|Horses running to meet the runners. Beautiful! (Photo by Mike Zimmerman)|
This past Sunday I ran the Iron Horse Half Marathon in Midway, KY. I have heard about this race for a few years now. At first, I was in the "I can't ever see myself running that far" camp. Then at the end of 2011, I decided that running the Iron Horse would be my goal for 2012. BUT...I found out I was pregnant the day after Christmas and that was out. YES, I know you can run while pregnant....YES, I know it's "POSSIBLE" to be half marathon ready 6 weeks post partum.....for some people....but not for me. I won't go into details of what happened when I tried to run when pregnant with Joseph....let's just move on.
Anyway, this year was the year. I registered the day registration opened. For 3 reasons:
1) Entry fees are the cheapest
2) The race ALWAYS sells out...usually 2 months before the race.
3) If I spend the money on something, I'm dang sure going to be ready.
I had wanted the Iron Horse to be my first half. However, my friend Katie talked me into running the Nashville Women's Half Marathon a couple of weeks earlier. Hopefully, I will recap that one soon. So this was my 2nd half. I was more scared because of running the other one, actually. I really fell apart at mile 11 in the last one. BUT, it was a good learning experience. This time I was better prepared.
Michael and I went to the UK vs Alabama football game the night before and didn't get home until after 11. Then I had to get everything ready for the next morning. After that, I had trouble going to sleep. Luckily, for the first time, James slept through the night. He ALWAYS wakes up a bunch the night before I have a long run or a race. I got up at 6, grabbed a banana and a zip fizz and was out the door.
I was worried about parking since Midway is a very small town and there would be 1500 runners coming. I got there really early though and had no trouble parking. Then it was just a bunch of waiting around.
The weather was cool and it was a beautiful day. I really couldn't have asked for better. I felt good. I took a GU about 20 minutes before the race and was ready to go.
The course was hilly but beautiful. There were plenty of water/sports drink stations. My goal was to run the first 8 miles. The worst of the hills (in my opinion) were in the first half of the race. I felt good though and took another GU a little after mile 5. I passed by the 8 mile sign still feeling ok. So I continued on. However, the hill from mile 8 to almost 10 was relentless and I walked for the first time a little before mile 9. I accidentally paused my MapMyRun app somewhere between 10 and 11. Grr. So I just started checking my clock at each mile to see how I was doing. At mile 11, it was 10:20 so I was at 2:20 gun time. I wanted to beat my previous time of 2:57 so I knew I had 37 minutes to go 2.1 miles to tie it. I could do that walking....and I wasn't planning on doing much walking. I trudged on and enjoyed the nice downhill from mile 11 on. I honestly didn't feel terribly tired until about 12.5 miles. Then my hip started hurting. But the turn to the finish was in sight and that kept me going. Then I saw my boys close to the mile 13 marker. They all gave me high fives and I had the pep to run strong to the finish. The clock said 2:48ish, but my chip time was 2:46:34!!! That is about 11 minutes faster! I love a PR!
|I LOVED this sign! (Photo by Ruby Cline-Eaton)|