THE SLEDGE Trail Half Marathon
The best part about this race is that I have created a lot of friendships within the Danville running community, and it was nice to see so many familiar faces out there running, volunteering, and spectating. I really do enjoy events where a whole community can come together like that. Anyway, back to the struggle. I managed to stay steady, even though the hills were extremely draining, and there were plenty of them. As in, the whole race was hills. Yes, with the uphills, you get downhills! I love downhills.... just not that particular weekend. Since my legs were completely drained from the uphills and all my training, I was unable to use the downhills to my advantage like I usually do. Throughout the whole race, I stayed in 2nd place, just waiting to get passed. But surprisingly, that never happened. I crossed the finish line still in 2nd place overall with a time of 1:37:48!
Martinsville Bulletin Half Marathon
A short 2 weeks later, I was ready to run one of my favorite races again. On March 24, I got to run the Martinsville Bulletin Half Marathon in my hometown. This race was the real test for me, since it's on a challenging hilly course, but I have run it plenty of times and I train on the course very frequently. I had trained up for this race to be a "check in" of sorts before I do the Blue Ridge Marathon on April 21. I was really hoping for a personal record, but I honestly did not know what to expect.
|I took a pre-race GU....|
Birthday cake flavor since my birthday was 2 days later!
Every single week, my training has been incorporating cross training, strength training, speed work, easy runs, and tempo runs. So I knew that I had a pretty solid base, but there's always that doubt in the back of your mind. I knew I was going to get to find out my true fitness level at this point. I did packet pick up the morning of the race. At the start, it was 30 degrees. It felt cold, but I still dressed in shorts and a tank because I figured (or hoped) that I would get warmed up pretty quick. As the gun went off, I had a goal to stay at about a 6:05 min/mile pace. However, I knew it would be difficult gauging this pace because of the uphills and downhills throughout the course. I knew I'd have to relax the pace going uphill and then kick it going down. I felt a lot better than I did 2 weeks ago at the Sledge. Over the years I have learned to run my own race, and that has helped me drastically. After half a mile, I settled into 2nd place. I knew that it was still early, so I just continued running my own race.
|right at the beginning... like half a mile in|
|Someone caught me |
struggling with my shorts!