Distance: half marathon (but my watch measured 12.6 miles)
Total time: 2:19:12 (11:03/mile avg)
Elev. gain: 1,096 feet
5-mile splits: 53:04, 56:34, then the last 2.6 miles in 29:34
Goal: Somewhere in the back of my mind I was hoping for a half marathon PR. That wasn’t realistic, given the carriage trail surfaces and the 1,000 ft + elevation gain. A more realistic goal was to run a consistent effort, and I managed that for the majority of the race.
Weather: Ohmygosh absolutely perfect sunny fall weather.
I had a bit of a forced taper because I tripped on a trail last week and bloodied up my knee, but the knee was not a problem during the race and I’m sure the taper was helpful. Overall I feel like I ran really strong, especially on the push up to the high point around mile 8. I slowed a little on the last (small) uphill but I was happy the entire time – not always comfortable, but happy – and I feel like I gave it my best.
The race itself was so well organized and the scenery – two lakes, cliffs, falling leaves – was just spectacular. It was fun to see some of the Brooklyn Trail Runners crew, and T was, as always, a great race companion (she placed 9th in her age group!).
Worked well: I really liked carrying my Nathan handheld and refilling it at aid stations. Also, using Rock Tape (similar to KT tape) where my bra band rubs in front has completely solved the chafing issue.
Learned for next time: I bonked a little at the end – in retrospect I should have taken a gel at that high point instead of pushing through the whole race on just water. Also it is well past time to get new trail shoes. Mount Saint Helens chewed these ones up and spit them out but I’m still running in them.
Up next: Um, winter? Probably focusing on speedwork and running as many trails as I can.