Sunday, October 5, 2014

Freedom's Run Half Marathon

State #22: Sheperdtown, West Virginia
If you are looking for a challenging, hilly half marathon - then look no further:
The first three miles weren't so bad. 
Starting out, I heard my Coach in my head: Now, don't go out too fast. But this time I thought if I don't go out fast, how will I ever make up for the time I'm going to be losing on those upcoming hills?
I was a little torn.
What do you do?
I didn't totally go out fast - I couldn't. It rained all night the night before the race and the first few miles were on trail that was pretty muddy. And if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times - I'm a city girl. I like to run on pavement. I don't like mud on my legs, my socks, or my shorts. So, about mile two, I yelled out,
"I HATE trail running!." 
Everyone around me started laughing. One girl schooled me, "This isn't really trail running." I know, I know - this wasn't really trail running, but for me, "Blacktop Girl" - it was!
The first big hill, after mile 3
looks worse than it was. 
I was prepared to climb. A few years ago this would have killed my time because of my proximal hamstring strain. That's pretty much healed (took two years!) and I actually passed lots of runners on the hills. I credit Underground Strength Coach, Zach Evan-Esh for this - he reviewed my leg strength-training routine and told me to add hamstring curls with ankle weights.
I think it was the fact that there were so many
hills - one after the other -
that left me dogging it by mile 11. 
Challenging, but very beautiful
Top 25 Half-Marathons in Runner's World Magazine
Even though the course was beautiful - it still wasn't like a spoonful of sugar - the hills were hard on the legs. It was the first time in years that my legs trembled after a race - like they weren't conditioned at all - and I've been running 18 milers to get into shape for the NYC Marathon!
I'm sure my bronchitis added to my exhaustion.
This awful cough and congestion has been
 lingering since late August.
Anyway, the after party was held at the Bavarian Inn.
The Bavarian Inn
And if you went  to the Bavarian Inn, you received a pint glass and a free beer - which of course I took advantage of! There was a live band, too. It was a great after party!

Love the pint glass!
Even though there's an H is missing!
Overall Freedom's Run was a great half to end 
my 40-49 year old age group!
I placed second with a 1:43 finish.
And, let's talk medals ...
The finisher's medal was hand made by a local potter. All the straps were leather - and they were tied on by the Local Girl Scout Troop! I've never seen so much community involvement for one race! 
I love this medal!
Hand made! So quaint!
Gotta love it!
I will definitely always cherish 
my Freedom's Run Medal.
What's your favorite race medal?

Train Smart Today!
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