I was feeling better after having the flu at the beginning of the week,well enough to run on Sat April 20 in the Run to the Beach Half Marathon. I went into the race with the goal of just finishing. I was also dealing with some hamstring tightness and also Achilles tenderness both on my left . So my goals were not to lofty.
Saturday morning ended up being very chilly and windy off the lakes. The race was held around the Portage Lakes area in Akron and Green, Ohio. The Portage Lakes are multiple lakes connected with little channels and lots of lake front homes and bars/grills. It started out in the Portage Lakes State Park.
I left the house thinking I was going to wear a pair of shorts, compression socks and a short sleeved shirt but the wind and colder temperatures had me doing a quick change at the race to wear a long sleeves 1/2 zip top instead. I did wear gloves since fingers get very cold.
It was a combined start time of the Half marathon and 5k racers. A couple disappointments at the beginning was no mention of the Boston Marathon bombs or tribute and they did not explain that faster runners up front and slower runners/walkers in the back.
Around the 2 mile marker we pasted our spectators and I saw Terri there cheering me on...Brought the biggest smile to my face to see her and have her support.
The race had us on all terrains- road, trail, grass, crushed gravel, and ending on sand. During the races as I rounded some of the lakes , the head winds were so wicked and there was sleet/mini snow balls that were coming at me sideways.
I encountered something new on this race. Around mile 10 there was a relay exchange area. I thought to myself.."Jen you ran 10 miles, you could stop now and get a ride back with someone".....WHAT!!!! I have never had those thoughts!!! I said to myself " Jen you are NOT a quitter and you will not stop, you have 3 more miles, now go"...and I did. Now if I was injured or physical could not go on, I would have stopped. But this was mentally challenging me to quit. Not gonna happen.
I ran the whole time with brief 5 sec walks here and there , mainly at the water stops since I don't have the skill yet to drink and run without snorting in the water.
The volunteers and the cops directing traffic were great. The post race foods were so so. Subway sandwiches,apples, and Little Debbie snacks...what no chocolate milk or bananas?
I finished at 2:09:04.....12 sec faster than my first half. I will say this was my toughest race for many reasons but makes it even more rewarding.
I would run it again next year and hopefully try to break my time! Besides I want to win one of the cool age groups awards...see the last pic.