I 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.
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.
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: