Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Tale of Two's in Bethel

This morning I woke up at 5 and headed to Bethel, Ohio for the Wild Cherry Loop Trail Half Marathon at East Fork State Park.  Miraculously, I had no problems reaching my destination except for being a little tired.  I did not really do anything on Saturday but lay around the house and watch tv because of a persisting headache.  So, I shouldn't have been tired, but with the fall season and the leaves dropping, my allergies are getting ready to kick- not that I think they ever really stop for me.  Plus, I have a knot on my neck, which I think is probably a swollen gland, but I'm trying to give it a week before I go to the doc to check it out.  Needless to say, I just was not very pumped for the race this a.m.  My precious hubby did try to cheer me up, and I figured he was right-once I started running, I'd feel better.
  Anyhow, I got to the race about an hour before the start and was able to get checked in, get my bib on, and everything ready to go.  I had about 30 minutes still before the race, so I climbed back into the bus and reclined my seat for a little snooze.  I cracked my window, so I would hear any announcements.  This is a great place to have a trail race.  We started at the beach area, so there was plenty of parking and bath rooms.  Plus, it was super easy to find!  I finally heard the call to the post, and I climbed out of Big Bird and headed to the starting line.  The first part of the race was uphill out of the parking lot up to the trail head.  Yeah- I love starting up a hill right off the bat- not!  The only saving grace is you know that at the end you will be going downhill to the finish line.  The only other problem with the uphill, was it did not allow any thinning out of the runners before getting to the trail.  I got sandwiched in with about four other women.  I'm not very fast, so I didn't feel I could pass them, but I felt a little faster than their pace.  So I just settled down to their stride.  I pretty much was able to power walk up the hills and still kept pace with them.  I felt like I was right on top of the lady in front of me though.  Not too mention, the lady behind me sounding like a train.  I even offered to let her pass.  At the 3 mile aid station, I was able to get around a couple, and cruised for a while with another group.  Finally, at the next aid station, there was a down hill that was wide enough to pass.  I jumped at the chance and got past and was finally by myself setting my own pace.  Woo wee!!!  Then the mud came.  Apparently there was a severe storm on Tuesday, and although the organizers tried to clear the trail, there were still many trees down that you either had to go around completely or crawl over/under.  But the mud was something else.  My shoes were beginning to feel like they weighed 5 lbs a piece.  Oh and don't forget to duck under the brier patch.  For once I was thankful I am short.  Somehow, I thought the next aid station was at mile 10 and I could hear them ahead.  I looked at my watch and calculated only about 4 miles left.  Maybe I could get in at 2:30.  Then I got to the aid station and it said mile marker 9!  Arg....mental let down.  I recalculated. I'd be lucky to get in by 2:48 now.  So I'm really starting to drag.  My legs have been alternating hurts between the two of them.  Left foot, right shin, left knee, right hip, I start telling myself I feel good.  I feel great.  I have to go to the potty.  Where did they say that was on the course?  Ii hope it wasn't the outhouse I passed without a door on it.  Finally, I come upon mile marker 12.  One more to go.  I can do this.  Shoot another tree down.  Oooh..not good this one is perfect sitting height.  As much as I wanted to, I only sat long enough to throw
my other leg over and kept moving. Yeah there's the road and it's leading down hill. Almost there now.  I crossed the line at 2:42:10.  A little disappointed, but knowing that the for the past two weeks I've only run twice and both runs were only 2.22 miles each.  I just need to get back on my training regime-especially with the Air Force Marathon this Saturday! 
Sticking with my 2's, I did see 2 turtles on the trail, but at one point I think one was passing me.  : )
Overall, this was another great race put on by Ohio Running and volunteers were super.  I was shocked how people littered though.  I even stopped and picked up some cups and walked back to the aid station.  They are volunteers people, not garbage collectors!!!

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