This race did not go well for me. I had high hopes of staying around a 9:30 pace (or under) but finished with an average pace of 11:00…far, far off from my goal. I finished the race but it was a mental DNF.
Courtney and I decided to get an inexpensive hotel room for the night to save the hour drive in the morning pre-race. I am so glad we did because it was a hike and it would have been miserable to do at 5:30 in the morning. Even though I thought we left plenty of time, we were still rushing around to park, get packets, port-o-potties and bag check. We manage to quickly catch up with a few fellow run-blogger friends before parting ways to get ready for the race. We started at the very end after the majority of the people had crossed the start. Thankfully it was a small race so there wasn’t too much weaving and it spread out nicely on the trail.
Drying my race outfit that I forgot to wash till an hour before we were planning to leave
The first 2 miles went well but they weren’t easy and I was really struggling with mentally getting around the distance ahead of me. I’m at this weird level where I expect 12ish miles to not be that bad since it used to be a step back week during marathon training. But then I go out for a 12 or 13 mile run and it still feels really really long. I can’t really explain what happened but I kind of gave up after the first 2 miles. I had no real reason, no weird pain, no debilitating stomach issues, no legit excuse other than I was just not feeling it. My legs felt fine but my lungs were burning (90% humidity likely a factor) and I took about a million short walking breaks. I later realized that the whole first half was uphill which was probably a solid factor. It felt like the turn around was never going to arrive and I remember just feeling so defeated by mile 4 that I just wanted to quit. I stopped looking at my pace and just inched along the course because even though I was having a shitty run I wasn’t going to quit just because my time was screwed.
Once I started seeing the lead runners come back around I knew that the turn around was on the horizon. I stayed distracted with the fast runners keeping an eye out for some of my fellow run blogger friends. I handed some gel chews off to Courtney since she had forgotten to pack some and cheered on fellow runners as we passed. FINALLY the turn around at mile ~6.5. The back half was net downhill and it seemed to go by much quicker than the front half but it was still a struggle-fest.
Approaching the finish line - I ran the majority of the miles in my sports bra but put my singlet back on for the finish line photo
Hanging out with Courtney post race
PR puts on an outstanding race. Very well organized, good course, good snacks, fun medals and really nice shirts. Overall I was very pleased with the race and if I wasn’t have a super shitty run day I probably would have really enjoyed this race (well except the elevation). This leaves me very confused (and a lot bit scared) for my sub-2 attempt but i’m going to brush it off and call it good training. I learned most of all that I am mentally very weak so I really need to work on improving my mental game. Enough complaining, the race was great but my run was not.
The super adorable finishers medal - we actually ran by barns and cow and horse pastures - very pretty!
Up next: Watertown 1812 Half Marathon in just under 2 weeks – this one however is net downhill and hopefully not 90% humidity so fingers crossed it goes better than this race.
Overall it was a great experience and most importantly I got to meet meet up with some awesome run blogging ladies Jenny, Kathryn, Dora, Deb & Sue. Shout out to Deb who paced first in her age group and Sue who tagged on an extra 6 miles to get her 18-miler in!!