Posted by: Ingrid | October 11, 2010

Falling Waters Trail half-marathon, 10-10-10

We have had some lovely summer weather the past week, bordering on almost too hot.  Because of that, the start of today’s race at 8:10 was fully twenty-some degrees higher than last year!  It was a beautiful day, the trees were gorgeous, it was a great day for a run.

The beauty of running a half-marathon five miles down the road becomes apparent on days like today.  No long drives or hotels and you can leave home 30 minutes before the start of the race.  I love it!  We got there, I warmed up, and we lined up at the start.

The gun went off and we went running through the neighborhoods of Concord towards the trail. The first mile (and therefore the last as well) went through the neighborhood and had some hills, including a particularly nasty little climb right at the beginning of mile 13.  Last year’s course was almost entirely flat, so I ended up pretty disappointed with this change.  I found my pace and settled in around 7:20.  In my dearest dreams I’d envisioned myself holding a 7:15 for the first 7 miles and then dropping down to a 7 minute mile for the rest.  This was a not a day when those sorts of dreams came true, however.

The run took us out and back on the trail, which was manned by helpful volunteers and some spectators.  The two women who finished first stayed well ahead of the rest of us.  First place (1:31) was an unlikely looking runner in terms of build but she made her 7 minute pace look effortless and second place looked like a college runner.  That left me and three other women around the same pace to vie for third.  We kept pace with each other for the first 9 miles, then one women fell back, one had to stop briefly, and the other woman pulled in front of me.  The fact that there was always someone in front and behind was a little movivating but overall I prefer having space when I run so it kind of got on my nerves as well.  I know that it was a race and that means other people are involved but I’m still not fully sure that I like racing and I am definitely not very good at it yet.  Running is much less relaxing when I hear footsteps behind me all the time and feel like people are breathing down my neck.

By mile 4 I could tell that just holding 7:20 was all I was going to do, if that.  By mile 9 I kind of felt like I was bonking (yes, I just used a nonexistent word).  I ate well the last few days and before the race but I think I was a little dehydrated going in and didn’t get much to drink during the run.  I was disappointed to not feel great.  Most of the run felt like a lot of work.  It probably would have helped to have some longer long runs during training as well (maybe a 15 miler) – I didn’t feel as comfortable with the distance as I did during my last half.  I was ready to be done at mile 12, which is when I round the bend and had to start running uphill.  At that point all I wanted to do was finish!

Hit the finish line at 1:36.50 (7:24 pace), which is a great time for me and a new personal best.  It is also 9 minutes and 30 seconds faster than I ran this same event on a completely flat course last year!  I was the 4th woman, 16th overall, and first in my age group.

Husband laughed at me because the race shirt (while being nice running shirt fabric) is the color of things I prefer to eat but never wear.  Pumpkin spice has never been in my color palette, but I don’t think that matters (too much) when you run.

All in all, decent run with an outcome I was happy with.  I’m ready to sign off doing events for the year so I guess it can snow now!



  1. Wow – 1.36 is fantastic!! Well done! Love how you are smiling in your pics – sometimes I find that hard 🙂

    • Thanks! I find that I usually end up smiling and quite cheerful during runs. At least I know better than to try to strike up conversations now!

  2. Great report. Adorable first picture there and I love your Born to Run shirt. And, of course, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Awesome time and 4th place – wooohooo!

    • Thanks, SLG. I love that Isaac comes to all of my runs (though I don’t envy my husband the job of keeping him occupied the whole time!). I like the shirt too though part of me feels like it is a lie. It should probably read: Trained really really hard to run. 🙂

  3. Wow… in my wildest dreams I would be able to run that fast. (o_o)

    • You know, I ran 11 minute miles when I was in college and never thought I’d ever run this fast. If you put in some time doing speedwork and tempo runs you would probably surprise yourself!

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