So what was the next logical step? Another local half I'd never run two weeks later. I figured I was still trained, I felt strong and was uninjured - it couldn't hurt! Well, yes it could but I was likely to survive it. My cheer squad couldn't be at this one, as we were scheduled to attend a party. Greg graciously agreed to take the kidlet and I could meet them later.
I knew this half would have plenty of rolling hills, and it was likely to be much warmer. I opted for an open back t-shirt, shorts and regular socks. I carried my own water, and was ready to go! The race started around 8:30 according to my Polar M400. I started out slow, having learned not go out too fast like I did in Kingston. It was warm. As in, very warm. I took some water from the aid stations because it was colder than my handheld which I had forgotten to freeze. There was a decent amount of shade, but that almost made the sunny bits that much more painful. Overall it was a beautiful course, great scenery and nice course support. It was well marked, and there were no points where I wasn't sure of where I was going.
|1||10:08 /mi||10:01 /mi||11 ft||160 spm|
|2||10:07 /mi||10:35 /mi||-73 ft||164 spm|
|3||10:55 /mi||10:44 /mi||17 ft||162 spm|
|4||10:44 /mi||10:43 /mi||-13 ft||164 spm|
|5||11:32 /mi||10:43 /mi||69 ft||162 spm|
|6||10:20 /mi||11:31 /mi||-160 ft||166 spm|
|7||11:54 /mi||10:46 /mi||110 ft||160 spm|
|8||11:10 /mi||11:04 /mi||-1 ft||162 spm|
|9||11:04 /mi||10:46 /mi||23 ft||168 spm|
|10||11:32 /mi||11:29 /mi||-20 ft||166 spm|
|11||11:23 /mi||10:55 /mi||39 ft||162 spm|
|12||11:13 /mi||11:31 /mi||-49 ft||158 spm|
|13||12:17 /mi||11:41 /mi||55 ft||158 spm|
|0.2||11:01 /mi||11:12 /mi||-7 ft||168 spm|
Does anyone else see the trend here? I'm solid until mile 7/8. This is where the hills set in as well as you can see, or just after. I found two women who appeared to be running my pace-ish and tucked in with them. They welcomed me warmly and we chatted a bit between breaths. None of us were much for talking which was fine with me. The occasional comment or joke, but otherwise just the sound of feet falling. A few times I fell behind and they'd look back for me. I hung in there with them until about mile 12, and then I just couldn't. I think my mistake was slowing down around mile 10, and I couldn't find the speed again. Looking back, I wish I had pushed myself to hang with them.
Around mile 12.5 I spotted a runner in a Oiselle singlet bra top and yelled "Yeah Oiselle!" to her, she smiled; she was deep into her marathon at that point and looking strong. After some stalking later, I'd friend her on Instagram and discover it was Mollie Turner who took 1st for the women overall in the marathon. I had recently gotten my Oiselle Volee acceptance and was super excited to spot another bird in the wild. She's an amazing runner and I have great admiration for her. I also love that she's local-ish to me! We're friends in my head....and on Instagram and Strava.
Approaching the finish line, I was hurting. I had taken many walk breaks at this point but I knew I wanted to be running when I hit the fairgrounds where the finish was. I also knew that I'd be crossing it by myself and had a moment of "EVERYONE IS WATCHING ME!". The crowd was super kind and cheered me in. I immediately found the two women I'd run with to congratulate them. I don't know that I would have been able to get through those middle miles without them.
My chip time was 2:27:10. I was pretty pleased considering this wasn't my goal race, and I'd raced two weeks before. I learned again, that I need to work on my second half of a race and find a way to finish strong. When I looked up my race photos a few days later I was shocked - great pictures! I never take great race photos and I was really happy with most of these. I ordered some, to stick in my scrapbook because good race shots are rare! I would definitely run this race again, I am fortunate that there are a bunch of local races that really put on a great day. Though I do lust after a flat race. I wonder how my performance would be minus the hills. Some day.....