Yesterday morning I completed my second Historic Hillsborough Half. The weather was chilly at the start and warmed up to a perfect 56 degrees by the finish. I smiled for all 13.1 miles and trained for only like 2 of them.
Don’t be like me.
Let’s start from the beginning. Earlier this year (more than likely pre-May Madness 50K), I looked at the available half-marathons around me and decided I would run four of them. It would be a perfect way to hold myself accountable to stay in shape before the wedding, and it would be fun! Well as per usual, life doesn’t go as planned.
After the ultra in Hoffman, running and I took a little break. I don’t know what happened, but something about running the same loop in the May heat and North Carolina sandhills just broke my spirit. Then I moved away from my running club and established running buddies. I did not anticipate how difficult that would be.
For two years, I always had someone to run with me around town. I knew I would miss the company, but I didn’t realize that not having company on my runs would lead me to skip more workouts than completing them.
Anyway, fall came quickly, and I managed to squeak out sluggish long runs – 8 miles and 10 miles with Leigh. Then the Hillsborough Half showed up.
Despite the lack of training, it was a glorious race. I went in with the attitude that it would be a training run for the half-marathon I’m running next week. No expectations – just finish and collect the medal.
That attitude really freed me. For the first time in months, I felt like I was flying with every mile. I smiled at every runner in the out and backs, and I tried to find something encouraging to say to each person I passed or who passed me. At one point, a lady behind me came up and said: “If you weren’t so nice to everyone, I’d punch you for being perky!”
At the end of the race, I finished with a time that was comparable to my very first half-marathon time, but I felt like my relationship with running was renewed.
As for the race course itself, the rolling hills are a bit of a bully, but the course volunteers were happy and helpful. People of all paces were out there burning up the streets. And my own personal support crew (aka the hubby-to-be and our pup) brightened up the first half of the race with much-needed cheers and ibuprofen. 😉