I did the Cedars Frostbite Half Marathon on Saturday. After choosing not to finish a half in December, I decided to be stealth about this one. Only four people knew I was doing this: Hubs, because he’s hubs; my mom, so she would know I’d be out of pocket; my boss, who was also registered and saw my name on the list; and someone from my running club who asked me if I was doing it.
The Cedars is part of the Tennessee Running Tour, the oldest state park running tour in the country. It takes place at Cedars of Lebanon State Park, about 50 minutes from my home. It’s a very low cost race, only $20 and that includes a tech shirt.
When I arrived at the starting point I asked others about the course. I kept hearing one word: hilly. This put a bit of fear into me because of my non-finish in December. I calmed down by reminding myself that this was simply a training run with a medal at the end. But just before the race I learned the event doesn’t include medals. (Again, we only paid $20; $8 without a shirt.) An artisan made finisher medals for sale for $5.00. I’ll crawl on broken glass for a race medal so I bought one….before the race. Now that’s a leap of faith!
This event offers an early start for walkers and slower runners. I took advantage of that because I planned to do 2:1 intervals for the first eight miles.
Weather-wise, Saturday was a great day for running. It was sunny and the temperature was crisp. In fact, I wished I’d worn a short sleeve tech shirt instead of a long sleeved one. Note to self: buy arm warmers.
The course is beautiful with lots of woods. It’s also a bit challenging. There were the aforementioned hills, but there were also about three miles of unpaved road. It was gravel and full of ruts that had to be navigated. When I got to that section, my goal became to finish without rolling an ankle.
I was doing pretty well with my 2:1 intervals until about mile 8 when I noticed both feet had that familiar pain that could only mean one thing: blisters. I ended up walking most of miles nine through 13.1. I’ve got to figure out why I keep blistering.
It took me about 20 minutes longer to complete than I had planned, due to walking most of the final four miles. But when I finished I felt a great sense of accomplishment. This was the first half I’ve completed since last March. It feels good to be trained up for this distance.
- Low cost
- Friendly volunteers
- Three water and Gatorade stations (one of the stations was near a turnaround, so there were two opportunities to get water there. Winning!)
- Beautiful, well marked course
- Inside bib pickup and restrooms
- Only one: No porta potties on the course. I saw a lot of people run into the wooded areas. Thankfully, my 50-something year old bladder held up like a champ.
I plan to put this race on my annual calendar, weather permitting. I’ve heard horror stories about bitter cold and icy patches. It’s called the Frostbite, after all.