Saturday morning, my friend Amanda and I drove to Columbia for Rudolph’s Rampage half marathon at Harbison State Forest. The race start was 10:00 and we arrived around 9:30 to check in and pick up our race t-shirts. I had no goal time for this race except trying to finish in under two hours. The last trail half marathon I did was over a year ago and it took over two and a half hours to finish.
We started out running on a single track trail, which was frustrating because I kept getting stuck behind people. In the end, this was probably good because it forced me to maintain a slower pace during the first few miles. I was running about a 9:00/mile pace, but it felt like I was running a lot faster because I was dodging rocks and roots, running around twists and turns, and climbing up and down hills.
Between miles five and six, I sped down a hill too quickly and face-planted. It hurt, but I picked myself up and kept going. Fortunately, I didn’t hit any rocks, but I did notice several huge ones after I’d fallen. I made sure to slow down a little bit and keep my eyes on the ground after that.
The course was a double loop and I thought this would drive me nuts, but I liked knowing what to expect the second time around. It began raining during the second loop and things got pretty slippery.
The end of each loop has two hills, one that zig-zags and then one that just goes straight up. My legs were like “I’m done” the first time around but, on the second loop, I knew that the finish was just around the corner, so I kept telling myself, “you’re almost there, you’re almost there…”
My unofficial time (results have not been posted) is 1:59:40. I’m happy that I was able to stay within my goal of “under two hours” and, although definitely not a PR, this is a PR for a trail half marathon. 🙂 I also won a cute mug for placing in my age group, which was perfect for post-race tomato soup.
It rained pretty much all day Saturday, so Huck’s kennel looked like a swamp when I got home. Since Saturday was his birthday, I had promised him a long walk. He ended up getting two short walks between bouts of rain, but he did get some doggie birthday cake and a new toy to play with – a Kong Satellite, which he LOVES! I love it, too, because it gives me a few minutes of peace and quiet.