Monday, September 15, 2014

Run for Life Half Marathon- Radcliff, KY

I found this Run for Life Half towards the beginning of summer and knew I would (or should) be in full training mode for my busy fall schedule. Then they had a facebook contest and I won a free entry except the entry was for the 5 or 10k, so I sent a message asking if I could just pay the price difference and there you go the first fall (technically end of summer) half marathon!

 Everything I could find about this half told me that it was a pretty small low key race I asked about 3 weeks before how many was registered and there was only around 70! I was fine with a smaller low key race as I was mostly using this as a training run and if you can get a little bling for your training runs then you might as well right?
Amy & I

One of my newer running buddies went along with me in fact we ran together at the 15k the week before. (I should post about that too..!) We had an hour and 40 mins drive to get there and had to meet up around 5 am super early especially when you can't go to sleep the night before! So we talked on the way about how we thought it would be and our "goal" times.  I really didn't expect it to be very hilly as the course map looked like it was in town and I asked about the hills as well the answer I got was "mild hills" didn't sound too bad??!!

Miles 1-4  10:01, 10:13, 9:41, 10:03
Sure enough it was an extremely small crowd I'm still not sure of the exact number but I would guess there was about 100 people in the half. When we arrived they didn't have Amy's shirt and was told there was only enough shirts order to the sizes requested hers must have been put in a wrong bag check back after the race??? Ok there was strike #1! When the race started it was cloudy overcast but it was HUMID! Within the first ½ mile we encountered a hill and was joking saying "ok here is the hill maybe this is it?" an older gentleman beside of us says so you don't know the course? Yep its extremely hilly per the man and my stomach went into I need the bathroom mode. The same gentleman told us there was a church around mile 5 that was open for the bathroom huh sure hope I can wait that long! One thing I will say for this to be such a small race there was tons of police support and volunteers along the course! We was a little over 3 miles in and came to an intersection controlled by police we go straight through it then a man in front of us turns and goes back and turns at the intersection we didn't know if we was supposed to as well or not so we went back and asked. The officer nodded his head yes so down we went then we came across a volunteer and asked if we was on course for the half.....NOPE we should've  kept on going straight LIKE WE WAS!! I got so frustrated and we sped up to try and regain our place. The "gentleman" got ahead of us during the mix up and we caught back up to him. Strike #2 Police made us take wrong turn!!
At least I had an awesome Swirlgear tank!

Miles 5-8  10:58, 9:46, 11:34, 11:16
The hills just kept coming one after another some were long uphills with little to no downhill and some with downhills but it was just hill after hill! We started walking up the hills and running down until we came to the next monster type hill our "gentleman" friend we made said that's probably a great idea! We came upon the church that had the bathrooms but I was ok at that time and knew we would pass it again coming back. We had another girl "catch" up with us and she talked about how hilly it was and it was a little different and better than last year! She also said how we had a good pace going but that didn't last long after she made that statement! All of a sudden it hit me I HAD TO USE THE BATHROOM and RIGHT NOW!! I began looking for trees that I could tuck behind then I saw a convenience store ahead it didn't look open so I asked the race volunteers. Their response "If your looking for the bathroom the church is just over the hill." Ok I can hold on a few minutes longer except as I was making a fast entrance into the parking lot the race volunteer says "I'm really sorry but no one showed up to open the church" WHAT???!! I looked right at that woman and said "I AM very sorry but I am going around back!! I just can NOT wain any longer!" She said "Honey you do what you need to do I understand!" So yes PLEASE Lord forgive me but I pooped in the parking lot of a church!! That was strike #3!! And as you can tell by my times above my pace was dropping and dropping fast! Our "gentleman" friend passed us again during the bathroom incident and we caught him again, this time we found out his name was Charlie :)

Miles 9-12  12:58, 12:40, 12:01, 13:43
By this time the sun had came out and was full on so it quickly became HOT & HUMID! I haven't had many long runs and the longest was 9 miles I was starting to feel it. I was getting to the point I just couldn't run any more. I was mad at myself and struggled terrible with the mental factor. I told Amy to go on with out me but she was so nice and stayed with me. That was one good thing even though it was a small race pretty much everyone was feeling the same way hot, tired and miserable! My feet was hurting and all I wanted to do was take my shoes off! We came back through the intersection where the police told us the wrong turn, this time we did have to turn that way so I asked "are you SURE that is the way you told me that last time too!" Don't think Mr. Officer liked it too well but it was the truth! Around 12½ I quietly started walking and let Amy keep on going I was wanting to cry to myself and didn't want to mess up her race any longer!

Miles 13- .30  13:07, 3:00
Oh that last mile I didn't think it would ever come to an end and of course there HAD to be one last hill. I must of had an awful look on my face the volunteer told me "hang on honey you are almost done and I promise this is the last hill!" Since I could see the finish line I knew she was telling the truth and I tried my best to just keep running (even slow) but I had to stop one last time for a walk break. I made myself run the last ¼ mile. With our wrong turn early on we ended up with 13.30 on our distance.
Is it OVER yet??
After the race we went to the bathrooms to change clothes and such so we missed the winners they announce for age groups, I thought for sure Amy would place as it didn't look like many there in her age group but tons in mine. I just finished my slowest half ever(2:31:16) so yeah I'm not expecting anything at all! So I asked the race director if we could look at the result sheets we quickly found Amy's name she was 2nd whoo hoo! Then there is was my name and WHAT????
I was 3rd out of 8 in my age group!! Holy cow I've never (and may never again until I'm 80) placed in a half marathon before!! Go ME!! It just goes to show even when you feel like a failure you should always try your best you never know what the outcome may be!!

I see lots of room for improvement for this race and was really certain that is was going to be a one and done race for me since there was 3 strikes however now I'm hoping I'm up for the challenge of improving my time next year!

Do YOU repeat hard or tough race courses?
Don't forget to enter my Bolder Band Giveaway!!

Run Happy :)

As always pictures are courtesy of The Picture Lady! Check them out but don't steal them :)


Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Great job on your age group placing! Love the Swirlgear tank, I have been meaning to order that one.

Sherry Peavler said...

Now you know the course and my injury will heal we WILL repeat this one next year as our training run together! So super proud of you and I was pushing you though mentally!! You ROCK!