Workout Wednesday - Charlotte Racefest

  While on spring break, I ran the Charlotte (NC) Racefest half marathon. You, as one does when on vacation. Actually, my mother-in-law bribed me to bring the kids for the break by helping search out a race. I'm easily bribed.

Since I knew Charlotte is hilly, I did a "hill" workout {treadmill half miles at 0/2/4/6/4/2% incline} and made sure I hit some hilly roads on my long run. By that, I mean I usually ran up and down the one hilly road twice. I live in between an airport and an air force base. It's flat.

My local route: the same hills at 2 & 8.

That still didn't prepare me for Charlotte. Honestly, I think running in Charlotte is the only thing that could have prepared me. I was moving along fine in the beginning - slightly under goal pace up and down the hills, and up and down some more, and oooh, mile five was almost completely flat and I clocked my fastest mile!

And then I reached mile seven and hit...not a wall {I don't believe in a half marathon wall} - but another hill. And with that, I was done - goal pace was gone and I was walking. I told myself I was okay with 2:20 instead of 2:15. And then when I hit the hill just before mile ten, I told myself I was okay with 2:25. And then when I hit the hill at mile eleven...

One section of the race was actually the worst I've ever run - on a teeny narrow bike path with a very uneven surface, followed by a gravel parking lot and more narrow trail. I've done trail races without complaint, but this was too narrow to even pass anyone. I heard this was a new addition, and I hope they take it back out - I heard nothing but complaints about it.

Also, I got smacked in the face several times by inchworms. Not cool, wildlife.

Other than that, the course was actually nice and scenic - lovely homes and neighborhoods, rather than city stuff.

In the end, I ran a 2:29:54. See, I beat 2:30. {In comparison, two weeks before on the above local way more flat route, I ran 2:10:43 for 12.17 miles.}

And even though it was far from my goal, 2:30 used to be my goal that I struggled for on a flat course. So I am getting faster...I just need to maybe not skip as many strength workouts in the next training section.

The stuff I actually race for! {Besides bacon and donuts.} Gotta say - not impressive. The shirt is nice, and I like the colors. The medal is nice...but the ribbon is grosgrain. Come on, grosgrain is the stuff from my RnR bonus medals {aka free stuff} not real race medals.

And then the sum total of the swag? A $10 off a $50 purchase at Dick's. A cup of water at the end {there were plenty of water stops on route with Gatorade and water} - not a bottle. And some orange slices and banana halves. Yikes. I don't necessarily run for the swag - but I do want bang for my buck. Priest Lake had nothing but a shirt/medal, but they had a kickass post-race BBQ.

And no pictures whatsoever. {Not that I ever look good in the them - but seriously. Nothing?}

So...I wouldn't run it again - but I don't need to, now that I've checked North Carolina off the list. Ten states done - 20% of the way through!