This weekend I went down to Ashland, VA for the Patrick Henry Half Marathon. While not a huge race, it fit perfectly into my marathon training schedule! This race was extra special because my boyfriend and my dog came along to cheer me on! Seeing them on the sidelines definitely gave me the extra boost of energy I needed on a hot and humid day.
I was ready for the race, despite the crazy humidity. Luckily, I’ve had some practice running in pretty intense humidity these last few weeks. That definitely helped sustain me through the entire 13.1 miles.
I started off pretty fast, like a 10:06 minute mile, which is much quicker than my usual mile. I naturally slowed down because of the heat and ended up staying around 11:40, which tends to be my comfort pace.
It was a beautiful day and we spent a lot of the race in the country, running past rows of corn and open fields. I had music playing, but I honestly kept getting distracted by the scenery. It was unreal!
I remember thinking at one point that I had 9 miles to go. I like to reverse count. I find it helps to focus on what’s left and not what I’ve done. At some point, I was like ‘3 to go’ and it caught me off guard. I had no idea where those middle 6 miles went!
In the last two miles I made some friends. One lady just started chatting with me as we were going up a hill. She was running the half with her sister and her son, but she’d lost both of them. It was her first one in 11 years! I ended up walking for a hot second with her and eventually moved on so I could keep running. Then I chatted with another girl in the last mile as we were pushing through some of the hills at the end. Just some basic encouragement, but it helped towards the end of a tough run.
The last 0.5 miles went by kind of slowly. I knew I was close, but was dragging a bit. The heat had definitely gotten to me. But I finished! In 2:28:23, which I think is a pretty solid time.
- Training in humidity pays off! I really think it helped me during this race
- Training hills pays off! I was both physically and mentally prepared for the hills in this race
- Hydrate! I made sure to hydrate at every single water stop. It was really nice because this race had water stops every 2 miles and then every mile starting at mile 9. With the intense humidity, that was a necessity