Heading into this race, I wasn't expecting very much. I had just started my half marathon training that week, and also started a second round of Whole30, so I was feeling more tired than usual. It was also a really warm day. Put all that together, and my goal was just to break 30:00. It wouldn't be a PR, but I figured it would be a good tempo run! I ended up shocking myself and doing a lot better than I expected, so keep reading for my recap!
Mile 1 - 7:40
The first mile starts off flat, then goes straight uphill around the Allegheny Observatory. The road used to be in pretty bad shape with lots of potholes and an uneven surface, but luckily the entire park was repaved since last year.
For the first hill, it's important to not start off too quickly. It's a short hill but pretty steep, so I try to stay relaxed and push myself once I reach the peak. I always pass a lot of people in this section, because most people take the first hill too quickly and tire out before they reach the top. Always make sure to check the course beforehand so you know where to pick up the pace and where to conserve your energy!
At this point, I was feeling pretty good! I had my watch with me, but turned off the pace screen so I ran by feel instead of time. My goal was to push myself and see how that ended, so I was shocked when the first mile beeped and I saw a 7 on the screen!
Mile 2 - 7:28
The second mile is definitely the best- it's all downhill! I passed a few more people in this section, and tried to keep myself from going all out. I knew that the hardest part of the race was still coming up, so I kept my form relaxed and tried to use the momentum from going downhill instead of using a ton of energy.
I also grabbed some water at this point because it was pretty hot out! This was really my first "hot" day of running. I didn't really plan well for this, and should have brought along my favorite salt tabs for the race.
Mile 3 - 9:25
The third mile is all uphill. Luckily, the steepest part of the hill is at the bottom, and it gradually levels off at the top. I grew up running in this park, so I know every twist and turn. I was really tired and hot at this point, but focused on staying near the guys in front of me and not letting anyone pass me. I also didn't want to start walking, because I knew once I walked once I would want to walk all the way in!
This part of the park is also the most shady, which helped a lot. It cooled me off somewhat, so I just pushed myself to the finish line. This mile was a lot slower than the other two, but I was happy that I kept my place from the bottom of the hill, and even managed to pass a few people.
After crossing the finish line, I headed over to get some water and a banana. There were also chips and Gatorade available. We stayed around for the awards, and I was surprised to find out that I won my age group! I was also excited because I won a raffle for a gift certificate to the Penn Brewery. I love that place, so I was super happy to win!
Overall Time : 25:10 (8:11 pace)
Do you have a favorite local race?
Have you ever won a raffle?
What is the hardest course that you've run?
linking up with Amanda!