Remember when I raced this last year? The weather was beautiful and I established it as my favorite hometown course. This was also my sister’s first half marathon!
Well, this year it lived up to it’s name. It was beautiful weather again and I cannot argue with the people and the course.
Getting there: One of the reasons I love this race is that it starts a mile away from my house. I walked to breakfast and then to the start line.
Time/Results: 1:20:37, average pace: 6:07
I was 1st overall female, beat the course record and PRed by 4 minutes. To say I am thrilled would be the understatement of the year.
Pros: Hometown race, surrounded by friends, amazing scenery, good race food, organized event (Great job Alex! <—the RD just gave birth and still knocked it out of the park!)
Take-aways: This race was about stress/injury management, and once I started and felt good it was about hill management. I told myself before the race that if something started to hurt (injury, not racing pain), that I would slow down or stop. This did not happen, so I raced hard.
The first hill I went up too fast mostly because I was trying to establish my position as lead female and lose the woman chasing me (Hey Bailey! If you read this, you scare me you’re SO FAST!).
Luckily we then his a flat and then downhill so I was able to regain my composure and race smartly. I ran fast on the down hills and used them to recover from anything I lost going up. For hills, I maintain the same effort, not the same pace. That is a key difference for how I used to race compared to now.
After that, I just tried to keep my position and enjoy the course. This sounds like it was easy. It was NOT. I repeat, people who run fast still HURT when running. It never gets “easy” in the sense that I will never click off 6 minute miles without breathing hard. This race is tough because it is hilly.
The test came at mile 10 where there is a steep uphill. However, I reasoned things out before I hit that and knew it was only about 2 minutes of pain, and I can do anything for 2 minutes. I do not pass people on uphills (unless they are walking). After that I chased the guy in front of me to the finish. I caught him but we finished side-by-side.
I am absolutely thrilled with the results. I have been working hard and God has blessed me with a win. I was interviewed by ESPN Ithaca after the race and talked about how my sister inspired the last two miles. All I could think about was her. ❤
I want to thank the Finger Lakes Running Club for putting on a great race and all the volunteers and racers for making this so fun!
I want to thank FLRTC for the gift card as well as Ian for his announcing.
I want to thank Balega for the great socks and for including me on their team.
Lastly, and most important, thank you to STRONG HEARTS VEGAN POWER for being awesome teammates and helping me through. I really do think about all of you when I am racing!
Now, to break 1:20:00!