Hi everyone, hope you all had a nice weekend..I am currently recovering from my half marathon that was HOT, HOT, HOT. but overall a very enjoyable weekend This is a long post. You have been warned!
This race was in Morgantown, WV (WVU- Go Mountaineers!). My best friend recently moved to WV, so it was a good race for us to both meet up at and do, plus she knew the area, so getting around wasn’t confusing. I hate race day logistics! So that was all taken care of. We couldn’t get our packet things and bib til Saturday morning, but it was a later race start (8:45) so that wasn’t too much of as issue. We actually could walk from our hotel, got out packets and came back to completely get ready. I ate my usual pre race Clif Bar and drank some Nuun. We headed back down to the start and boarded the bus.
This was a point to point race so we had to get to our bus by 7:45 and then we were off to Masontown to the start of the trail. We then had to walk down the trail 1/3 of a mile to the start line. We waited til 8:45 and then we were off!
It was already hot at the start (Clue: Foreshadowing)..and the clouds that were giving us some much needed cover were starting to go away. Thankfully this trail was in the shade for 2/3 of the run. In all honesty, had it not been, not sure I would have made it. I had started my Garmin knowing that I may not get any signal because of being in the woods and lots of tree cover. My garmin didn’t end up picking an signal up til Mile 3..not much of a problem, but I would have liked to know what pace we were running so I could gauge it. However, I actually felt GREAT and just went with it. Emily and I had said we wanted to run it together, so we just matched each other’s pace. We chatted a bit and kept each other going which was so nice. This race was limited to 600 participants so at times it was pretty spaced out and I would have been running alone for sure. So good to have my friend by my side.
(Miles 1-7) Once my garmin started keeping track every once in a while I would look down and say “we are at 9:xx pace, feel good?” and she’d say yep, so we would just keep going at that. We would run steady until we caught up to some others and then would make a signal that we wanted to pass this group and we would spring ahead a little and meet again. The miles honestly never clicked away so fast for the first 7 miles. Around this time I decided to take my Gu and was hoping for a little energy boost for the second half.
The course was absolutely FLAT. If you would look at the elevation you would seem to think that the I ran straight down a hill, but indeed I actually felt no changes in elevation. We just started out higher on the trail and wrapped around til we eventually got back in the center of town. Of course you’re thinking great no uphills, however there were no downhills either…meaning no little speed boost at times when you just NEED gravity to pull you down and get your legs working haha, you know what i mean!?
Miles 8&9 were okay. We were still mostly in the shade, the little parts that were in the sunshine were brief, so not too bad. I could tell I was slowing up a little and I was feeling a little tired, but each time we got to the next mile we just kept telling ourselves, okay 5 mile run left, no big deal..etc. There were water stations every 2 miles which was very nice. generally when we hit them we walked a tiny bit to take a sip of water and continue on.
By the start of mile 10 we were back into Morgantown and we were now completely in the sun, and now running on scorching black top (literally, Emily was singing “my feet are on fire” to the tune of this girl is on fire…not sure how she had energy for that, but it was true!). Let’s just say I felt the heat getting to me, and very quickly I might add. I remember trying to be positive and just think 3 more miles, it really can’t be that bad…It will be over soon. Well….. I’ll let the splits speak for themselves. It wasn’t pretty. (only have splits for miles where my GPS started 4-13.1)
The last 3 miles I can remember the miserable feeling of heat and when your head just doesn’t feel right. I can remember feeling woozy and that out of head experience, that made me feel like I was floating. At least, thats my how I feel when the heat gets that bad. To say the least, I was miserable and in pain the last 3 miles and they were quite a struggle, my run was practically a shuffle. Each time we got near a water stop I took a sip and the rest went straight on my head. Thankfully there were 2 sprinklers spread out in the last 2 miles. I had to walk a couple times because I also had a nagging side stitch. (I just was not winning at this point). I shuffled along, and Emily, who was feeling much better than me stayed ahead of me a little bit and kept motivating me. I tell ya, I love that girl- without here I would have probably walked the entire way in. Or I would have sat down in the middle of the trail. I would be lying if I said those two thoughts never crossed my mind…
Anyways- we FINALLY hit the .1 left and once I saw the Finish line, I made every ounce of effort i had left to “sprint” in and finish the race with Emily by my side the whole way. (Check out that form- heel striker for life!)
I’ve said it before, and probably will say it again- I’ve never been so happy to stop running in my life. Time: 2:14.23, almost identical to my first half.
Positives: I’m impressed by my mile splits from 1-10. Especially those miles in the 9′s! Thank you speed training! (guess what, It works!)
Feelings: semi disappointed- yes, I pushed through these elements. But with the amount of time and training I have put into this race AND how great I felt between miles 1-9, I’m sad to say I didn’t get my secret goal of breaking a 2:10. Hitting that wall at mile 10 SUCKED. And being competitive, of course I wanted that PR. It wasn’t in the cards for me Saturday, however, I really did have a great time running with my best friend. She pushed me and I think I’ll have to hire her for another race and hopefully get that PR
- Have you ever run a hot as-all-heck race??
PS- still time to enter my Bestowed Giveaway!