Well I did it. I ran the Hound Dog Half Marathon yesterday in Elkmont, Alabama. I ran this race last year as well and ran it right under 2:07. Which was a PR then for a half and was extremely unexpected given how challenging the course can be. One very good thing is that starting in mile 5 through mile 6 it is a huge downhill. But after that are a few small but challenging hills. Around mile 8 the course goes from asphalt to an old railroad bed trail. And the best part? The last 3 miles are uphill. Yep you saw correctly, uphill! Just enough of an incline to make you very aware you are running uphill. And it never goes back down! People think I am kidding and they expect to finally get to the downhill before the finish Well the saying, What goes up most come down, doesn’t always work in running. Sometimes what goes up just stays up! Or at best it levels out.
Well this year I ran the first 6 miles like I could run a sub 2. I was on track to do a sub 2 if I could keep it up. But as I was flying down the downhill at mile 6 I knew I had over extended myself. My legs were getting fatigued and I knew I would not be able to keep a pace to finish under 2 hours. And while I knew I had went out too hard, I was so excited to know I had just PR’d a 10K. And really wished that was all I had to run!
The rest of the race kept getting slower and my poor legs were yelling at me. I was originally worried about my asthma and how I had felt the week prior. I really felt like I would not be able to do my best because of it. But mentally I felt great! My lungs were perfect! But my legs were just done. I pushed through to mile 11 and started tackling the uphill. I made it and had one of my slowest miles since my marathon. I did not PR the course. I ran it just under 2:09.
This was a great lesson learned. I learned what I could do and what is too much for now. While I knew better, and knew I was not ready, I have learned what I need to work on. I am not disappointed at all. It was still a great race. One of the ladies that went with us had her first sub 2 half and that was something to celebrate! I was so glad to be there and see how happy she was. I would recommend this race to anyone. I will definitely be back again next year and I will be better prepared and have a better plan. If you have not heard of this race, look it up. Learn the story of sweet Ludivine.
As for my goal for a sub 2, it’s still there! I have until April 8 to get ready. It is a super flat course and is currently my PR course at a 2:02. Of course you will be on my journey with me. Through the training and raceday. I’m so excited but I am nervous too. I will do my best and also remember that you never know what may happen come raceday. That’s part of the fun I guess. Just show up and do your best and that’s all anyone can do. And any seasoned runners out there want to give me any pointers I’d love to hear them! So please feel free to leave a comment! This will be a fun journey! 💕