Another race? Why yes! Another race, just a week after the St Louis RnR. One that started not that far from me and had day of packet pickup! Score!
I arrived early and scored a close parking spot. I headed into the gym to pick up my bib and shirt and found the real bathroom! After dropping off my shirt, I headed back into the gym to hang out in the warmth before the race started! And use the real bathroom once or maybe even twice again.
Part of what attracted me to this race, besides being down the street, was that the main part of the course would re-trace my first ever run in St Louis. When I flew out to interview, I was still in training for Princess and had a 10 mile run scheduled for that weekend. And it was on this run where I first discovered Forest Park, and first imagined that maybe after all I could actually live in St Louis. So this race was like coming full circle.
And it was time to go! We started off and up a hill, around a corner, and up another hill, before a downhill and another uphill. Have I mentioned the rolling hills in St Louis?
It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, it was chilly, but not too cold. Perfect weather really.
Through Clayton we went, and up towards Forest Park. The first few miles actually ticked off fairly quickly. Right around mile 4, the leader came steaming towards me. He was really moving!
The next part of the course took us through the park. The leaves were colorful, the sky was blue, it was amazing and I was actually feeling fairly decent.
We left the park with just over 2 miles to go. I was definitely starting to drag but knew the finish was so close. And all those uphills at the beginning of the race were now going to be downhills!!
Down the hill I went, around the corner and across the finish line!
Done! My time, well at 2:55:28 a slight improvement over my St Louis RnR time, and still under 3 hours!
So two things. One, this makes 10 half marathons this year. Holy cow, say what?! Me, the girl who hated running, has run 10 half marathons in one year. Shut up! I’ve got one more scheduled, which would make 11. Now, do I try to find a twelfth to make it an even dozen for the year? Hmmm, stay tuned.
And two, time for a little self-reflection. My times this year, rather than decreasing, have been increasing. There are reasons (excuses) for this – namely lack of training, stress and no sleep. Oh, and those factors have also contributed to weight gain, which I’m sure is another contributing factor to the slowness. Why is it so hard to lose the weight, yet so easy to find it again? It is frustrating – I feel like I can see it happening but can’t do anything to stop it. Part of the reason I’ve done so many races is that at least motivates me to get out there and do something, even if it is running at an increasingly slower pace. I’m trying to turn the corner, and hopefully as life calms down, I’ll be able to return and focus on running (and other things) and work on speed so I can finally break that 2:45 mark!