Well I did it! I ran my second half-marathon and boy was it a doozy. This race could not have been more different from the Rock-n-Roll Half. It was way smaller, way less organized, less spectators, and for me…less fun!! I am very glad that I did it but it seemed incredibly difficult and I just didn’t have the positive attitude that I had during my first 13.1.
My husband had his drill weekend for the Air Force this weekend so I had to go solo.
The race was about an hour and a half away so I headed out at 6:30a.m. Saturday. I made it to the race, picked up my bib, and stopped at the porta-potties with no problems. I spent the rest of the time waiting in my car. I was parked very close to the start so I sat in the heat until 8:20 (race started at 8:30).
It was cold at the start line!! I couldn’t believe it but I actually saw people running in shorts, tanks, and even barefoot (not just barefoot shoes, but actually barefoot). The race ended up starting late because there were still runners in line for the porta potties. To me, that just seemed rude! Shoulda got there on time and not inconvenienced everyone else. But hey…
As soon as we started racing I knew I was in for it. It was so cold that I couldn’t feel my toes until about mile 3!!! Also, during the first 5.5 miles, we circled around a couple of lakes and the ground was still covered in snow and ice. There was supposed to be a running path but it was piled with snow and the sidewalk path was iced over. It is hard running on ice and not slipping! I felt like I had to use the muscles in my legs in a different way and it really felt tiring. Also, a couple of people literally pushed passed me which I couldn’t believe!! After 5.5 anxiety-inducing, ice-covered miles, we finally headed out.
One of the clearer stretches…
After we left the lakes, we headed out down a super muddy part of the park and onto a county road. This part of the race was pretty boring. I had heard that the course ran by a farm and that the stench would be unbearable but luckily they changed the course this year and we ran through a super glitzy neighborhood instead. Still, when the wind started to blow you could catch a whiff of the stank!! It was sometime through the neighborhood that I looked down and realized I had accidentally stopped my garmin!!! I don’t know how it happened, possibly when I was taking off my gloves?? I was bummed that I didn’t have a real grasp of my time but I tried to keep it around or under a 10:00 pace to be safe.
After the neighborhood, we ran into another state park and lake. My legs were KILLING me at this point. I couldn’t believe how bad the pain was and I ended up walking up 2 hills (me and hills do not get along!).
I got really, really excited at the 11 mile marker and the rest of the race went pretty smooth. I was super excited to run to the finish and find out my time was 2:14:17!! I hit my D, C, and B goals!!! I didn’t even remember to have somebody take my picture (there were no professional pictures at the end). I literally ran through, got my medal, grabbed an orange slice, and headed for the shuttle taking people back to the start.
Even though I am thrilled to have reached my goal, on the shuttle back I started getting down on myself thinking I could have done better. But when I thought about it, this race was so much tougher than the RnR and yet I beat my time by almost 8 minutes!! I just know that with a little more training and better weather, I can totally crush my next half-marathon!!
And no matter how icy, cold, and tough this race was….it was beyond beautiful and I enjoyed every minute of the scenery.
Things I learned:
- I love CO and winter, but race season should end before the first snow.
- It’s very hard to run on snow/ice!! Seems like it exhausts the muscles fast.
- People will push your ass while you are running on ice if it will help them gain a few seconds!!
- I can hock a mean loogi.
- I had to google how to spell loogi.
- I am spoiled by my regular running trail. 10 miles there feels easy, breezy, and fast. 10 miles on hard surfaces kills. I need to train more on road next time.
- Only while I am running does Miley Cirus get me excited…Party in the U.S.A.!!!
- Just when I thought I couldn’t anymore, I could.
- No one will ever pronounce my name right. Finish line announcer guy… “congrats Shelley Langer…” Um, there’s a syllable missing in there somewhere.
- Bringing a full set of dry, warm clothes to change into is a great idea.
- However, changing into said clothes in your car in broad daylight is a little tricky (and risky).
- Driving 1.5 hours right after running 13.1 miles will make it hard to get out of the car.
- I can totally run a sub 2 hour half…next year!!