A week ago, I ran the Fall Classic Half Marathon as my “fall half” for the year. I spent about 11 weeks preparing for the race, which absolutely flew by. Suddenly, race weekend was here and my good pal, R, decided to host Friendsgiving the same weekend. Thanks for the challenge, R!
The night before the race, I indulged but didn’t quite stuff myself on traditional and not-so-traditional delights that all of our friends contributed to the evening. I finished my wine limit early in the evening and worked on hydrating (and even dodged a bullet when a sly friend decided to spike my water with gin…). That night, as we were leaving Friendsgiving, my positive energy from the day started to give way to worry. Not about my digestive system, my sometimes-sore shins, or even the unfamiliar course of the race. The worry settled in when it started to snow…and kept snowing…and steps got icy…and shivers couldn’t be shaken. This was about to be a full-on winter half and I wasn’t ready (I’d been training in perfect weather the past 2 weeks: high 40s and low 50s)!
The morning of the race, I woke up ready to run, but I wouldn’t say I was excited. I don’t think I even realized that the race was happening that day. I ate my banana, drank some water, and bundled, but lightly because I had a feeling things would be better than the Cleveland Marathon…or at least I was hoping Mother Nature would be a little nicer.
I waited until 10 minutes before start time to line up at the start line (E was an angel and did a “drive by” drop off so I didn’t have so far to walk before lining up). During those 10 minutes I managed to get a butt cramp from shivering and the race announcer kindly warned us that there was black ice out there. YAY.
We took off and I fell into my groove after about 2 miles – as expected. I knew then that things were going well and this race was going to revive my faith in cold weather running. My playlist was one of my favorites (I caught myself mouthing some lyrics and even holding back some dance moves that probably would have caused a trip-and-fall incident), the weather held steady at slightly breezy and snowy (no rain-snow-sleet-horrendous-wind combo like in May), and my time wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be, but I was happy with my finish.
Speaking of finish, let’s talk about it! I got cut off and bumped a lot during this race. For this reason, I certainly wouldn’t call it my favorite. I’ve run bigger races and not been touched or cut off, so I’m not sure what was going wrong during this particular event/runners, but I was not happy. An individual cut me off once and within another 10 minutes, the same individual came so close to me that I had to move to the opposite side of the course. I was nearly tripped and feeling some rage bubble up, but I ran it off…until the same runner passed me (this time, thankfully, without a bump) in the final half mile. NOPE. The competitive part of me flared up and I hauled to the finish line, passing my nemesis and feeling strong and happy after all.
All of this to say, I had a good race, I really enjoyed myself, and I was actually happy with the weather. It wasn’t my favorite, but the pros outweigh the cons and, given the chance, I’d run it again. (Though I’m crossing my fingers that I’m able to run the Amish Country Half again next year. 🙂 )