Western Maryland Rail Trail Half
April 10, 2016
Temp: mid 20s but sunny
What I wore: hat, tank top, half zip, Sugoi running jacket, Skirt Sports Happy Girl skirt, long tights,
compression socks, and my Altra Impulse.
I have to confess that I didn’t really want to run this race. I was completely over the winter weather that can’t seem to go away this spring. With predictions of a feels like of 22*, I was just not excited. Not.at.all. But this whole getting to Mercury thing with the Half Fanatics pretty much means I need to grab every easy race I can manage. Shoo is in a boot right now for a sprained ankle, so we don’t have to be at soccer games quite as early. Add in that his game last weekend was in Frederick and we were staying with my boss (which made me an hour closer to the race) and I really just had to run it.
I arrived at the race about 45 minutes before the start time and had no issues picking up my bib. Only 200 runners are allowed to run and some had picked up their bibs earlier. I immediately returned to my car to stay warm. A few minutes before the start, I walked over to the start line and with a “ready, set, go”, we were off. I decided to take it super easy and treat this race as a training run. It was an out and back on a paved trail path, so the nature scenery was all there was to see. I did manage to grab a chocolate chip cookie at about mile 5, but otherwise, the first half was pretty uneventful.
After the turnaround, I was just ready to be done. I was a bit bored and tired of running by myself and wanted to get on with my day, so I picked up the pace and started trying to catch the runners ahead of me. I slowly but surely picked off runners. With about 2 miles to go, there was a runner ahead of me that I just could not gain on. I decided that somehow I was going to pass him before the end, so I kept picking up the pace a bit. I also realized I was on pace to match my last half marathon time. I finally caught him with a half mile to go and then pushed as hard as I could for the finish. I kept telling myself over and over that the last mile was supposed to hurt (effort not actual pain) and that if it didn’t, I was doing it wrong. I blasted into the finish and was clocked with an 8 second PR over the UC Half Marathon. (My garmin says 15 seconds, but whatever…)
- Because this race was so small, there were absolutely no logistical issues. Packet pickup was easy, parking was easy, etc.
- I sat in my warm car until right before the start.
- Cookies, gummy bears, and lots of other yummies at one of the water stops.
- The t-shirt is one of the new fangled tech materials that feels like cotton. Very comfy!
- Because the race was so small, I pretty much ran the whole thing by myself.
- I find these kind of courses boring when I’m by myself.
- It was so so cold. Mother Nature really needs to get back on her meds.
Would I do it again?
If I lived near it, I might. It’s not really my preferred type of course, but it was inexpensive, super easy from a logistics standpoint, and very organized.
This was race #10 on my trip to Mercury. Number 11 (and my 50th half marathon!!!) are in just a few days.