elements after another hard week of marathon training (7 quick miles the night before) and hadn’t been putting pressure on myself to PR.
I was proud. This pace is kind of my sweet spot for half marathons and I’m not sure when I’ll break it, but I’m in no hurry. I’m training to PR my marathon right now, not my half. I will try to break it sometime when I’m in a half marathon training cycle, but right now I’m enjoying the higher mileage and focusing on another Boston Qualifying time.
I have to give a shout out to my support system. My parents and Kyle were waiting at the finish line with hand warmers, an extra jacket, and food. I was able to get right in the car and warm up and I can’t say how happy that made me. I’d be nothing without their support! 23rd half marathon and they’ll still show up…that’s love.
Overall, I still love the Get Lucky race, I’m proud of my performance, and I’ll be back next year hoping it’s a 50 degree day again.