Only Half of the Year

Elyria Travel Blog

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With my injury making me cautious to do a lot of running, I found 2016 nearing its final quarter without having run any big races during the year. I mentioned to my sister that I still wanted to try to run a half and she responded by giving me two choices. One hit when I would be in Iceland so the Inland Trail Half it was!

Megan, Tommy, and I left in the evening for the drive up to Elyria where would stay the night before. My sister had made the reservation so I don't remember the name of the hotel but I would not recommend it. It was part of a chain but did not feel like most others in a chain of that level.

The next morning we woke up early and headed over to the school where the race started. We had plenty of time but the cold weather deterred us from much of a warm up. As the clock ticked closer to go time, we realized that despite this race having 5K runners, half marathoners, and marathoners, this race did not have a huge number of participants. I was ok with this since it meant a fairly uncrowded start. Tommy took off with the leaders while Megan hung back with me. There were no pacers for this race, but Megan would be my pacer. I told her that I hoped to finish under two hours as long as my left knee held up.

We headed downhill for most of the first mile which meant that I took off faster than I needed but it felt good. We went over railroad tracks and ran through part of the city. By now we had started chatting with a woman in her fifties who would be doing the full. She would help push me this day. I would walk through the water stops and get a few sips of water or Gatorade while she would keep running. Megan and I would then use the next quarter mile or so to catch back up and start talking again. Megan did more of the talking since the pace was slow for her (she will be running Boston in the spring!!! so proud of her). She would also occasionally run ahead to get a photo or two of me.

The route took us past more houses and onto a gravel/dirt road before turning right onto a flat bike trail. Here we saw Tommy when he doubled back. We also had to say good-bye to our friend around the 10 1/2 mile so she could continue on the marathon route. I felt my knee start to twinge after 11 miles but the pain stayed low. I also realized around this point that I could run a ten-minute mile pace and set a new personal record for the half marathon distance.

I remember the sun shining down brightly as we turned to go back towards the school. I was tired but Megan kept encouraging me on. Soon we turned onto the road in front of the school. I pushed a little more and took the turn into the parking lot for the last 100m. I was so excited as I ran under the inflatable arch marking the finish line and I saw my time. I had just run a half marathon over two minutes faster than my previous quickest time!

All three of us would receive placement awards as well as our finisher medals. Thankfully these were passed out as we finished so we were able to head back south soon. We made a stop at a service plaza on the Turnpike and enjoyed Panera for lunch.

grandmar says:
congratulations.
Posted on: Feb 05, 2017
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Elyria