Today is a day that I have so many things to say since I haven’t been here saying anything recently…
Instead of jumping from place to place randomly, I thought I would give you a race recap instead.
May 17th, I ran the 2nd Annual Carbon Valley Half Marathon. I had ran the 1st Carbon Valley last year, loved it, and knew I wanted to come back. The route was excellent last year as well as the weather so it felt like a no brainer really.
This was my first half back since winter break and I was nervous to say the least. I had a killed my long runs (even impressing myself, believe it or not) so I knew that I had the mileage part down but something had me nervous from the day before all the way through the morning of and maybe even into mile 6. To say I am in my head too much is a HUGE understatement.
The race started early Saturday morning and is about 4 hours away so we headed up Friday evening to carb load and sleep! I had forgotten that the race and graduation for the 3 universities in that area all happen at the same time so hotel finding was not only a pain in the butt but also the wallet. Be warned, book ahead (note to future self).
Regardless, we made it up to Firestone, found us some carb love at Old Chicago’s, and I wondered about the rained. It rained practically our entire trip up there and was continuing to do so. I remembered that most of the course was on unfinished trails/dirt roads which amplified my anxiety…like I needed help with that.
I woke up the morning of still nervous but looking forward to the run. It was perfectly overcast and slightly chilly which I was glad about. I threw some sleeves in just in case but made the last minute decision to go with a short sleeve.
I picked up my packet and shirt and mentally prepared. Hubs and I parted ways (he was absolutely set on Waffle House for breakfast) and I was off. The run started off very pretty over a dirt road lined with an old turkey farm. The clouds were still hovering and it was still a little brisk. We eventually made our way to part of the unfinished trail that started out in a bottom. It was so stinkin’ muggy with thick grass climbing up either sides of the inclines and a bit mushy from the rains the night before. Either way, it was still navigable but I was anxious to get out of the humidity it held.
Mile 3 through 5 took us over a cement trail behind a subdivision and then actually through a subdivision. I loved this part. Maybe I’m a creep, I don’t know, but I really like to check out people’s back yards to steal ideas and ooohhh and awwww at all of their flowers and plants. We even passed by a lawn with a real working train set which I adored
because I am 5 years old.
I still felt really good at this point, nervous that the bottom was going to fall out but still good. Mile 6 lead us along one of the many lakes/ponds in the area. The birds were out and happy which kept me trucking along. At this point, since I had decided to wear my broke in pair of shoes (read: old), my feet were starting to get sore and achy but I knew I still had a ways to go. My mental game was still holding strong which I usually where I struggle the most.
As we started into mile 7, we had to run underground through one of those underpass things (so technical, I know) that give me the willies. It was dark and muddy which meant it was dark and slippery and I was certain I was going to fall and break something. After that, we ran through part of Historic Firestone and through some neighborhoods. Hitting the 10 mile mark, we found ourselves on quiet trails again. This part was somewhat more difficult for me. I like to have things to check out to keep my interest peaked to help me forget about my feet that are still yelling at me. Regardless, I made it through it and eventually hit mile 12.
I had given the Hubs a time I had in mind and told him to be at the finish line then. 2 hours and 35 minutes is what I was hoping to find when I hit the finish line. Unfortunately, part way through mile 12, my time ticked by but I was still determined to make it across the finish line as close to that time as possible.
A slight hill then a downhill and I knew I would crossing the finishing line. I gave it all that I could for the last .7 miles and crossed the finish line just of 2 hours and 40 minutes–short of my goal but I was still so happy.
Of course, I rode cloud 9, running high for about 2 weeks. I can’t describe what it is when you finish one of those races. You are in awe of yourself. You are amazed at what your body will allow you to accomplish. And, most importantly, you are certain you can take on the world.
In the end, I loved this twisted up version of the 1st year’s course! I am so excited to go back next year and take it on again. If you find yourself in Northern Colorado, mid-May, and looking for a half marathon, I would have to say, this is one you should attempt!