I needed this race. I really, really did.
After all my talk about channeling my inner-Danell Leyva and moving on after my lousy experience at the Boilermaker, I was still in a funk.
Sure, I've had plenty of good runs since the Boilermaker. But my mind has been out to get me. It has been telling me that, yes, I can run. I can even, often, run well. Just not in races. Not anymore.
Not anymore? Nope, not anymore.
For some reason, my mind has been convinced of this -- convinced that I've lost my racing edge.
And that is why I needed the Clove Run. I needed race redemption.
Race redemption is what I got.
The Clove Run is a super small 10 mile race that winds through the small village of Castleton and then out on to sparsely-populated hilly country roads before turning back in to the village for the last two or so miles.
Oh, and there is a sick hill right around mile 9. Sick.
Last year, I won the thing. That's right! First female overall. It was awesome.
This year, I felt like I'd be lucky to finish. My racing spirit has been so deflated and I honestly did not know what to expect from this race. I wanted to run at my goal half-marathon pace, which is about 8:15/mile, and I was hopeful that I could do it.
I met up with a bunch of my friends and at a little after 9:00, we took off. I settled in to a good rhythm within a half mile and told myself to just run, nice and steady.
Running that way, I passed two women in the first mile and another two in the second mile. Then I was passed by a shirtless man a little before mile 3. I could see another woman ahead of me and I wanted to catch up with her -- for no good reason, other than I wanted to. But, I was just at mile 3 and I knew that all the big hills were yet to come. So, I calmed down and continued to run steady.
That strategy worked because I ended up passing her a little before mile 4.
And then I was alone. Running up two honking, big hills. Alone. Running over the country roads, alone.
Around mile 5, I heard foot steps and I thought the woman I had passed was coming up on me. The steps were behind me for about a half mile and all I could think during that time was, "Pass me! Just pass me!"
And then she did -- only, it was a different woman. She passed me somewhere after the mile 5 marker and just ran on, putting more and more distance between us.
Then I was alone again.
A little after mile 7, though, was awesome. There, I ran past my friend Jen's house and she was at the end of her driveway, with her kids, cheering and snapping photos. Like this one:
|I wasn't kidding when I said I was running alone!|
Seeing Jen and her kids was super! It was a much-needed boost.
Soon enough, the course turned on to a (relatively) busy road, a flat mile or so before the killer hill. I told myself to hang on and not push the pace, because I knew I needed to save whatever energy I could for the big hill.
Oh, that hill.
I don't like that hill. Not one bit. See, the hill is steep. That in itself isn't terrible. It is the fact that it comes at mile 9 that makes it terrible. After you've run 9 miles -- and already tackled a bunch of hills -- having to take on a steep one isn't really what you want.
At least, it isn't what I want.
But, I did it. I managed to run up most of the hill, before slowing to a walk at the end of it, and then trying to pick up the pace and bring it home.
In the end, I finished second place female overall!
I was psyched! Best of all is that all my friends had great races, too. Tami finished right behind me in third place, Karen was first in her age group, Elisa felt terrific and ran fast, and Bridget set a 3 minute PR! Woo hoo!
|That's Tami and me, with our HUGE trophies. Seriously, these were the biggest trophies ever!|
Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 7:58
Mile 2: 7:59
Mile 3: 8:13
Mile 4: 8:06
Mile 5: 7:54
Mile 6: 8:06
Mile 7: 8:44
Mile 8: 7:57
Mile 9: 8:33
Mile 10: 8:23
Finish time: 1:21:54 -- 8:11 pace!
I needed this awesome race. I felt great. It really was race redemption.
As silly as it sounds, now I feel like I am ready to take on my fall half marathons. Mentally, I needed to find some post-Boilermaker success in order to truly refocus. Now, I believe I can do it. Watch out, half marathons!!
Thanks for stopping by and for making it through this super long race report!
Have a great week!