I had my doubts, many of them, going into the Hat Trick (5k and 10k Saturday, Half on Sunday) during the Runners World Half Festival last weekend.
My achilles was aching, I had an IT Band flare up a few weeks back, I walked somewhere in the vicinity of 24 miles during travel the previous weekend, and I’m just not a strong runner. I was fairly certain I could do the 5k and 10k on Saturday, but I was waffling about the Half, even pondered just giving up before even starting and switching to the “5 and Dime” at the expo. But I didn’t.
Thank goodness I didn’t!
It was a crazy beautiful weather weekend. Started out super cold on Saturday morning, in the low 30s, but blue skies after a beautiful sunrise. My running partner, Monica, and I met up with my wonderful high school friend, Beth, who also was in for the Hat Trick.
Monica and I had our hats, gloves, fleece, etc. for the 5k.
Beth hung with us a while pre-race, but she is an impressive runner, so she moved up to the faster pace section before the start. Monica and I took it slow, knowing we would need to conserve…and because we’re slow. I think I felt my worst during the 5k, but got warmed up some by the end. The highlight for me was getting to high five THE Bart Yasso just before the finish line!
After the 5k we found Beth and waited around together for the 45 minutes until the 10k started. I ditched the extra fleece hat and pullover. Given that I hadn’t felt very good for the 5k, I wasn’t really sure what would happen with the 10k, but we lined up in the same pace area as we did earlier.
The 10k course was beautiful! A few more hills, but also Main Street and some historic neighborhoods. I actually felt better and enjoyed myself more. Unfortunately, Monica had hamstring pain about the half way point. She stayed strong and our overall pace was not far off from the 5k pace. We felt very proud of that!
The steel stacks made the perfect central location for everything that went on over the weekend. There were also indoor bathrooms and warmer places to wait before the races.
Unfortunately, neither Monica nor I felt great the rest of Saturday. We relaxed, napped a little, and took a walk in the evening to try and loosen up. Monica did what she could to address the hamstring issue. I was not feeling confident about the Half.
The next morning was about 10 degrees warmer. Still chilly, but not nearly as uncomfortable. I had on a lighter fleece and gloves I could toss. Got a fun starting line selfie.
As you can see, we were in the back again. Beth moved up to her quicker pace a few minutes before the start. Monica thought her hamstring was feeling better, but it didn’t last. We had a pretty strong first 2+ miles, but then she was hurting.
Again, beautiful course, Main Street, neighborhoods, residents out cheering, lots of hills. LOTS OF HILLS!! It stayed cloudy until the last two miles, so perfect temps. We definitely went even slower than our usual slow due to the hamstring. As hard as it was for Monica, it did allow me a little extra energy, so I thanked every first responder and volunteer along the way, cheered for runners on the few out-n-backs, encouraged people we passed or who passed us, and just took it all in. I felt way, way, WAY better than I anticipated.
As we got close to the finish line, there were a lot of runners who were leaving (because they finished long before us) and they encouraged us and we congratulated them. The high school marching band members were leaving and I thanked them all for coming out to play. I high fived spectators who hung around for the back of the packers. And, one of the best parts, was seeing Beth along the side, near the finish line, cheering for us. She had finished over an hour earlier with a rockin negative split run.
These are some happy faces.
It was a fantastic weekend overall. I am proud of myself for attempting something way out of my comfort zone. The hubby, the girls and my parents were proud of me, which means everything. I need to thank my family, Beth, Monica and my Running Girls for believing in me and for encouraging me. I am very proud of Monica because she pushed through the HILLIEST course I have ever been on, with a bum hamstring, to finish. THE HILLIEST!!
Check out these cool medals.
Two mornings later, the quads are still complaining (they have been loudly complaining since the finish line on Sunday), but I feel pretty great overall. Just a fantastic weekend!