A 3:00 start time meant I got to sleep in this morning, and leave home shortly after 1. A 45 minute drive brought me to this beautiful location in a valley surrounded by mountains. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, thankfully having warmed up to the mid 70s. Yesterday was so cool, and the nights have been so cool, I've been huddled under blankets on the couch when I'm at home. (I'm so not ready to turn on the heat yet...)
obligatory pre-race selfie
I ran a 1.6 mile warm-up around 2:20, then still had time to wait around for the race to start. One guy asked me if I would share my magic inhaler with him. Someone else asked permission to grab onto the back of my shirt so I could pull him through the race.
Despite my best intentions to start slow and then speed up if I felt good, of course I let myself get carried away by the front runners. At least they were only running about a 6:50 pace, so I didn't completely fly through the first mile. (but I should have done it a little slower than 7 min/mile). The first mile felt like a breeze, as usual, but then I rapidly started feeling like I actually had to work, and my times went down. I stopped letting myself look at my splits after the 4th mile, because I really shouldn't be looking at my watch during a race anyway. Somewhere around the 4th mile marker, I was passed by a teenager. She was looking strong, and I let her go. She rapidly built up a lead, although I never completely lost sight of her. I got a second wind in the 6th or 7th mile and was able to start picking up my pace again. I slowly reeled in the girl ahead of me, and passed her on the only decent hill in the race, coming up on the 8th mile marker. Looking at my splits now, I can see that I still didn't have a spectacular pace, but I was at least pushing myself. I kept pushing til the end, though it got progressively harder. The finish of the race involved running up the gravel drive to the lodge, which was a rather steep hill, and the gravel was really loose. It was not fun trying to finish strong with my feet sliding backwards downhill with each step! I finished in 1:38:15, 4th place overall and 1st place female.
I really wasn't in great shape to push a half marathon, and I knew that. I signed up for this race in an attempt to do a better job of training for the half I have in Roanoke in November, which I did really well in 2 years ago, the last time I ran it.
I bonked really hard after this race. I've been trying to alter my diet over the last week or so, and it clearly did not help my running performance over this distance. I've been decreasing my bread/pasta/beer consumption, and increasing my vegetable consumption. This may not be a completely bad plan, but I'm pretty sure I also need to be more careful about getting enough protein, and if it is going to work at all, obviously I need a lot more time for my body to adjust and learn to fuel itself on less carbs. I should probably try to add the pasta back without cutting back on the veggies.
the Lodge at Crooked River Farm
Western sky at sunset
Eastern sky at sunset
Post-race recovery back at home, along with my winnings.
I was craving salt, so I made some bacon-cheesy-garlic-ranch fries.
And I had some whiskey in my brand new whiskey glass.