I've decided that this post will be a two 'fer. Two race reports in one post. I have just got to get caught up. It may not be pretty but I want to whip it, whip it real good and get it over with.
First we go back to Valentines Day. It was the Run with Your Heart Trail Challenge. This 15k trail run is a new benefit for a local charity. I needed to use it as a training day with the hills that it would include. I was also having some issues with misc. muscles. It was an excellent chance to get with friends and have a good time.
I took my camera with me on the course and was taking pictures along the way. Would occasionally wait for people and take pictures as they came up the big hill on the course.
The part that was difficult about the course was the white stuff on the ground. It was a foot deep in some places so the going was slowish. I kept my pace under control and did the two loop course in 1:44:43. The course photographer took a cool pic of me bombing the big downhill too.
This race was a benefit so awards only went to overall and there were some nice raffle prizes afterwards. If they had done age groups I would have been 4th. If it really mattered I was 25th overall male, but it didn't. All I know is that I had a great time playing in the snow.
Fast forward to today. Wait! Did I say today? As in I ran a race today AND I'm posting my report on the SAME DAY!!!!!! Holy Schmoly. It can't be. Well peeps, read it and weep because it may be another half ass report like the one above.
To the east of Cleveland is the city of Youngstown. You may or may not have heard about it due to good and/or bad press. But that is not important to the report. They have a half marathon that Aimee and I have never done. I know. Amazing. Our schedules have never been quite right to make the race.
Well this year we scheduled the drive to Y-Town and run the Mill Creek Distance Classic. And when they mean classic it is. It's been around for 21 years and the course is a classic. Where else can you run 13.1 miles and tackle 19 hills during the time. And the variety of hills is wide. Long, steep, short rollers, curving....you name it I ran it today.
So we got to the race and started seeing all sorts of friends who were also there from the Cleveland area. Aimee and I were using the race as a training day on hills since both of our races will have quite hilly runs. I wanted to keep a controlled pace and see what would happen. I was nervous because my right inside thigh was feeling a little tweaked out. The course would allow me to bail at mile 8 and be close to the finish in case I "ran" into problems. But if I could keep things under control I thought I could pull off the entire 13.1 miles.
From the start of the gun I started running with a couple of friends. But once we started hitting the downhills I couldn't wait with them. My downhill running technique has come a long way over the past two years and it allows me to fly down the hills. So I took off. I'm not that social of a runner anyways so it was probably for the best.
I passed some more friends and finally got into a very relaxed pace I was happy with. I was sitting around 8 minute/mile pace and wasn't stressing the thigh/hammie. I was taking my splits, when I could find a mile marker, but wasn't worried about what the watch was saying. I was just pleasantly surprised to keep pace.
With about 3 miles left to go I did pick up the pace. Now I've come to learn that picking up the pace near the end of a marathon or half marathon simply means that I am keeping the pace I had in the previous miles and this race was no different. My last mile was a 7:55 and I crossed the finish line in 1:42:43, actually an overall pace of 7:50/mile.
Unfortunately I finished ahead of Dale and Aimee so I had to take the self portrait below as I was changing. It shows my new Snakebite running singlet.....so excited to have one this year.
I changed and was able to watch Dale and Aimee finish. But the best part was catching up some more with friends.
I learned something about myself today. I love running and the social aspect of it. However, when it comes time to race....I mean business. I'll chat up a storm before and after a race. But during a race? You won't get too much out of me, especially on a course like this. This course was technical considering all the hills which demanded my attention. I need to be a part of the race. I have to think about what I am doing. I want to control as much of the race and my performance as possible.
So if I'm not talking with ya....don't take offense. I'm busy getting my Game On.
But afterwards....it's all about the friends.