Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Half Marathon #4 Complete!

Saturday the 28th marked my 4th Half Marathon. I have to say, 4 years ago when I started the Couch to 5K program, I really didn't think I'd ever run 13.1 miles. Never-mind four times! But here I am I guess.
The Hogsback Half Marathon is held in Colebrook, CT. I don't recall every visiting that part of the state. It's really gorgeous there! We ran along side the Ct River, crossed it, and ran back along the opposite bank. Really gorgeous. The  photo above was from the registration area.
The race started out on a steep decline (my favorite!) and continued down hill for about 4 miles. While I was thoroughly enjoying the easy start, I was feeling QUITE worried about what that meant for the end of the race. (My first 5 miles were all under 9:30 minutes) My concerns were definitely warranted! The second half of the race was up and down rolling hills, though mostly up. I have to say, considering Katie and I followed the abbreviated training plan, I felt really good up through about mile 7, when I got a little tired. Even then though, I kept a decent pace (for me at least).

It wasn't until the last mile that the struggle really hit. There was a very slight yet steady incline the entire portion of the race. Then at around 12 and three quarter miles... a MOUNTAIN. Seriously. As I was wanting to die struggling up this mountain, I looked around to see that NO ONE was running. I looked at my watch and saw that I really wasn't in any danger of a new PR, and decided to join the masses and walk the mountain. It was just as hard. But we all made it up there and I took off toward the finish. (Took off is relative of course). The finish was BEAUTIFUL! We ran across this bridge over a dam... amazing!
Thanks Katie for the pic!
I finished in 2 hours and 16 minutes. My third slowest. But given the terrain and only 5 weeks of training, I feel good about the experience. Do I wish I'd been faster? Of course! But it's an accomplishment to run 13.1 miles, no matter how fast or slow you do it! Plus check out the swag:

cutest medal EVER
Quite possible the best part of this race (I dunno that medal and shirt are tough to beat) was the post-race food. Seriously, I have never seen such a spread at a road race! Ziti, lasagna, (both available with and without meat) salad, bagels, fruit, cookies, rice krispy treats, brownies... Mmmmm!

Hungry Hippo

 Katie and I even managed a post race smile:

We've been saying that may be our last half. But I have a feeling that's not entirely true. We shall see how it plays out!

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