I knew going into this that I wasn't going to "race" it because I hadn't been feeling that great all week and I have been so SLOW on my runs. No speed at all. And then starting on Tuesday, I had some stomach issues. It was a little hot on my run home from work that day and I felt really nauseous after and dinner didn't stick around long. Wednesday I seemed fine but then it happened again on Thursday after my run home from work. So I thought it might be the heat. But then it happened again during lunch at work on Friday and that place is on icebox so it wasn't heat related. On Saturday I woke up feeling just slightly nauseous and decided to go for a run & ride and see how I did. Both actually went really well so I had high hopes it would be okay for today. It was mostly okay but I still have a lingering bleah feeling. Anyway, that's the back story going into this morning's race.
There were 2 waves for the race: the fast people and the snails. I got in the second wave but they were still moving. It was single track at the start and I kept up with the line and went out at a 9:30 pace. I did okay in the first mile but my legs were already noodley and I decided I better back off so I could finish and not blow up. I had no energy going up the hills but only walked a very small portion of them.
It was a pretty interesting course. Some single track, some fire road, road, and bike path, lots of fishermen. Um, but they weren't running. The course took us around a portion of Lake Hodges and even across a cool suspension bridge. Since I wasn't racing, I was able to enjoy the views. It was foggy this morning and it was hanging over the hills and the lake and gave it a very peaceful feeling. Kind of reminded me of Milford Sound. Hey! A girl can dream (it's #2 on my list of dream run vacations behind Scotland). So that and all the birds made for an awesome run. I wish I had stopped to take pictures but I didn't want to get in anyone's way or step off the trail (we were warned repeatedly at the start about watching for rattlesnakes).
The only bad part of the run was that I started getting a blister on my left foot about mile 6. I wore my Peregrines because they are more protective than the WT110s and I wanted my foot to not have a setback. But I haven't worn them in forever and paid the price. :( I thought I might have to stop and take care of it at one of the aid stations but decided to wait and see. Well, I waited til the end. One thing that helped keep running was when we crossed a stream for the second time. The first time I crossed I hopped from rock to rock like everyone else. The second time I stopped and looked at the rocks and looked at the stream and debated whether getting my feet wet would hurt or help. I finally decided to go for it and plunged right in. The water was cold and felt so good! It definitely helped and I was able to finish without stopping. :)
So I just ran along at a steady pace, enjoying the morning, and happy I was going to finish my 9th Half Marathon. Then I was done and I got my medal. I WAS happy to be done but it was a little bittersweet. I wished I could have run it harder. There was a part of me in the beginning that was sad but once I let it go, I really enjoyed the run. I just bought Of Monsters and Men's new album last week and there's a song on the album which fit perfectly for today. It's called Slow and Steady and these are some of the lyrics...
My dear old friend, take me for a spin
two wolves in the dark, running in the wind
I'm letting go, but I've never felt better
passing by all the monsters in my head
I move slow and steady
but I feel like a waterfall...
I went for a ride when I got home. No soreness at all but I just wanted to spin out my legs a little. All in all, it was a good day. I can't wait for the Cougar Half in June and then Raptor Ridge in October. I've never done a series before. If I lived closer, I'd do their Grand Slam Series too. The first one is the Coyote 5K. What do you think? Should I?