Well, this was a doozy! And, to be honest, I was super happy to cross the finish line! Here’s a little story about my experiences with the Charlottesville Half Marathon.
The week before the race my life was busier than usual. I had to work the drive through at our Dairy Queen all week. It was super busy and a couple of days – there was no time even for lunch. My runs in the morning felt alright – but, hey – it was tapering!
The day before we left – I went for an easy 2 miler. It felt horrible! The whole week seemed to manifest itself into a crappy last run before the race. I had to forget about it – but, it lingered there until race start.
Charlottesville is about a 2 hour drive from where we live. Once we arrived, we went directly to packet pick up. It was pretty low key – and just a few vendors. Getting the bibs was simple – and had no line. You can always tell a race that is run by actual runners.
Then, Hubby and I went to the local running store in Charlottesville – which is one of my favorites. They’ve been around since 1982 and always have a great selection of running gear. No offense to some – but, they have real running stuff. Not fluffy stuff that a lot of places sell.
Had my feet and gait analyzed and was happy to say that the shoes that I’ve been wearing (Asics Kayano 21 and New Balance 1260) are exactly what I should be wearing. After all these years of running, my arch has dropped and I have become a slight pronator in one foot. So, stability shoes are what I need.
Of course, I picked up a couple of new pairs of shoes (Adidas Supernova Sequence 7) and was pretty happy that was all I walked out with! Side note – I love the fact that my Hubby comes along with me on these jaunts. He’s not a runner – but, is always right there with me!
Got checked into our hotel and then went out to grab dinner before just relaxing in the room the rest of the night. I had pizza 2 nights previously, Penne Rosa the night before and really was planning on some sort of pasta the night before the race. (I usually don’t totally over carb load like this – but, it just kind of worked out that way).
So, Hubby and I went to this really nice restaurant fairly close to our hotel. They had a special of filet mignon and shrimp. Even though I walked in there really planning on pasta – I just couldn’t pass this up. Especially after Hubby ordered it! I’m really glad that I did. It was yummy!
Back to our room, got everything ready for the next morning. Before I go to bed the night before a race, I like to have my clothes laid out, shoes and socks ready, bib pinned on shirt, PowerBar ready to eat for breakfast, etc. It just makes it easier for me to fall asleep knowing that it is all ready.
4:45 – race morning! Up and ready for my usual Banana PowerBar and Pepsi. Don’t judge – I’ve been doing it for too many years and it works for me!
Doing something new today. Running in compression sleeves. Never owned a pair before! Hubby looked at me and asked me what I was wearing. I told him and said that “all the cool kids wear them!”. Just call me Shalane Flanagan! Overall – I’ve got to say with the weather being 55 degrees and windy – they ended up being perfect with a singlet!
7:00 sharp the race was off! I should have known better than to be happy with a down hill start! We immediately went up a fairly steep hill – not the first one of the day!
This course is definitely challenging! Rolling would be an understatement! I run on hills around home all the time; but, I found this race pretty tough. It seemed like every time we got to the top of a hill – make a run – BOOM! There was another hill!
Even at the race finish. We had been going uphill for almost 1/2 mile. Hit 13 mile mark. Saw a turn. Sweet! The finish is only .1 mile away. Guess what? Turn the corner – the finish was uphill!
Oh, yeah. And, did I mention that it was extremely windy that day?
But, ya know, I feel that I did pretty good considering everything. The course, the wind (I’m SO not a wind runner), the crazy work week before. Nobody passed me the last half of the race – so, I consider that a victory!
When I met up with Hubby, I said, “If you hear me say that I’m signing up for this race next year, ask me if I’ve lost my f***ing mind!”. Then, as we were almost back to the hotel, I told him that I had to run it again next year to improve my time. He just laughed!
There was all kinds of things at the race finish – beer, pizza, bananas, chocolate milk, etc. I picked up a piece of pizza and gobbled it down. You know how pizza gets when it sits awhile? I didn’t care. It tasted it SOOOO good!
Overall, this is a race that I would recommend to others. It’s well run and everyone needs a challenge. This is a race that you can use to challenge yourself! As I overheard during the race – “someone in my class said that this was a perfect first half marathon. Your times will definitely get better in future races”!
Well, time to get back to training. I have another half marathon coming up in May. And, guess what? It’s also hilly!