My Best Races Ever

For Team Tough Chik, we are blogging this week about our best/worst race experiences.  Here are mine:

I have learned that it is important to always start out with the positive so I will tell you about my best race ever….but there are two! The first one is the Marine Corps Marathon.  It was my first marathon ever.  I wrote a blog about it already so as to not repeat myself here is the link.  I loved it!  It was way more than I expected it to be.  Honestly by the time the marathon came around I just wanted to get it over with.  I had no desire to run this marathon but I was going to run it.  I am no quitter.

When I ran my other favorite race I wasn’t really into my blogging about running…or running for that matter.  I have to admit, I had slacked off.  It’s not the first time I’ve done it and it probably won’t be the last.  I would like for it to be the last but I am going to have to get better at it to not get injured or frustrated with myself.  I had already signed up with my awesome friends to run this half-marathon so I was going to do it.  I didn’t train correctly and I didn’t run a lot.  The only long runs I did were a 12 miler 4 weeks before and an 11 miler the week before. But do not do as I do.  This is not my advice, as you will hear later in my worst race experiences.  The Scream! half-marathon took place in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina, only about an hour and a half from where we live.  We drove over the morning of.  I woke up at 4:30 for this.  I was not a happy camper.  I do not like to get up before the sun.

We arrived at the “Marathon (really)” gas station where pick-up was supposed to be a little early so we waited in the car.  Some expo, huh?  Up until this race I had thought of myself as a “big” race kinda girl.  I enjoyed all the hub bub.  It was foggy and dreary.  At least it wouldn’t be hot, right?  I debated on taking my iPod and in the end I did.  I didn’t want to get bored.

Notice the Marathon in the background 🙂
Love the shirts, just wish they’d been smaller!

The race was beautiful.  We ran, literally, down a mountain, twisting and turning around all the curves.  I could see the forest floor from the side of the mountain as I was running.  Something about the environment was so exhilarating.  The beauty of nature, the thrill of running so fast, the fact that there were no screaming spectators.  It was serene.  I had come to make my goal of running under 2 hours.  I beat that by over 7 minutes at 1:52:51.  I planned to run right under 9 minute miles to make sure I made that goal because I had missed it by 3 minutes in Disney a few months before.  I remember the many times I checked my watch thinking that something was messed up because of the drizzle or the trees.  There were times when I saw 7:30s on my pace.  I felt so good.  This could not be.  I think I just had a great day.  I thrive on downhills in all my runs so this was the race for me.  I know it could have just been a fluke but this is the race that gave me back my running mojo so that I could and would run a marathon 3 months later.

Right before the finish of The Scream!

As for my worst experiences, I won’t name any names because some it was my fault.  There are 2 half-marathons in particular that I felt horrible at by around mile 5 because I had not properly trained and my body was screaming at me to stop,  I had done my long runs for one but it was in the middle of marathon training so I had run 15 miles to week before.  I’ve learned my lessons on proper fueling and training by now. Every one of us has a different body that reacts differently than the next person.  Training is one big experiment for me. 

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