This past weekend was a great weekend! I had a half marathon to make up on Saturday that was previously postponed due to storms. Well guess what? The forecast was rain. Not all day rain, just rain starting right before the beginning of the race until the end of the race. But what can you do? You run, is what you do and you get a PR! This was a great race that was well organized and not to mention the awesome swag they gave us. I mean we even got a soup mug and a hat! Isn’t that why we pick our races, for the cool swag? This was the Hound Dog Half in Elkmont, Alabama made famous last year by the hound dog Ludivine that decided she wanted to run 13.1 miles with everyone and finish 7th. This story made national news and participants went from around 100 runners last year to almost 400 this year.
The first 8 miles are on two lane country roads with beautiful scenery. Then you finish on 5 miles of trail which are an old railroad bed. It was nice packed gravel but very muddy. And did I mention the last 2 miles were uphill? But around mile 6 there is a major downhill that lasts for almost a mile. This is where my momentum picked up and I increased my speed and overall felt better. I had an 8:20 mile! My last half marathon finish was a 2:12. I planned to try to PR and hoped to finish with a sub 2:10. I felt great! Mile 9 was a 9:10 mile. Time was on my side and I felt great! But guess what happened…the trails got muddier and then the last 2 uphill miles hit. Exhaustion set in and pace slowed down. But at some point we hit that wall, we slow down. We start struggling physically and mentally. Our legs want so badly to just walk it off and give up. But we fight. We push ourselves with all that we have. Our determination kicks in and maybe even some stubbornness. We get up those dang muddy hills and we finish with a 2:06:46 time and a PR! It may hurt a little and you may want to cry or scream. But after, when you cross that finish line, that feeling you have is one that is hard to replace. You met your goal and surpassed it! Will the next race be a PR? Hopefully. It is definitely a goal to keep. But we are not always guaranteed a good run, just like in life we aren’t always guaranteed a good day, but we take those good runs and days and cherish them. We learn from them and try to continue to improve. We dream and we dream big! Happy running!