The first mile was fairly well lit with street lights and my own adrenaline. But after that, it was like running well...running in the dark with 1,000 other people. Except, there was oncoming traffic. Seriously. Oncoming traffic. Like buses.
Around mile 3, ALL the lights went out. Running in pitch black dark at 6:20 up (straight up) a road to then encounter the toughest road in Asheville. Slight uphill, with speed bumps every 800 yards and broken pavement. In the dark. It was crazy.
But I was feeling good. So good that I didn't believe my runkeeper lady who was telling me my split times. The first mile 8:02, 2nd: 8:07 and I kept dropping. While I was going uphill. It was insane.
Around mile 7, I was starting to fade a little. I'd had a fast previous mile and knew that I had 1/2 of the race left to go and that was when my NYC playlist totally delivered a gem to me. A song I haven't heard the entire time I've been training: Country Song Played Backwards by Rascal Flatts. This was a song put on the list by Will Odom and it was what Matt and Will came out to every meal at Frontier this summer. I literally laughed outloud and my whole mood was lifted.
The next mile, Matt surprised me at the foot of the toughest climb in Asheville. 1000 feet in elevation in one mile. You just have to keep moving. I cranked out a 9:30 mile beating my best time by almost two minutes.
I was fired up!
I ended up finished the race in 1:44:28. Which is right at 7:58 miles for 13.1 STINKING MILES in the MOUNTAINS on what is regarded as one of the toughest certified half-marathons in the country. And I feel good. Like really good.
|Natalie Knauer and me with our finisher medals.|
Yes. I'm wearing a beanie and a long sleeved shirt. Not pictured are the gloves I'm wearing. When I'm done running-I GET COLD. Like hypothermic cold. Thankfully, I was prepared on Saturday!
So good that I'm not too scared that I have a 42 mile week ahead of me with an 18-miler next Saturday. Eeeep. Ok, maybe a little scared.
But I'm only 35 days away from the NYC Marathon which feels like its going to be here in a blink of an eye. The weeks are passing SO QUICKLY now.
It has been the biggest blessing to run with Inheritance of Hope. I have been MORE blessed to run with this organization than I could have ever believed. I don't know how to describe it. But it gives all this work depth and meaning. And I love every minute. I've met families impacted by IOH and volunteers, supporters in the last few weeks and they have blown me away by their passion to help families and care for them.
It has really kept me going through the tough days and miles.
If you haven't donated and would like to, let's do this thing! I'm still fundraising even though I've met my goal. All the money still goes to families fighting terminal illness! Inheritance of Hope.