We took a photo (above) of the Salubrians at the race (from L to R, Linda, Melissa (Supermel), Caren, Bill, and Kerstin (nordicski).
The race today was just plain fun. After a ridiculous 45 minutes of changing my clothes every 5 minutes, because it was just too warm, or was it too cold?- I couldn't figure out what to wear. Was there wind? I think I felt wind! We finally lined up outside and it was chilly, but it was the perfect kind of chilly you want to feel before running or a ski race. It was a fun crowd...only a motley crew would get up early on a Wintery morning and come out to run in Minnesota, especially given that last year the temperature hovered around freezing. But today it was 18 degrees!!! And it felt like 8 degrees!! It was so hot...we could hardly cope!! It's crazy to think that 48 hours ago it was -15 in cities! At the race, there were in fact four people I saw running in shorts and one man in a singlet with bare arms. I'm not that crazy...at least not yet.
The first 5 miles went by so fast, mainly because it was an out and back race so my friend Linda and I were amused watching the winners zoom by us on their way in (we first saw them after we'd been running only 45 minutes!!!) and then we started looking for our speedier friends to come by. Somewhere in there my friend Sage's partner Barb appeared with a big grin and a sign with my name on it!! "Go Kerstin"....and in small print at the bottom, "pronounced with a Norwegian Accent." It was awesome. I had a fan!! How cool was that. It was a high efficiency sign, as Sage's Go Sage (in a Ukrainian or Russian accent??) was on the other side. Funnily enough, another cheerer that was right next to Barb kept calling me Sage the whole rest of the race which made me smile. But I was fine with that because Sage is MUCH easier to pronounce then my name. Had I corrected him it would have probably turned into a 15 minute conversation about Swedish linguistics and grammar.
The mile before the turn around did seem to be deceptively long, but Linda said we would likely hear the turn around before we saw it and she was right. We saw a friend from our running group, Mary, (who unfortunately just broke her ankle on a run) at the turn around, had a few hugs and kept going. We kept up our run/walk, 4:1 method the whole time and it felt so great. I love that system. I noticed on the miles where we skipped the walk for whatever reason my body would nag me and say, Hey! You're supposed to walk a bit. On the way back things were quieter, the crowd was thinning out more. There was a woman in purple running in Minnie Mouse Ears with a sign on her back that said "It's Just Like Florida..." so that entertained us for a while. I wondered if she had just run Disney and was happy about the smaller crowd. I did get a bit colder on the way back and we started to slow down a bit, but we kept going. We added a bit more walking in and it felt good to stretch out. We kept going and were nearing downtown Saint Paul again. I could tell Linda was getting a wee bit tired because she wasn't smiling anymore!! But, she was so right when she said "you can do anything for 4 minutes!." We kept going and we could see the turn back up to the finish line. That hill was steep! We walked the hill and then ran through the finish, very happy to be done. 2:23:20 was my time and I was very happy with that. Linda had a fabulous PR of 10 minutes!! I was worried I'd run too fast for her...but I think she'll run with me again!! :)
We cheered a bit more then got some food. We got nifty little mugs with snowflakes on them (and people know I LOVE snowflakes)and they came with little spoons attached to the handle so you could stir your cocoa. It will be oh so cute on my desk at work. Melissa, Sage and I went out for breakfast after which was great. Now I have to find another half marathon to do soon....I don't think I can wait until the SLC Half in April!!
I also have to post these next photos. That's Chris (the husband), Erin (the sister, who ran Grandma's with me and is running SLC Half with me), and Me skiing at the golf course near my house. I think we're laughing because Sage had just fallen down trying to take our photo!
And the next photo is our crazy cat Pinot with her crazy eyes playing the tail game which she plays for hours every evening. That darn tail is just always hovering just out of reach!!