First of all, I have to say Thanks to Hoosier Half for the free race entry. In exchange for the entry, I agreed to mention the event on my social media platforms and write about my race experience on this blog.
This was my second time running the Bloomington, Indiana event. (Any IU fans or alums out there??) Back in 2013 I set out to run 13 half marathons (13.1!) in 2013. The Hoosier Half was one of the events I did that year. So having done it before, I knew there would be hills. I was a little anxious with this hilly event being my first half marathon of the year. I just haven’t been performing at the half marathon distance like I like to (I’ve been a sub-2:00 half marathoner for several years until a couple halfs last fall when I went into the 2:05~2:10 finish time). Given that, the hills, and some injury and allergy/asthma issues earlier this year, I didn’t really know what to expect on Saturday. So much so that I told my husband and son, who had gone to Bloomington with me (we stayed overnight even though it’s easily drivable for us!) not to meet me at the finish line. I just didn’t want the pressure that they were waiting for me if I decided to walk halfway through (and walk I did!)! Plus, it was unseasonably cold!!! 31 at the start, feeling like 22. Yikes!
We went down Friday evening and stopped at Chicago’s Pizza on the way. I’m not a typical pasta girl the night before an event. (I don’t really get into the “carb-loading” thing.) I usually like to have grilled chicken and will add bread or a baked potato, but that’s the extent of differing from my normal eating. The grilled chicken sandwich with a little buffalo sauce on the side worked just fine.
We arrived in Bloomington in time to pick up my packet and then stay at the Hampton, the host hotel. They said it was “within walking distance”, but it was about a mile away, and given the cold temps my husband was nice enough to plan to get up early and drive me to the start line.
After a less than stellar night’s rest (oh well, that happens sometimes!), I got up early enough for my pre-race routine (my normal morning routine actually) to stretch, read my devotions, and have my Energize.
Like I said, it was cold at the start, and there was some wind to deal with, but the sun was nice, and with a couple of layers on top, I decided I dressed correctly for the race.
I ran with the 2:00 pace group for the first 3 miles, but all the memories of hills were coming back to me, and I decided around mile 5 that I was just going to #runmyrace. This has been my theme this year, and I decided it was time to live by it. I started walking the hills. I walked them briskly but also recovered a bit and then ran the downhills and flats. This worked for the entire rest of the race. It finished uphill, and I finished in 2:15:43. It was my slowest half marathon since 1999, but that’s okay.
I was kinda kicking myself for having told my husband and son not to meet me at the finish line, because I had to walk back to the hotel (you know that mile I mentioned? AND it had a hill to climb AND it was chilly!).
I got a hot shower then we went downtown Bloomington to eat and explore the campus. My husband graduated from law school there, and my counseling degree is from IU, so we always enjoy the opportunity to visit campus. Kent likes to show Ethan around. (I think he secretly hopes he’ll go to IU!)
It was a nice weekend, and at the end of it all, I’m reminded how grateful I am for a supportive family, the opportunity to run, and to be a Hoosier.
Did you race this weekend? How was it?
Favorite college campus?