Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Iron Horse Half Marathon 2013

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 got my medal (love some bling) and grabbed some food.....I was starving! Joseph loved playing on the caboose that was downtown and James was scoping out people who had ice cream.

 I loved this race. It is very well run. The volunteers are amazing. The course is beautiful and there is plenty of after race snacks and drinks. I will definitely be doing this race again. Michael even said he might do it with me next year.

I LOVED this sign! (Photo by Ruby Cline-Eaton)


  1. Congrats on an amazing accomplishment!!! Looks like a great course. You've come so far with your running. Keep it up!!!!

  2. You did SO good! Congrats on your PR!! I like that sign too!