Park 2 Park Half Marathon: Holy Hills

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”

You can just barely see the start of the hill in the packground. Thanks for the pic Jodi!

You can just barely see the start of the hill in the background. Thanks for the pic Jodi!

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.

Coming in for the finish, thanks for the pic Ryan

Coming in for the finish, thanks for the pic Ryan

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.

Park2Park1

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.

Park2Park4After the race we went to celebrate father’s day with my father in law and had one of the most amazing brunches I have had in a long time!

ParkView - Crab benedict. The size and the price will not disappoint.

ParkView – Crab benedict. The size and the price will not disappoint.

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About Jessica M.

30 year old runner from Cleveland, OH. I am an avid runner, marathon maniac and Boston Marathoner. I have completed 11 marathons and am an Offficial Blogger for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I enjoy traveling, running, Nike Lunar Glides, baking, reading, sno cones, anything pumpkin flavored, swedish fish, Kinder chocolates, racing, marshmallows, my amazing husband and our puppy Bodhi. Contact me at: MojaMala2blog@gmail.com
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5 Responses to Park 2 Park Half Marathon: Holy Hills

  1. gedert014 says:

    Great race! Hills absolutely kill me (which will be interesting when I run Akron this fall), but I’m definitely going to practice on them so I don’t lose all my momentum!
    Way to get second! That’s awesome!!

  2. annarnorris says:

    I train a lot in this park so I know the nasty hill you speak of–yes it is very nasty. Long, slow and and steep. I think I’ve only made it up the entire way without walking maybe once. But the rolling hills in the park are great training for hillier races for sure! I can’t wait to get back to the park for fall training! :-)

  3. Jodi H says:

    You looked great both times I saw you! I was so glad to be able to snap a picture of you! That hill stinks!!! Great job!!

  4. supereli23 says:

    quit being so fast! how am i ever going to keep up with you once i am post-baby allowed to start running again? :-) but for real, great job! i am jealous of all your racing (i miss it so much)

  5. Congrats to both you and Ryan! #powercouple

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