A lot has been going on this week. I'll start at the Wildhorse Xterra 1/2 marathon on November 4th. This summer I decided to run a 1/2 marathon before 2012 was over. The decision to run a 1/2 marathon was something I've been debating over a couple of years. As October was coming to an end, I felt ready. The question then became will it be a road or a trail 1/2 marathon. Thanks to other bloggers such as Heidi and Steph who encouraged me to go for it, I signed up for my first ever 1/2 marathon. It just happened to be an Xterra trail race.
I also took the opportunity to bring our Parkesdale Market goodies for the runners. We set up a table with our yummy, moist Strawberry Bread. We offered our Amish Granola as a pre-race snack. But the winner had to be our freshly squeezed 100% Florida orange juice as a post-race refreshment. The runners went through all of our orange juice in minutes! Note to self, bring more orange juice next time!
This race was definitively a lot more intense that any other race I've done before, and it was totally worth it. The race began at the Keith Waller Park on Sydney Dover in Sydney. From there we ran through the woods to the Sydney Dover Park on 60. That's where things got a bit tricky. The trails became single track up and down steep hills where you basically had to walk. I think the second time around it, I was more comfortable and picked up a bit of speed. Unfortunately I forgot my garmin that morning so I was that runner who kept asking "how much farther?"
As the saying goes, the race organizers definitively left the best for last. In the last mile of the race, there was a hill with a rope for you to hang on while climbing. Yes, we do have some hills here in Florida. It was tough. But I knew there were a lot of people counting on me to finish. Getting to that finish line was gonna happen one way or another. My mantra became "I may not be the fastest one here today, but I'm sure faster than those that didn't show up".
As a person who runs on pavement 100% of the time, being in the woods was such a nice change of pace from all the sidewalk and pavement races I've done in the past. So, if you are looking for a challenge, check them out!
While my time for completing the 1/2 marathon was longer than I expected, I was pretty happy with being 4th in my "age group". Meeting my family at the finish line was definitively an awesome experience. They've all helped me accomplish my goal in one way or another and without them I could not have completed it.