My Google alarm with off at 7:01 AM. I rolled over to tell it to turn off. That's when ache in my legs reminded me of what I did the night before and the realization set in that I was about to do it all over again.
I pushed out of bed, gathered my stuff, and headed off to the WWC TreadBrightly 1/2 marathon. After all, the the trails had already been open for over an hour.
I chose to not go off when the trails open at 6 AM. I felt that I had enough running with a head lap for a while.
A little after 8 am, I warmed up and then headed for the starting line. The music was blaring, and people were already finishing the 4 miler.
I checked the monitor. No one had finished the 1/2 yet but I had to assume that at least a few were already on the course.
My legs felt heavy when I pushed away from the starting line. They unwilling went from easy running to a little harder running.
I was passing more people this time. I passed this young guy on Academy. I didn't think much about it but a short time later, he dropped in behind me. After a mile or so, I attempted to open a conversation. Nothing! After a few more attempts, I gave up. We ran together with only shared sound was our breathing.
He had stayed close on my heels so when we hit Needle on the way back, I expected him to pass me. Toward the end of Needle, there is a nasty little hill. I dug in and pushed hard up it. When I made the u-turn to go back down, he was about 30 yards behind me.
I used the downhill to pick up the pace. Out of sight out of mind was what I was thinking. If he didn't see me, maybe he wouldn't give chase.
The few times that I peeked over my shoulder, I never saw him again.
Passing 10 miles, my legs were feeling the miles. I could tell that I was slowing. Every hill seemed like a mountain.
I passed by the boat docks, and I checked over my shoulder one last time. No one was in view. I was truly happy about this. I did not want to be racing hard to the finish.
I popped along the channel and happily let my legs carry me back to the finish line.
Two half marathons in two days, I was happy to be finished.
I ran 2:04:36 which was 17 seconds faster than the night before. I finished 9th overall and first in my age group.
Jumping back in to racing was hard. My body clearly wasn't ready for it but I survived. I learned, and I will work on improving before I strap on my racing flats for my next race.
Tails from the trails,
The Cool Down Runner