“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”~PattiSue Plumer
Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race the Hillbilly Hike 1/2 Marathon on Saturday, November 6! 💙💛
Things seemed to be back to “normal” for this race. There weren’t any Covid measures in place, but we still wore masks on the bus ride to the start line to keep ourselves as healthy as possible before IMAZ.
- this is a point to point race (starting in Indianola and finishing in Carlisle)
- you park near the finish line and busses transport you to the start line (we wore masks on the bus, but many did not wear them)
- they transport a morning clothes bag from the start area back to the finish line for you with any gear you don’t want to run in/with
- the temps were in the low 40s at race start with mostly blue skies + strong tailwinds pushing us the whole way to the Carlisle finish line
- there were aid stations with volunteers handing out water (and a few stations had Gatorade) every 2ish miles, but I carried water with me to practice for IMAZ race day
- I took in a Science in Sport (SIS) gel before the start and then at miles 3.5, 7, and 10.5 to keep me strong all the way to the finish line
- there was quite the spread of food at the finish…biscuits and gravy, pie, chips, bananas, and many beverage options
Longer Version: We arrived in Carlisle at about 6:45 am, got our race bib (with timing chip) and race shirts from packet pick up, got all of our gear ready for our race, packed up our morning clothes bag, and boarded a bus to take us to Indianola at about 7:15 am. This was plenty of time to arrive in Indianola, use the Kybo to empty the bladder, chat with friends, do an easy warm up, strip down to racing gear, drop our morning clothes bag for transport to the finish line, and get to the start line for the 8:30 am start.
The weather was really ideal for a 1/2 marathon…42*F, mostly sunny, winds from the S at 15 mph. When it was time to start, we didn’t hear any sound to indicate the start of the race…we simply saw people starting to run in front of us, so we followed them.
We ran on a few streets before making our way to the paved trail that would take us all the way to Carlisle. I decided to take it easy for the first few miles to ease into it before kicking it up a notch (or two).
I decided I was not going to look at my Garmin to see where I was for pace or overall time for the duration of the race. I was running by feel and enjoying the opportunity to race in person. I wanted to see just how my race would unfold while monitoring my effort as that is my plan for race day at IMAZ. The first aid station was just past mile 2. This is where I kicked it up a notch. I really wanted to see what I could do on this day. I took in my first Science in Sport (SIS) gel at about mile 3.5 (there was paint on the trail every 1/2 mile with how far we were to the end of the trail), washed it down, and continued to run strong!
At mile 4 I kicked it up another notch. I stayed in the present mile I was in and tapped into my intentional thoughts to keep me focused and in control of my race. I was so happy to be racing! I continued to run strong and smile big for the duration of the race. It was fun to chase down other athletes and do what I love again!
As I turned toward the lake shortly before mile 7, I took in my second SIS gel. This is such a fun section of the race. With it being a short out and back section, you get to see other athletes, cheer them on, and enjoy the glorious fall scenery along the lake.
After exiting the lake area and getting back on the trail, it was time to put the head down to do work. With 5miles to the finish line, this is where I wanted to see just how fart I could take myself. I took in my final SIS gel shortly after mile 10 to keep me running strong all the way through to the finish.
As I approached the end of the trail in Carlisle (where the finish line is), I was so full of joy…the weather was perfect, I GOT to race, I got to push my limits without looking at my Garmin once, I felt the strongest physically and mentally while racing that I’ve felt in years! There was so much to be grateful for!
As I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, fatigue in my legs, happiness in my heart, fuel in my soul, and excitement for what is to come, all was right in the world! I had SO MUCH JOY! Oh…and the icing on the cake…I ran my second fastest 1/2 marathon EVER (my fastest was 14.5 years ago and I only missed that finish time by 2 minutes).
Finish time: 1:50:26 (8:25/mile average pace) AG: 6/35, Females: 38/171, Overall: 106/310
Gear: Coeur Sports fitted run shorts, Coeur Sports sports bra, Coeur Sports running tank top, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Kismet running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies, Orange Mud hand held water bottle