Half Marathon #11 – Wolf Hollow

IMG_2994I don’t usually do Half Marathon recaps in fact I’m not real good with many race recaps except those big crazy Marathons, which by the way I just signed up for Marathon #6 – Vermont City at the end of May, I am really starting to think I’m crazy but that is for another post.

Anyway, today was the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon.  What I thought was going to be a normal somewhat flat rail trail run (I run a paved rail trail all the time and it is mostly flat and paved) turned in to a jaunt through the woods where most of it was on soft surface/gravel/dirt/leaves/pine needles and it was mostly flat but had some killer hills at the times when we never really want them, which during a half marathon I believe is all the time.  This is not to say that it was not fun.  I really did enjoy it.  I went out with the intent to have fun.  In fact Dave asked me what I thought I would run and I said I wanted to keep it under 9 min miles and that is what I did.  Just 600 of my closest running friends doing a long run and getting a medal and t-shirt at the end.  My idea of how to spend a Sunday morning.  🙂

Near mile 9.5 I met Ian who told me that he had been following me for most of the race.  Usually we would call this person a STALKER but in the running world, somehow we are flattered that someone would pace off of us.  Made me feel good.  Since I was just having fun and quite frankly I needed someone to help me through the toughest part of the course which was two huge hills we began to chat.  Always fun is the conversation where we continue to tell each other that they can go ahead if they want to because I don’t want to slow you down and then we both realize that really we have been running the same race the whole time so why not finish together.

Ian and I finishing the Half together!

Ian and I finishing the Half together!

It was great to get through the tough hills pushing each other (sometimes physically because around mile 11 and 12 when you are going up hills running in a straight line is optional).  Also nice is to have someone pushing you when you think you are giving it your all and the other person says, “I think you can do more” and out of the blue you find that extra gear.  It was a great race.  As we crossed the finish line we exchanged hugs, told each other congrats, oh and I introduced him to Dave so there would be no crazy questions about why I am hugging this random stranger.

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Getting for the race. A little chilly and a little rain, perfect for running! 🙂 One happy girl!

This is why I love running.  I love going out for a race, enjoying the run, facing new challenges and meeting people along the way.  My new friend Ian and I talked about races, running, family, work, and why we run.  For him it’s a stress relief from being an Assistant principal at a local middle school.  Gotta keep up with those crazy middle schoolers under control.  For me we all know it is therapy.  I know when I don’t exercise I am a bear and really I am shocked about how much time I spend at the gym and out on my runs but I know if I don’t do it, everything else suffers.

Since today was a essentially a trail run and trail running is a lot different then road running, I know that there will be muscles that hurt tomorrow, probably because I can already feel them.  Here is hoping I can move.

If you are in New Hampshire in November, I would really encourage you to run this race.  It’s a double loop so you get to see the trail the first time and then the second time around you get to dread the hills but find a friend and you can make it through the second loop!  🙂

Ever find a friend during a race?  Dave says I always do!  What can I say, I’m very social.  🙂

Enjoy some more pics from today:

The beginning of the race.  So happy to be moving.

The beginning of the race. So happy to be moving.

Mile 8, this is the last big hill you do at mile 12 too.  Such a pretty area to run in.

Mile 8, this is the last big hill you run at mile 12 too. Such a pretty area to run in. (the pic is a little blurry because I’m so fast or Dave was cold and shaking.  I’m going with my speed.)

Happy to be done and starting to get really cold.  What you dont see is me shaking!

Happy to be done and starting to get really cold. What you don’t see is me shaking!

My new turkey running socks.  Seemed fitting for the race right before Thanksgiving.

My new turkey running socks. Seemed fitting for the race right before Thanksgiving.

The final results.  Not to bad.  I was 57th out of 316 women and 14th out of 92 in my age group.  I will take it!

The final results. Not to bad. I was 57th out of 316 women and 14th out of 92 in my age group. I will take it!

 

Run Your Own Race

pace3It has taken me a while but I think I am finally figuring this slogan out.  So much so I used it when talking to my friend who was getting ready to run her first half-marathon this weekend.  I told her to “Run your own race and that we were just going for a run with 1000 of our closest friends.”  She didn’t want to believe me but I am using it for myself at every race now and I am finally beginning to relax.  It works, I promise.  When all those faster people are passing you, just chanting to yourself, “my race, my pace” has been very effective.

This weekend I ran the Cranberry Half-marathon and I knew what I wanted to do.  I wanted a new PR but I was hoping to get 1 hour and 55 minutes.  When I started, I went out fast (8 min first mile) and I had to tell myself to slow down.  So in trying to listen, my second mile was slowerpace2 (8:10 min) I then began to just let my body run it’s race.  I let it run and mentally kept it in good spirits by smiling and thanking those who came out to cheer us on.  It worked.  I ran my race, didn’t get discouraged and was able to keep my feet going forward (no walking!) and crossed the line with an incredible PR of 1:52:34.  After I was able to get rid of my leg cramps, I felt pretty good (I still need to figure out how to work on those so they aren’t so bad).  I also noticed that I finished 12th in my division out of 108, that was even more exciting only missing the top 10 by 10 seconds!

So now the therapy part of this, how can I use this to keep me going and living my own pace in life?  Often I find myself overwhelmed and comparing myself to what others do especially at work.  I think it comes from the fact I have to hit a certain number of client hours per week and with my competitive nature, if I am not doing it and others are, I get discouraged.  But I know what I can do and what I can handle.  I know my race, my pace.  Some weeks I can handle more so I push myself harder, other times I can hardly wait for Friday and am glad I usually book it light.

Ways I slow my pace down are things like going for a run, going to my Monday night tap class, sitting and watching a movie/tv, reading a book, spending relaxing weekends away from home or even (believe it or not) cleaning my house.

Are you running your race at your pace?  Are you letting others run it for you?  What are some ways you can slow it down and make it yours and enjoy it?

Let’s do it together!

Here’s some pics from the weekend I thought you would enjoy:

A day at the Ocean

A day at the Ocean

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Cranberry Half-Marathon Medals waiting at the finish!

Cranberry Half-Marathon Medals waiting at the finish!

me, Liz, and Jennie waiting to start!

me, Liz, and Jennie waiting to start!

Relaxed at the beginning

Relaxed at the beginning

Finished with a gun time of 1:52:47 but official time of 1:52:34 and a new PR!

Finished with a gun time of 1:52:47 but official time of 1:52:34 and a new PR!