The morning of the race came around. My husband and one of his friends were going to do the 5K. We got up early and headed to Rocky Gap. It was COLD...really cold. Knowing that I get really hot while running, I opted for a long sleeve tech shirt and some running capris (which look like full length pants on me since I'm so short). I was shivering so bad until a few miles into it.
The area had been hit with a snowstorm shortly before this race so there was still snow on the ground. We were told minutes before we started that we'd be going through a short trail section and while he (race director) started shoveling it, he didn't finish. What?!?
We headed off on what seemed like a round about course. I think they had to make some changes to it last minute because the mile markers were completely off (like when I saw mile 5, I was actually at 6.5 or so...talk about a blow to the ego when I thought I was only at 5) and there were some odd run up to here, then back down to here and then go over here sections. I have no idea how long the course actually was.
My sister and I were together until we hit the previously mentioned trail section. Apparently I need to practice a bit on trails, mud and snow. I was just tip-toeing through it and trying not to fall. My sister decides to pop up in front of me thinking it'll be easier for me just to follow her. She was off like a shot and that was the last time I saw her. Trails are much more her thing. Here I am stumbling out of the trail section. Hopefully this will improve with practice.
The next couple of miles were just fine. Went up and down some rolling hills but all like I was used to. Then, probably about mile 7-8 or so, we hit it. The monster hill. It seemed like we were going straight up. This is the furthest I'd ever run plus one hell of a hill. At one point, we went around a curve and I figured that would be the end of the hill...wrong! Kept going up. At that point, I said 'You've got to be kidding'...I think I even said it out loud and started walking. There was this old guy who started walking at this point so my plan was just to kind of stick around with him. We finally made it to the top. Then, guess what? That trail section, had to go through it again to finalize our loop. I lost the old guy during the trail, he's quite good on muddy, snowy trails too.
From there, everything was great until the finish and I made it there in 1:28:31. Who knows if it's accurate but I think it was close. I forgot to stop my watch at the end but when I did, it was at 1:30 so that sounds about right. I was thrilled with the time. What I hadn't really disclosed to anyone was that I had signed up for a half-marathon the next weekend. I did it just a few days before this race because it was in my town, the prices were about to go up and I figured I'd regret it if I didn't try.
After the race, my quads were killing me and I spent the week thinking about how bad of a decision it probably was to sign up for the half marathon next week...but, we'll get to that shortly!