The temperatures were higher than usual, so it was a scorcher today! 8.4 miles UPhill, followed by 4.7 bone-jarring miles down the other side! What a wild ride! I kept myself in check today and ran comfortably hard, but didn’t push so hard I had a side ache or felt any pain. I really stuck to my race plans and feel so proud of that! I didn’t want to injure myself one week before the ultra. I wanted to run well and I think I did that too.
Going uphill, starting at noon, in the heat – was tough. It was hot. I felt thirsty often and I could hear the other runners breathing heavily as we moved up the mountain. I let myself find a comfy pace and just accepted that it was going to be a slowish one given the incline and the altitude change (went from about 2700 – 4800 at the summit.) Miles 7 and 8 were the HARDEST! As far as the eye could see ahead of me or behind me — everyone was walking, so I powerwalked it too. No sense in wasting energy running up a hill that was nearly impossible at that point. I am so glad I did too, since I wanted to save my legs for the other side — the downhill!!!!!
It was pretty thrilling reaching the summit and then heading over the downhill side. It was covered in mud and slush! I just relaxed and let gravity pull me along and was thrilled to see my splits for the final miles. I really think the downhills are my strength. I rarely slip or fall. I feel nimble. SO many other runners started taking this little mincy steps on that side and it was hard not to run right into them. I was able to leap back and forth and go between them all though and just let my body thrash that crazy trail! I was slashing mud everywhere and I LOVED IT!!!! And… I learned to just let myself pee on the run. Something about pounding your bones coming down the side of a mountain makes you not even care. I didn’t want to break my great pace! I held myself in check as much as I could with gravity pulling on me. I didn’t fall once! I am SOO proud of myself!!!!!!! It WAS a very tough half marathon!!!! I see why they call it “The toughest in the northwest.” It, was, indeed a challenge.
My 9th mile was: 7:45
my 10th mile was: 8:20
My 11th mile was: 8:23
My 12th mile was: 8:15
My 13th mile I think just barely sub 7 (I forgot to shut the watch off at the end so things are kind of skewed.)
My final kick was strong! My Garmin shows I hit around 4:20 for the final push! Yes!!!
Total miles: 13.1 — Time: 2:20 — Ave pace: 10:50 ?
Oh yeah..the other .1 mile — funny story. My Garmin started telling me “Turn Ahead” very early in the race, even though I wasn’t using the navigation feature that helps me “find my way home” if I’m lost. I pulled off to the side of the road and reset the watch – thinking that would correct the setting. It happened throughout the rest of the race, though. I’m thinking since there were so many Garmins in the area, the satellites might have just started giving that type of info to nearby Garmins. It was odd, but now that I know it did no harm, I won’t stop or reset the watch again in any future races. But.. that means I actually ended up with my race broken into two bits of data on my watch since I started a new workout. Oops!
Mom and Wayne both finished too. Wayne in 3:15 and Mom in 3:41 or so. I’m so proud of all of us!!!! It was a first half marathon for myself and Wayne and I’m so glad we got to run it together. It was really special running a Robie with my Mom (this was her 5th one.) She did amazing – came in smiling and speeding across the finish line! I got to run Wayne in at the end too, which was really wonderful. There’s kind of a funny story there. I thought another man in a blue shirt and black shorts was Wayne at first and I actually ran alongside the blocked off area yelling, “GO HONEY! GO!” for a whole minute before I realized – it wasn’t my husband! Ha ha! I’m thinking that guy was wondering why the crazy lady was so calling him, “honey.” I did get to run in the right fella just a few minutes after though. What a fantastic day!
I really enjoyed the live band, the great food and the 4000 or so people crowded together enjoying the sunshine at the finish. A real treat was also getting to visit the massage tent for a great rub down before I headed for home.