|Yes, Tristan was there, but wasn't close enough for me to wait.|
The weather was pretty wet. It rained all day Saturday (the day before) and I made Mike take me to Walmart for a cheap rain jacket because I couldn't imagine running 13 miles in the rain, but then it was just very heavy mist/fog and I didn't end up wearing it. You couldn't actually see Crazy Horse at all. It was about 40F so pretty cold, and around mile 7 it got super cold and we could all see our breath, but the really cold part was only for about 2 miles. The run is mostly on a maintained gravel path except for one bit at the beginning that was a largish down/up hill on pavement. That was pretty slick the first time we ran it (had to do it twice).
|This hill is a lot steeper in person, I swear.|
The route itself is about 3 miles on the grounds of the Crazy Horse Memorial- a big loop around mostly on gravel roads. It was a LOT of uphill right at the beginning. At three miles you come out of the park and then turn onto the Mickelson Trail and run downhill for 10 miles into Hill City, SD. The trail is wide, fine sandy gravel, and exactly the surface I was used to for my long runs. This was a very gradual decline and never felt like running downhill. I was hoping this would give me a little extra speed so that I'd make my goal, but it didn't happen. I did maintain a good pace (for me, I'm a slow runner) on the uphill parts, but didn't gain any on the rest.
|Crazy Horse! Isn't it majestic??|
Somewhere between miles 8 and 9 I realized that I wasn't going to make my A or B goal and got pretty down on myself. I thought I'd still be able to make my C goal, but was still feeling pretty disappointed. Just after I realized this, Mike had to abandon a cheering station, and I only got to wave at them as they drove past instead of getting some in person encouragement, which didn't help. (He had to leave because Noah LOST A SHOE at the previous stop so they went back for it. That kid continues to amaze me.)
|Me, being discouraged at mile 9.|
Other random things, for the first 6 or so miles I kept passing and being passed by two girls dressed as My Little Ponies.
|My little ponies. I think they beat me.|
There was a cat at one of the water/volunteer stations- she was just hanging out with everyone. My cousin ran her first half marathon in Portland Oregon at the exact same time and every time I wanted to walk I'd think "I bet Lara is running right now" which really helped. By mile 11 it hurt more to walk than it did to run, so I kept running. I hurt a lot more overall than I expected.
I finished in 2:36:47. My average pace was 11:58, which is pretty much exactly where all my long runs in training were, except I never started any of those with 3 miles of hills. So in hindsight, I'm ok with that. My cousin finished in 2:34:47, so we really did run it together.
If you ever consider making a sign and cheering for a half marathon/marathon DO IT. It was SO great to have strangers cheering. Some signs I saw:
Go Random Stranger GO
Whine Now Wine Later
I've done smarter things drunk!
Dig deep, like a kid seeking a booger
Your feet hurt from kicking so much asphalt
Running is cheap therapy- and we're all insane
Tag here for a power boost (this one was a little kid, and the sign had a big red circle in the middle to tag.)
and a bunch of "Go Leah!" "Go Savannah!" type signs.
Plus my two, which are now hanging in my bed room- Run Mommy Run and Way to Go Mommy.
Mike said some other women said they were mommies too and could they have some cheering? Lauren gave out some high fives, but the boys couldn't be talked into it.
So was it worth training for 18 months to do this? Heck yes! I'm incredibly proud of myself. I feel like such a rock star for doing it. 13 miles is a REALLY LONG WAYS. Mike and I are already talking about winter running and cross training and both of us being prepared for the River Rat Half Marathon next spring. I have a PR to beat now, so GAME ON.