I ran this race last year and remember it being hilly but I apparently forgot how hilly it actually was.
After watching the weather all week, I was expecting a high of 80 and imagined heat would be a factor. However, I got lucky since the temps were only 53 at the start. Naturally, I was freezing cold. A 1 mile warm up with Ryan and I finally started to warm up.
There were a couple changes announced at the start of the race. Such as a reminder of the rolling hills and the addition of another tough hill somewhere before the turnaround.
We lined up at the start of a trail entrance. That’s right this race has a little bit of trail in it…like a mile at the beginning and a mile at the end. The gun went off and instantly another girl and I were right with each other. I was so excited that I would have a friend to run the race with. (Friend as in, never met you before but hey if we run the same pace, let’s be friends).
Sadly, my friend was a little faster than me (Or didn’t know the hills that were coming) so I let her continue on while I slowed down to a more manageable pace. I held a solid 7:47 pace for about the first 5 miles. There are a lot of hills and I basically had to give myself little pep talks before each hill. As I neared the halfway point I knew the big hill was coming and I was hoping it was big and short… I was wrong.
The hill was ridiculous. I have no idea how I didn’t walk up it. The only thing keeping me running up it was thinking “I get to come back down on the way back”
Mistake #1 in a hilly race: taking the downhills at full speed. So of course, that’s exactly what I did. By mile 8 I realized my mistake and held on until the wheels fell off at mile 10. At mile 10, I walked for about 30 seconds to let my legs get it back together and then I took off running again. However, my pace had fallen way off. The good news was I was in 2nd place! Overall! The leader was well in front of me, so unless she completely fell apart I was in a good position.
The last 3 miles were a challenge for me. The rolling hills on the way back were no help to me even if they were mostly downhills. I finally hit the trail portion of the race so I knew I was getting closer to the finish. I popped out of the trail and could see the finish. I wasn’t close to a PR but I pushed to finish the race anyways.
I ended up 2nd female overall with a time of 1:47 (official results are still not up). Ryan was the first male overall!!! With a pretty impressive time with those nasty hills. I see a half marathon PR in both our futures.