It was another Asheville Marathon morning – cue the wonderful early morning celebratory environment and the looming gray clouds of miserable weather. The weather was not cooperative for the second year in a row for this race, instead of being ridiculously cold, it started drizzling right as we lined up at the start line and rained the entire time. Luckily, I was only running the newly instated half marathon instead of the full marathon, meaning I ran in the rain for less than 2 hours.
Anyone catch that? Less than 2 hours! I PR’d with my first sub 2 half – 1:59:58. I know that may not be that fast for some people, but I’ve only run a handful of halfs and never really trained for one. I have usually run them while training for full marathons, or at the end of a half ironman after biking 56 miles! This was the first time I put in the training effort of tempo runs/speed work and really pushed myself during the race.
After starting out steady but strong, I wasn’t sure I was going to get a sub-2 after the hills of miles 4-6, but the rest of the race was on flat gravel or dirt road along the river. I was able to keep a solid sub 9 minute pace for most of the flats to make up for my slower hill climb pace. The last two miles really sucked, my legs were really starting to burn and the rain had picked up and was dripping steadily from my hat, I was soaked from head to toe, and the gravel roads were getting muddier. I pushed it the slight uphill before the finish and couldn’t have been more out of breath or exhausted upon crossing the finish.
I got my fleece blanket and woodalion and took a couple of minutes to get my breathing regulated. During the race I didn’t eat anything, just drank water, but my body still didn’t feel like it wanted food afterwards. I took a few minutes and got my bag from bag check and then went through the food tent getting food for later and forced myself to eat a half a banana.
The rain hadn’t been very noticeable during the race, I guess since I was so focused, my body was producing plenty of body heat, and my hat kept it out of my face, but now I realized how much it was raining. I walked to my car where I had a dry shirt, jacket and umbrella, cranked on the heat and changed. But my sports bra, running tights, shoes, and socks were still wet so when I went back outside with the intention of watching some friends finish the half and then sticking around for the full, I started shivering and coughing. As much as I wanted to, I decided I shouldn’t stay and potentially get sick so I got back into my car and drove home, but not before ringing the PR bell! Thanks for idaph for a great event, I wish race directors could control the weather sometimes but unfortunately even though they’re pretty awesome people, they don’t have that kind of power 🙂
This recap is a week late but that is because I have been incredibly busy and I have major news to write about in my next post!