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I'm a little late...

but here it is:

Holiday Lake 50K, February 12th, 2011


I raced Holiday Lake in 2003 or 2004...I used it to get ready for a 50 miler, which I was using to get ready for some multi-day adventure races.

Holiday Lake race day dawned cold, snowy, rainy, muddy and dark. Still, I had been training, and I was, despite all the mountain biking and adventure racing I had done lately, a runner.

Obviously, God didn't want me to finish that race...at least not officially. I missed the cut-off at the halfway point (I would have to look up how close I was, but I know it wasn't by much). I ended up finishing the run, but didn't finish officially. I would though. I would come back, and I would get that Finisher's shirt.

Five years passed. During that time, I took a full-time (not part-time) job, stopped running because my hip hurt, and really got into road biking. I was uninjured, riding with good friends, and not running!

At a triathlon with one of the kids I coach, I tried to run around the course to encourage her...I ended up mostly walking...I wasn't in bad shape, but I obviously wasn't in running shape.

I started running again...short and slow. Just to be able to keep up with the kids I was training. I went to a race weekend with some friends and watched them run a half-marathon in over 2 hours. I could surely break 2 hours. I started training again. I ran a 1:58 half. Next? 1:55...or so I thought...but sometime in there, I heard about a run in WV at the New River Gorge...24 and 18 miles over two days...it sounded fun. Don't ask me why it sounded FUN! I got a bunch of my friends to run. We had a blast, and although I couldn't get there except to run the 18 miles, it was "easy" for me. I didn't have to run fast, I just had to keep going...and I can do that!

Suddenly, I was thinking about Holiday Lake again. Why not? I was in pretty good shape and had a few months to get ready. Despite having a lot of chronic Achilles pain, I kept running longer and longer, and I felt good. I signed up. I got some friends to sign-up with me.

My sister asked what made me think I could make the cut-offs now, 7 years older, when I couldn't do it before? I didn't have a good answer...I didn't know I could do it, but I thought I could. I was strong and training smart, and knew, if I went back, there was no way I wasn't making the cut-offs short of having to be carried off the course.
Well, to make a long story short, I didn't have to be carried off the course. I started out feeling well, ran within myself, and pretty much cruised the first half. I made it to the cutoff with time to spare. To be fair, the day was warm and sunny, and the course was almost perfect...so different from the last time. The second half, while finding me more tired than the first (you think?), was still good, and other than some blisters, I made the finish in under 7.5 hours...still plenty of time if I had needed it.
I felt good, fueled smartly, got that Finisher's shirt, and got my Horton Hug at the finish. What a glorious day! 



Reader Comments (2)

I went to a race weekend with some friends and watched them run a half-marathon in over 2 hours. I could surely break 2 hours. I started training again.


April 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertriathlon training

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April 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermnbappy

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