Center of the Nation Series Half Marathon – Montana
September 14, 2015
Temp: 57+ at the start, not much warmer, super windy, and cloudy at the end
I was really excited to get to this race. I’ve sung my praises for Mainly Marathons for a long time and was so happy to see everyone again. It’s really like one big family out on the course. We were in the small town of Baker, Montana on their lake front. The course was an out and back on a mix of concrete, pavement, and gravel, with half marathoners doing 7 loops. I started the race with long sleeves, but ditched it after the first lap as I was plenty warm, despite the wind that continued to pick up throughout. Overall, I took it easy and stayed at a steady pace. The last loop was a little rough as the concrete had started to wear on my body, but I was only aiming to be sub 2:30 and met that goal with a couple of minutes to spare.
- I love these races and it was awesome to see some of my old friends and begin to make new.
- The temperature was a great racing temp for me after a summer of running in Virginia.
- Real bathrooms with flushing toilets, right on the course.
- The clouds that kept the race from getting too hot.
- The concrete was really hard on my body and my usual issues were all talking to me by the end, plus a few extras popped up.
- The wind was awful. At one point we were running straight into it and I felt like I was almost moving backwards.
- 7 laps really messed with my head. I don’t know why (I’ve done more, I’ve done less. I guess it was just because the halfway point was not at the start/finish line).
- My body’s response to the hard boiled egg I ate with two laps to go. I hadn’t eaten at all during the race until then and was hungry, but I felt like I had a bomb sitting in my belly for the next two laps. (Before you tell me I was crazy to eat it, I ate a bunch of them during my back to back marathons with no issues at all.)
Overall, it was a fun race and I felt like I ran pretty strong until the last lap. We made a quick stop back at the hotel where I took an epsom salt bath and then we headed to the North Dakota Badlands. I spent the next few hours site seeing – alternating riding in the car with short hikes to viewing points. Fun, but I was ready for bed by 8:30 that night LOL.
One down, five to go.
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