First, I’m excited to bring back the weekly long run recaps. It’s definitely been a while.
If you’re a runner in Greenville, you’re probably aware that the GHS Swamp Rabbit Half Marathon took place today. I’ve run this race both times it was held before but chose not to shell out the money today. (The only reason I ran last year was because I somehow snagged a 50% off groupon type thing.)
Since this is a long run recap, not a race review, I’ll just say that I think that $60 (or $70) is way too much to pay for a race that uses a public trail for 80% of the course.
That being said, I knew that I would encounter a few more runners on the trail today when I headed out, although I didn’t get as early a start as I wanted. (I need to get back in the habit of not piddling around in the morning before getting out the door for the run.)
I chose to run in short sleeves since it was supposed to warm up to the mid to upper 40s by the end of the run. I’m glad I did but I was pretty cold when I started running.
The first two miles were my slowest overall. Obviously I needed to warm up. 🙂
I had the trail to myself until around mile 2.5. That’s when things started to get complicated. Either I have a faulty memory or there were simply a whole lot more people running this race than ran it the first two years. I was definitely “swimming” against the tide.
Admittedly, it was a bit frustrating at this point because several times I had to jump onto the “shoulder” to avoid oncoming runners. These runners had a variety of reactions. One was obliviousness. They just didn’t see me because they were staring at the ground. Another was pretending not to see me. They had their gaze straight ahead but at just the last moment they would look away. Both of those type runners caused me to have to jump onto the shoulder which was not very wide or rock free. The last kind of runner I encountered just made me laugh. They would move out of the way but glared at me the whole time, apparently judging me for using a public trail that a race happened to also be using. Obviously, these are just my observations. I, for one, am guilty or getting so absorbed in a run that I nearly run into people!
Thankfully, this section did not last long. Just before the gazebo in downtown TR I turned around and started running with the racers. This section, 5.5 miles long was my favorite. While not actually racing I got all the benefits minus water at the water stops. I love the endorphin high of racing. Plus, at the point I turned around I was running with people who were running a much slower pace than I was.
I didn’t even mind having to weave between runners and thrown on little surges to get through gaps before they closed. It’s a heady feeling passing that many runners. 🙂
I knew my pace was fairly speedy through this section but I didn’t consult my Garmin. I ran on feel and the drive to pass as many people as I could before I turned around and headed back to the car.
I hated to have to turn around. I really do love that race feeling.
Thankfully, the crowd had thinned out a bit so it wasn’t as hard to run against the grain the second time.
It felt so weird passing the last few runners and then being on my own, like a normal long run. Thankfully I had just over a mile left.
I started to pick up the pace for the last mile and then Timber came on with just under a half mile to go. I decided that I wanted to sprint as hard as I could and try to finish the run before the song finished. I almost made it, only five hundredths short.
I finished this run in 1:34:16. That’s an 8:34 average. Granted, my splits were all over the place. However, I’m thrilled with that pace and the fact that I feel fantastic over there. I was racing just a little, but definitely not to full effort.
I’m excited to start ramping up my half marathon fitness. Greer will be my first test. (Yes, a blog about the decision to run Greer again is coming.) Hopefully I’ll have made enough progress that a sub 1:40 at San Francisco will be within my grasp.