Now you get it, Dry Valley Half Marathon was yesterday. I had run the last 10 miles of the course a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I had a nice pace and the hills weren’t so challenging that I was dreading them, just aware of them.
The hardest parts of the race yesterday were the late start time, 1:30PM, and the fact that it was an unseasonably warm day. Lewistown’s high yesterday was 74°. When you are running long distance it feels like it’s 20° warmer. You can do the math and my feet took the brunt of the heat from the asphalt and started to blister about half way through the race.
The heat, the blisters, the “dry valley” were all challenges and I really felt it. For the first time since maybe March I actually had to take walk breaks during my long run. That was so mentally discouraging that I was shocked that my finish time was less than 2 minutes off of my PR (personal record).
My knees are a bit swollen, my blisters are re-inflating time to time but my muscles are feeling much better after a night’s sleep. My over all therapy has included chocolate chip cookies, a congratulatory gift from my mother-in-law. My super ugly and painful feet now look a lot better with bright indigo nail polish. It covers up where I have 1/2 a toenail on my one foot and a bruised nail on my other. This was another perfect finish line gift from my Dad & Mom.
Thanks to all who gave me support before and during the race. Seeing Jimmy-the-eye at mile 12 with a bottle of water was a godsend and I am sorry I missed the awesome chalk drawings he left on the bridge I crossed. I was too busy looking for pot holes since I could hardly lift my feet.
I finished about 38th of about 50. My biggest victory of the day was not asking Jimmy-the-eye to drive me the last mile back to the parking lot. That’s a hard thing to suppress when you have stomach cramps and are just wanting it all to be over.
I really liked the race except for the heat and time of day. I would also encourage volunteers not to be shy about lending encouragement. Shy cross country running teens who mutter “good job” as they are texting friends don’t quite convince me that they are rooting for me. Huge kudos to Jimmy-the-eye for standing for hours and being a cheerleader for the 37 who passed before me. They didn’t get a water hand out but they got his heartfelt encouragement. I bet he was the best out there and I know they loved seeing his Pikermi chalk art. Go, Go Go!